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101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces (Read 74,958 times)
NGMsGhost
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #180 - Feb 5th, 2012 at 4:56pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Feb 5th, 2012 at 3:52pm:
I personally think that the scandalous premium rates for calling HMRC and DWP agencies from payphones could be a higher priority.


That is only because you have a personal longstanding fetish about it being immoral to pay a covert premium rate to make an appointment by phone with a GP but do not have such qualms about people who need to call any other covert premium rate numbers other than the ones you set such store in needing to call (apparently you never need to call the Police). For instance HMRC whom one is obliged to deal with by law and who refuse to support contact with them on routine matters by email or online enquiry form.

I would note that all GPs do actually offer a way to make appointments and request prescription renewals online free of charge for anyone who can use the internet so arguably anyone who has set this up does not need to call their GP on the phone at all.

Quote:
The previous government decided not to commit taxpayer's money to make 101 calls free. They probably also thought that trying to extend the demand on telcos to recover the cost of handling 999 calls from their customers in general to cover all calls handled by emergency service providers was not a good step to try to take.

Instead they negotiated an arrangement for a single fixed fee charge to be applied by all providers along with an obligation on the 101 providers to publish geographic alternatives. With the re-launch of 101 as a Police-only number, the current government retained the same rules, although agreeing a price increase from 10p to 15p.


Why has a 50% price increase already been necessary after only two years when the only service now accessible is for the Police whom have traditionally always been callable for free. Also with reference to not clogging up their 999 number with non emergency calls it would have been perfectly easy to bring in a short IVR message on 999 saying please press 1 if your call is an emergency requiring urgent Police attendance or 2 to speak to the Police about a non urgent matter. So long as these calls could have been free there was no need at all for 101.

Also why has the charge needed to increase 50% in only two years. What exactly has changed to make the telcos need to change 50% more. I would suggest all that has changed is BT's despicable practice of now charging a huge and constantly spiralling connection fee on out of bundle calls to force people to buy a call bundle. Yet outrageously 101 is not covered by these call plans that cover calls to normal rate 01, 02 or 03 numbers. So non urgent calls to the Police are clearly on a Premium Rate number.

Quote:
Because of the 60p minimum charge, BT could not offer the 15p fixed rate from payphones and so decided to make the calls free. The economics of public payphones are totally different from those of general landline and mobile services. It is not helpful to try to make comparisons, especially by drawing on a single exceptional case.


Hogwash. BT payphones could be programmed to charge 15p or at least for that matter 10p or 20p (as they do any more take 5p pieces) for just 101 calls. BT's current payphone equipment is highly sophisticated and can charge whatever it has been programmed to charge. We are no longer in the era of beep, beep, beep and the 2p and 10p push in coin slot or for that matter Button A and Button B (which I am too old to remember other than as science museum exhibits but which my mother distinctly recalls using).

Also if the normally rapacious BT Payphones empire (who principally charge what they do in order to minimise Payphone use and make the case for getting rid of all remaining Payphones as fast as possible) can afford to carry the calls for free then why can they not be free to customers paying a line rental that BT has increased nearly 90% in only eight years!!!

Quote:
If I understand them correctly, I do not believe that it is sensible to draw a comparison between a bucket shop (with minimal overheads and operating offshore, presumably to avoid regulation) and the primary operator on whose excess capacity they rely.


What is your evidence that 18185, 1899 use BT call capacity to route their calls? My experience is that they route their calls all over the world if necessary to get the possible rate. That is why one sometimes get an international ringing tone when dialling a UK call.

The wholesale cost of calls is in the fractions of tenths of pence a minute. The rest is all retail markup by companies like BT with large expensive advertising budgets to support. 18185, 1899 etc mainly the flat 5p to cover the cost of supporting their customer invoicing and payment systems and to make a profit rather than to reflect the actual underlying call cost they pay. If you think it costs BT anything like the 15p they charge to 101 you are living in cloud cuckoo land. Only the mobile networks have call costs anywhere near this high.

