Well, closer to the truth anyway.

A response today to an FoI request gives some more insight for the DWPs claims of average waiting times to get through on the telephone.

The figures that they trumpet are actually an average of other averages.
Which is not the correct way of doing things mathematically at all, the overall average of separately averaged values is not equal to the average of the original set of numbers (unless each line got exactly the same number of calls).

The actual average time for each different line is more telling.

Note that the figures are "for the last complete month prior to the date of the article" - in other words January 2020, or maybe December 2019?
The times are for after you have got through the automated bit and are on hold listeneing to music.


It's interesting to see the differences between the call waiting times on lines for different benefits.

The second longest wait (actually the longest see below) on the list, at an average of 19 minutes and 18 seconds, you guessed it The ESA enquiry line.

The longest listed is the Social Fund enquiry line at 34 mins 19 secs.
Maybe not so odd when you consider that the Social Fund was abolished in 2013, so that was probably a single call and who's answering the phone now?

Fastest equal were the Benefit Cap line and UC Live Service at 6 seconds each.
(I didn't think there was anyone left on UC-Live Service now).