news

Leigh Sales gives Centrelink the treatment she usually reserves for politicians on 7.30.

If there’s one thing Australians should’ve realised a very long time ago, it’s that Leigh Sales isn’t the kind of person you pick a fight with.

The journalist has made an entire career from cutting through spin and churning out facts, putting her guests on the spot and holding so many to account.

So you can imagine what happened when she took Centrelink to task after finding herself waiting on the phone to them for more than two hours.

Never pick a fight with Leigh Sales. Image: ABC.

"Does Centrelink ever answer its phone? 2 hours on hold last week fruitlessly, heading in the same direction today," she tweeted.

Centrelink was quick to reply, realising it's probably not fabulous PR to have one of the most recoginsed political journalists tweeting about its service.

ADVERTISEMENT

As forthright (sarcastic?) as ever, Sales replied, "Thanks for the tip" and proceed to ask for a number that will be answered in less than 10 minutes -- assuming one exists.

It doesn't.

Listen: Mia Freedman interviews Leigh Sales on the No Filter podcast. Yes, sometimes the interviewer becomes the interviewed. (Post continues after audio.)

And if Malcolm Turnbull can't weave his spin past Sales' laser-sharp focus, Centrelink was well and truly deep in the hole it had dug itself.

ADVERTISEMENT

Which is debatable, but the tales of my Centrelink experiences would take more time to articulate then you'd spend waiting on the phone to them.

Unable to deliver the goods, they resigned to replying ,"families line open til 8pm on 136 150, otherwise our other lines reopen 8am. Our average answer time is around 16 mins."

Which, in the year of alternative facts, seems to be a fitting claim.

Sales ended her frustrations, writing, "Surprising number of people in my twitter feed sharing stories of appalling waiting times to get through to Centrelink on the phone."

00:00 / ???