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0844 Numbers (Read 26,991 times)
Silverfoxx
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0844 Numbers
Sep 6th, 2012 at 12:16pm
 
Hi Everyone,

I would be interested to hear views on 0844 numbers when there is no other available number to call.

My policy is that I refuse to call these numbers (unless it is absolutely vital), furthermore I refuse to purchase any item from such Companies and if everyone adopted this attitude they would soon change their policy.

In response to Patient feedback, my Local GP,s Surgery will be reviewing their contract with the 0844 people when it expires next year.

Regards

Silverfoxx
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catj
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Re: 0844 Numbers
Reply #1 - Sep 6th, 2012 at 5:08pm
 
Why aren't they arranging an 0344 number under their current contract right now?

They don't have to wait for the contract to end to change the number.
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kasg
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Re: 0844 Numbers
Reply #2 - Sep 6th, 2012 at 6:55pm
 
catj wrote on Sep 6th, 2012 at 5:08pm:
Why aren't they arranging an 0344 number under their current contract right now?

I guess either because it will cost them more or because they don't want to have to change the telephone number twice - assuming that when their contract ended they would change to another provider or revert to a geographic number. There is no incentive for them to change to 0344 as no action has yet been taken against any practice continuing to use 0844.
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speedy
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Re: 0844 Numbers
Reply #3 - Sep 7th, 2012 at 1:15am
 
My disabled elderly neighbour was told by the GP to phone for Blood test results (regular bi-monthly ) on specific day between 2 and 3pm - when she phoned on 0844 she just got a message "Surgery closed for training" and it cost her 16p for less than 30 seconds.

On phoning again a week later still for those Results this time no options just straight though to message "Phone lines are busy you are on hold "  - she put the phone down !!!
We wait to see how much it cost the second time.

I told her to take her phone bills with her next time and I will type out what happened each time (she has speach impediment through Stroke) and tell them she wants the money refunded now - it might not be much by some peoples bills but I think if more people did this maybe they would Get The Message.

Maybe I will drive her there myself and then she could say she had to pay someone to take her and tell them she wants that £2 also  (not that I would charge a Friend but to make a point to the GP )  Angry

Watch this space - will drive her next week  Grin

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tangerineRDS
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Re: 0844 Numbers
Reply #4 - Sep 11th, 2012 at 9:11am
 
@Silverfoxx
I agree entirely and in fact I have just moved a car insurance policy when it came up for renewal because the company (Vauxhall Insurance) insisted on a call to an 0844 number.

Has anyone else noticed that since the likes of BT offered the 0870 and 0845 numbers as part of their talk plans, that companies started to use 0871 and 0844.

Why have offcom allowed this?
Local Rate numbers do not appear to be of any benefit nowadays.
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kasg
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Re: 0844 Numbers
Reply #5 - Sep 11th, 2012 at 9:27am
 
tangerineRDS wrote on Sep 11th, 2012 at 9:11am:
I agree entirely and in fact I have just moved a car insurance policy when it came up for renewal because the company (Vauxhall Insurance) insisted on a call to an 0844 number.

There is a limit to the extent to which this is sensible. For example I am not going to pay £100 more for my insurance because a company uses an 0844 number! And if the non-0844 company is cheaper anyway it's irrelevant.
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Dave
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Re: 0844 Numbers
Reply #6 - Sep 11th, 2012 at 10:08am
 
tangerineRDS wrote on Sep 11th, 2012 at 9:11am:
Has anyone else noticed that since the likes of BT offered the 0870 and 0845 numbers as part of their talk plans, that companies started to use 0871 and 0844.

Why have offcom allowed this?
Local Rate numbers do not appear to be of any benefit nowadays.

What has occurred is not as a result of these numbers being offered in call plans.

In August 2009 the subsidy or service charge passed on 0870 was removed. This means that call providers now no longer have to pay out higher rates than they do to connect 01, 02 and 03 calls.

BT pre-empted this by including 0870 in packages in February 2009, I believe it was. It decided to take a hit for six months knowing that 0870 would fall inline with 01, 02 and 03.

I believe that the reason that 0845 was included by BT was because of the changes that it believed were likely to be proposed by the consultation that has just closed. The consultation put forward suggestions for major changes to non-geographic numbers and BT thought that the service charge would also be removed from 0845, thereby allowing it to come down to the same rate as 01, 02, 03 (and 0870) calls.

Whatever call providers charge, this has no bearing on the benefit that number-users get; this remains the same.


A "local rate" number (0845 and previously 0345, although not today's 0345) was only ever of benefit to people calling from BT who were signed up to its non-discounted plans; these can be thought of as "pre-competition" rates. These plans offered different rates for local and national calls and it was decreed by the then regulator, Oftel, that 0845 should be aligned to the local rate on these plans.

It was inevitable that the price of geographic calls would fall (due to competition) because the wholesale price is much lower than 084. This "wholesale" price is the amount that call providers must pass on to the telephone company that runs the number. The increased wholesale price is the service charge passed for the benefit of the user of the 084 number. Thus it's hardly surprising to find that 0845 numbers generally cost more to ring than geographic ones.
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« Last Edit: Sep 11th, 2012 at 10:20am by Dave »  
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