Oh yes and you are reminding me why I mainly stopped participating in this forum as I already anticipate your long, preachy, pontificating and highly self important reply to this message.
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« Last Edit: Feb 5th, 2012 at 4:57pm by NGMsGhost »  

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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #181 - Feb 6th, 2012 at 11:27am
 
NGMsGhost wrote on Feb 5th, 2012 at 4:56pm:
I already anticipate your long, preachy, pontificating and highly self important reply to this message.

I wonder whether the following meets expectations!


I prefer to address issues in this forum, rather than personalities. I will however quote a previous posting to this thread, outlining my personal view on the charge for calling 101. I hold a common view about all public services, although I direct my campaigning energies according to the likelihood of achieving change. The NHS is also a matter of particular personal political concern and it raises some heavy Political issues, especially at the present time.

The quoted posting (to which I have added colour and highlights) explains how I see 101 as distinct from other everyday contact with public services. This is because it is used, in part, for a very particular purpose.

SilentCallsVictim wrote on Nov 22nd, 2011 at 3:34pm:
For everyday contact with HMRC, DWP agencies and NHS Direct, I argue that geographic rate numbers are acceptable as I believe that
the taxpayer should not pick up incidental costs
incurred in dealing with these agencies - although no fee should be imposed.
I see "the reporting of crime" differently; I believe that
the taxpayer should pay for the phone call
.

If 101 had been used exclusively for the reporting of crime (and social nuisance, handled by local authorities), rather than for all non-emergency contact with Police services, then I believe that the failure to make it "free to caller" would have been found to be wholly unacceptable. Because it has a "hybrid" purpose, this is more difficult. As things stand, I believe that the definition of the types of crime that can be reported using 999 is too tightly drawn.

(We have a similar situation with 111, although in the other direction. Had this been only for urgent, but non-emergency, access to health services, then it would have right to keep it as "free to caller", fully paid for by taxpayers. In fact its function is drifting to become a replacement for, and even an extension to, the services offered by the NHS Direct information and advice line, which was previously deemed to be too expensive and not cost effective. One fears a sinister political motivation behind attempts to make NHS services too expensive for the public purse.)


I address other points made, excluding quotes for the sake of brevity.

Not all GPs offer online contact. It is unlikely that someone using a public payphone would have internet access, as this normally comes with voice telephony.

The "tradition" of non-emergency calls to the Police being "free" is only as old as the idea that calls to geographic (and, in some cases, 0845) numbers are "free". I am not sure that this idea has even been truly established yet, let alone become a tradition.

The level of 15p per call, as well as the 50% increase, does warrant enquiry - this is a good point. I have no idea of how this figure was determined, nor how the revenue is distributed. It needs to be taken up with the Telcos, acting together, who proposed this and the Home Office, which agreed it - in conjunction with the ACPO 101 team who are leading the project. I fear that the availability of geographic alternative numbers will distract those who may have otherwise been keen to pursue this issue. It is unlikely that those who are saving money as a result of the switch to 101 will want to make a fuss about the fact that they should be saving more, even though there is a legitimate case to answer - why 15p?

I cannot believe that anyone would take up the laughable proposal of putting a IVR message on 999 seriously. We are however free to comment as we wish - perhaps with our tongues in our cheeks!

BT may have decided that the exercise of re-programming all of its payphones was not cost-justified by the prospect of the revenue from the 15p's which this would enable. There are many issues raised by the fact that BT customers in general have to subsidise the losses made on payphones.

I referred to an understanding of how bucket shops work, which is essentially confirmed. I have to apologise for a genuine typo in the quoted comment - I intended to refer to "operators" in the plural, I was not thinking solely of BT, although it is the leading primary operator in the UK, having a very large network. If the BT network is not used by the bucket shop providers, then I am happy to add this qualification to my remarks. I have no idea what evidence could be produced to support an argument that the bucket shop businesses were comparable with those of the regulated primary operators, so as to provide the basis for a challenge to the 15p per call fee, which obviously has to reflect overheads and a net margin. That responsibility rests with those who wish to advance this case.

