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Very High enQ Hold times – enQ Performance update

August 24, 2021

Dear Customer,

enQ Hold Time Performance

enQ hold times varied between 3 minutes and 1.5 hours in the past week(s).

IRS level of service particularly in Practitioner Priority Service Individual has degraded severely, with other departments serviced by enQ failing with different degrees of severity.

The IRS level of service is not consistent throughout the day. There could be a 40 minute period with 0% level of service followed by a 3 minute period of 50% level of service.

We see frequent intra-day blackout periods (30-40 minutes) where the IRS disconnects all calls after a “please try again later” message.

This makes providing an accurate estimated hold time extremely challenging. We recently changed our estimated hold time algorithm to “overestimate” as we angered our customers more if the estimate was lower than the actual.

The IRS disconnects calls for a myriad of reasons. It could take enQ multiple calls just to get one call to the hold music. Then calls can drop off on their way to agents as well as after agents answer.

The first two categories of disconnects are unnoticed to our customers as enQ does not deliver a customer to an IRS line until we are confident that an agent is there. These disconnects of course yield a higher enQ hold time to our customers.

A likely contributing factor to the increased disconnects is that many IRS staff are working at home on different VOIP systems and connection qualities.

Given the difficulty for automated enQ to reach an IRS agent, it would be extremely frustrating to try to reach an IRS agent by dialing manually.

2021 IRS Filing Season Statistics

The Taxpayer Advocate published a report on the 2021 tax filing season (Jan-April) and on figure 5 it reports:

  1. 9% of calls answered on the IRS enterprise lines, down 71% from 2018.
  2. 3% of calls answered on the Form 1040 line, down 90% from 2018.

Taxpayer Advocate FIGURE 5, IRS Telephone Results, 2018 Through 2021 Filing Seasons

2021 IRS Notice Season

So far during this “IRS notice season” (June-December), enQ is observing a similar drop in IRS level of service to the Practitioner Priority Service and Automated Collections lines.

enQ is not optimistic that the IRS level of service will quickly improve.

What is enQ Doing?

One thing that enQ cannot do is make the IRS answer the phone. It is difficult to provide our customers with a low hold time during a 30 minute blackout period.

The problem is about 10x harder than when enQ started, but we are committed to delivering an experience as best as it can be.

We are drastically increasing our research & development capacity to address these challenges.

We are working as quickly and efficiently as we can to add to the enQ toolbelt to improve our service.

Effective today enQ is increasing prices for new customers.

The purpose of this is to justify the cost we are spending on R&D and to slow the rate of new callers on our system so that we can better serve our existing customers.

Why am I paying for enQ?

enQ is aligned with our customer’s interests as we are set up to get paid when we deliver value.

  1. enQ charges for time on the IRS line and does not charge for hold time skipped.
  2. enQ offers rollover minutes on our monthly plans to 3x your plan minutes. This is to smooth out month-to-month fluctuation in minutes usage.

enQ is on your side, as we are fighting for your right to contact the IRS.


Andrew Valiente

CEO/Founder enQ, Inc.