Fed up being hung up on by Centrelink?

29 million callers agree with you…

The struggle is real. Anyone who’s tried to phone Centrelink knows the feeling…. frustrating hours (yep, hours!) spent waiting on hold.

Pop the kettle on, settle in on the couch with your favourite TV show or book, and prepare yourself for a looooooong wait. Getting through to Centrelink can be like winning the lottery. What number will you be in the queue? What’s your expected wait time? And will you even get through at all?

Centrelink flunk their own report card

  • According the Department of Human Services’ own report, almost 29 million calls to Centrelink got a busy signal in the past year.
  • And while Centrelink insist that this high number is largely due to smartphones that let people quickly redial over and over again, it’s up from 22 million calls the year before.
  • And another 7 million calls were abandoned by customers who got fed up with being on hold and chose to hang up instead.

So you’re not just imagining it – Centrelink’s ability to answer your phone call has gotten even worse.

So, hang in there..?

  • For those who do get through and decide to wait on hold, their wait time continues to grow.
  • While Centrelink says it reduced the average time for callers to just over 15 minutes, apparently this average is closer to more than 25 minutes for some of their lines.
  • The reality is, it depends what your call relates to, and which queue you’re waiting in. Some are longer than others!

Or hang up?

  • Of those customers who do choose to hang up, 47% do so within the first 5 minutes of being on hold.
  • While Centrelink want us to believe this could be because their on-hold recordings have given the customer the answer they were after (yeh, right!)…we guess there’s no way of really knowing!

So, what’s the alternative?

  • For customers who are simply trying to do the right thing and avoid penalties by letting Centrelink know about changes in their circumstances, the long on-hold wait is particularly frustrating.
  • So as their on-hold messages tell you – over and over again – try heading online.
  • Or login to your MyGov account.
  • You can also try the Express Plus mobile app.
  • Or pop into your local Centrelink branch.
  • And if you do persist with trying to phone Centrelink – an insider tells us that the best times to call are either:
    • at 8am – the moment their lines open!
    • or around 3pm, as this is when loads of parents are out on the school run.
  • While there’s no guarantees about any time of day, perhaps it’s worth a shot!

What are your experiences with trying to phone Centrelink? Share your stories!