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Does DWP have reasons for using 0845? (Read 4,861 times)
nicholas43
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Does DWP have reasons for using 0845?
Jul 15th, 2004 at 12:06pm
 
I suggested to my MP, who happens to be also Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, that the DWP could publicise its real numbers as an alternative to its 0845 ones. His reply claims that they need to use 0845 so that they can switch calls to the call centre with the shortest queue.

Is that technically correct? I thought that 0845 calls are 'translated' to a real number, for example 0191, and that once they arrive in, for example, Newcastle they can then be switched around the country (or indeed to India).

Isn't the real gain for users like the DWP that they can negotiate a cheap price for the switching technology, because the technology provider gets a slice of the 0845 call charges?

If you know the answers, please post a Ladybird Guide to 0845 technology, or a pointer to one.

Nicholas Lawrence
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« Last Edit: Jul 15th, 2004 at 3:23pm by nicholas43 »  
 
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firestop
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Re: Does DWP have reasons for using 0845?
Reply #1 - Jul 15th, 2004 at 12:59pm
 
I also raised this matter (but encompassing all Government agencies using 0845's) with the Committe of Public Accounts, through the Chairman, Edward Leigh MP, in addition to complaining about the covert nature of 0870 charges.

I got a reply today saying that the Committee is 'encouraged' by Ofcom saying "...it agrees that clarity of charges helps consumers make informed choices."

Well, whoopsie-doo, all our troubles are over, Ofcom can state the obvious!!!!  No mention of when Ofcom will ACT though.

The matter of our own Government ripping us off with these covert premium numbers was ignored - so I will be asking again.
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DaveM
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Re: Does DWP have reasons for using 0845?
Reply #2 - Jul 15th, 2004 at 5:17pm
 
Quote:
. . . they need to use 0845 so that they can switch calls to the call centre with the shortest queue.
Is that technically correct?

If you subscribe to the more expensive 0845 option, the calls can be re-routed to other less busy call centres. Talk to one of the many providers for more info & their angle, but I think that re-routing is reason enough for the agency using the service. Have a look at the BT 0845 info, the
advanced
details below the pricing, then compare it to the other providers.
... Ps.
Have you ever noticed that when Kevin or Firestop reply to a posting, Ofcom get a tirade of abuse, but we never actually get an answer to the question 
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firestop
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Re: Does DWP have reasons for using 0845?
Reply #3 - Jul 16th, 2004 at 7:11am
 
DaveM

I presumed that the reference to the Ladybird guide made it a rhetorical question - but you always seem to know better!  Or are you just looking to open old wounds?? Cry
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nicholas43
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Re: Does DWP have reasons for using 0845?
Reply #4 - Jul 16th, 2004 at 9:24am
 
Thanks for the pointer to the BT info. Apologies for lack of clarity: it wasn't at all a rhetorical question. I really would like to understand the technology.

If DWP have the BT advanced option, or something similar from another provider, what happens?

(a) Calls to DWP's 0845 numbers are first translated to  primary real numbers (say in Newcastle), and then re-routed according to time-of-day, number of calls currently queuing at Newcastle, or whatever; or

(b) Every exchange in the UK (and wherever calls first arrive from abroad?) knows whether to route them to Newcastle or somewhere else according to time of day etc.

(b) seems unlikely, to me. But if (a) is true, then, in principle, couldn't DWP make known the real primary numbers? And wouldn't calls to them be re-routed just the same? Or would the provider of DWP's 0845 service object, because they would lose their cut of the 0845 call charges?

Nicholas Lawrence
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dorf
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Re: Does DWP have reasons for using 0845?
Reply #5 - Aug 13th, 2004 at 10:38am
 
I think the covert and real reason is that there is a large volume of calls within this catchment. As with ISPs revenue is shared with high call volumes and as now in other areas of government this gambit is being used as a stealth tax to claw back some of the benefit and pension costs to government!
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pelham9
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Re: Does DWP have reasons for using 0845?
Reply #6 - Aug 26th, 2004 at 1:21pm
 
Dave M

I followed the link in your post.

What about key features and benefits 3 down

'Enabling customers to contact you for free'

Perhaps this is the origin of service providers thinking they are doing us a favour using 0845 numbers.
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