I continue with some further comments in conclusion ...
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #182 - Feb 6th, 2012 at 11:28am
 
Further to my previous posting ... some comments in conclusion.

Separate from the points actually exchanged above, I am very interested to understand if (and how) the availability of geographic alternatives affects the arguments advanced. This availability is not yet complete and publication of it is not properly in place in all cases, however the principle has been laid down very clearly. I would expect many who are concerned about the 15p, and in particular those who argue that calls should be able to be made within the terms of an inclusive package, to be focussing on this aspect. There is some work left to do to ensure that all the alternative geo (or 03) numbers are made available and properly presented.

There are some, like me, who believe that the availability of alternative numbers cannot always be seen as being the answer to a problem. In this case however, I believe that, once properly in place, this does address the issue of those who are unwilling to pay the 15p, because they could call a geographic number more cheaply. I am genuinely interested to hear the views of those who disagree.


(My personal views seem to be a point of some interest and discussion. I make the following comments only because they seem to have been misunderstood. As stated previously, I would much rather that we were discussing the issues, rather than who said what and what our motivations may be.)

To confirm my personal position on 101:

I accept that both the present government and the party currently in opposition have both decided that taxpayers should not meet the cost of connecting 101 calls, only the much greater cost of handling them. The latter is measured in pounds, the former in pence, however I believe that the taxpayer should meet both, in this particular case. I do not believe that customers of the telephone companies in general should be required to meet the cost of connecting 101 calls (in part or in full).

Given that there is Political consensus against my argument and many more pressing cases to address, not to mention widespread misunderstanding of 101, I do not dedicate any significant energy to advancing my preferred approach to this matter. I also see the idea of an agreed common fixed fee per call as representing a radical equitable approach that is worthy of some positive recognition, even though it is perhaps applied to the wrong case. It is however not for me to dictate how others should set their priorities. This is particularly true when we are discussing priorities in public spending.


On contact with public services in general:

I do not believe that the taxpayer should meet the cost of connecting calls through the telephone network, nor should customers of telephone companies in general. There should be no call cost surcharge - geographic rate numbers should be used.

There may be exceptional cases where a "self-financing" public service is funded exclusively by users of the service, and it is thereby appropriate to recover some costs from telephone callers - e.g. some Land Registry services. This should only be done where the scale of charges and associated incidental costs can be clearly laid out - this is immensely difficult under the present regulatory regime. The Land Registry fails hopelessly, however it only applies these charges to "Business" users, i.e. mostly conveyancers. For those who may argue that this cost would be passed on, this is true, however the cost of having a telephone call connected (at "Business Rate") is tiny in proportion to that of the person conducting the call.

There may be other exceptional cases where it is appropriate to make the call "free to caller" - e.g. the completion of initial DWP benefit claims by telephone. As stated above, I would add the case of a call to report a crime or social nuisance or in seeking urgent medical assistance.
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #183 - Feb 6th, 2012 at 2:06pm
 
NGMsGhost wrote on Feb 5th, 2012 at 4:56pm:
I would note that all GPs do actually offer a way to make appointments and request prescription renewals online free of charge for anyone who can use the internet so arguably anyone who has set this up does not need to call their GP on the phone at all.



My own GP practice have had 0844 since 2006 and have never allowed patients to make appointments on-line, although they do allow repeat prescriptions on-line. It is necessary to either call or visit in order to make an appointment. I believe many other GPs follow a similar policy.
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« Last Edit: Feb 6th, 2012 at 3:19pm by loddon »  
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NGMsGhost
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #184 - Feb 6th, 2012 at 6:19pm
 
loddon wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 2:06pm:
My own GP practice have had 0844 since 2006 and have never allowed patients to make appointments on-line, although they do allow repeat prescriptions on-line. It is necessary to either call or visit in order to make an appointment. I believe many other GPs follow a similar policy.


My mother's GP surgery uses a normal geographic number for all patient contact (it never stopped doing so but is a surgery with four GPs serving a community of 5,000 or so patients) and does allow appointments to be booked online.  This suggests to me that the 0844 GP cowboys deliberately prevent patients booking appointments online (even though the NHS IT platform for GPs provides the facility) in order to maximise their revenue share earnings (blocking online surgery bookings is no doubt required under the terms of the GP contract with NEG and fellow telecoms highway robbery merchants).

