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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Customer contact: Outdoor calls: General Rules

Outdoor calls are expensive and you should only make an outdoor call where:

  • phone calls have proved fruitless
  • the guidance recommends that you do so
  • you feel that it is necessary to progress the case.

When an outdoor call is necessary you should:

  • follow the preliminary actions set out at DMBM510180 and DMBM511340
  • if necessary, try to arrange the call at a time when you can reasonably expect to see the customer and at a mutually convenient time
  • take care that:


  • you do not discuss matters within earshot of a third party unless your customer consents or, after being given the opportunity, refuses to arrange privacy
  • official papers are not read by anyone other than yourself
  • you do not lose your official documentation


  • do all you can to complete a fully successful call but failing this, advance the case so that the next action can be taken. For example always obtain the name and telephone number of the person responsible for the matter you are calling about.