This seems to be a new angle that none of you have previously pursued that could be profitably followed up as a complaint with local PCTs and/or with ministers and interested MPs and also with journalists.  It seems quite shocking that these surgeries are preventing patients booking appointments when it suits them by the means that suits them in order to further prop up telecoms revenue share racketeering that is already suppose to be banned. Angry Angry Angry
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #185 - Feb 6th, 2012 at 6:31pm
 
NGMsGhost wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 6:19pm:
loddon wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 2:06pm:
My own GP practice have had 0844 since 2006 and have never allowed patients to make appointments on-line, although they do allow repeat prescriptions on-line. It is necessary to either call or visit in order to make an appointment. I believe many other GPs follow a similar policy.


My mother's GP surgery uses a normal geographic number for all patient contact (it never stopped doing so but is a surgery with four GPs serving a community of 5,000 or so patients) and does allow appointments to be booked online. This suggests to me that the 0844 GP cowboys deliberately prevent patients booking appointments online (even though the NHS IT platform for GPs provides the facility) in order to maximise their revenue share earnings (blocking online surgery bookings is no doubt required under the terms of the GP contract with NEG and fellow telecoms highway robbery merchants).

This seems to be a new angle that none of you have previously pursued that could be profitably followed up as a complaint with local PCTs and/or with ministers and interested MPs and also with journalists. It seems quite shocking that these surgeries are preventing patients booking appointments when it suits them by the means that suits them in order to further prop up telecoms revenue share racketeering that is already suppose to be banned. Angry Angry Angry


My surgery http://www.holbrooksurgery.com/ which unfortunately still has a 0844 number actually does let you book appointments on line
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #186 - Feb 6th, 2012 at 8:32pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 8:31pm:
I draw the following off-topic comments from another thread here, in order to reply.
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #187 - Feb 6th, 2012 at 10:00pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 8:32pm:
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 8:31pm:
I draw the following off-topic comments from another thread here, in order to reply.



No link Undecided
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #188 - Feb 6th, 2012 at 11:06pm
 
sherbert wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 10:00pm:
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 8:32pm:
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 8:31pm:
I draw the following off-topic comments from another thread here, in order to reply.



No link Undecided

The link is on the heading of the quote, as usual - or should be - it works for me.
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NGMsGhost
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #189 - Feb 6th, 2012 at 11:36pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 11:06pm:
The link is on the heading of the quote, as usual - or should be - it works for me.


I find no such link although I feel it is distinctly unwise to encourage you to further pursue your general habit of contributing around 85% of the content of most government policy related threads in the forum.
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #190 - Feb 7th, 2012 at 9:55am
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 11:06pm:
sherbert wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 10:00pm:
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 8:32pm:
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Feb 6th, 2012 at 8:31pm:
I draw the following off-topic comments from another thread here, in order to reply.



No link Undecided

The link is on the heading of the quote, as usual - or should be - it works for me.


That is a very strange way of following a link. I get what you mean but doubt anyone else would have followed a link in that manner
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NGMsGhost
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #191 - Feb 7th, 2012 at 10:19am
 
SCVs manner of doing things is always strange compared to usual practice yet as usual he expects us to adapt to his offbeat methods.
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #192 - Feb 27th, 2012 at 12:23am
 
Source: Scunthorpe Telegraph

New statistics on non-emergency police number

Monday, February 20, 2012

Half of all non-emergency calls to Humberside Police are now being made using the force's new 101 contact number.
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #193 - Feb 27th, 2012 at 4:13am
 
I for one will never use the 101 number to contact any Emergency or none Emergency service.

It will be 999
The local 01/02/03 number or not at all
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #194 - Apr 8th, 2012 at 9:44pm
 
Prior to switching to 101, North Wales Police used 0845 607 1002. Now it offers 0300 330 0101 as an alternative to the 101 number.
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