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Message started by RBJ on Feb 24th, 2004 at 2:43pm

Title: Happy to Find The Forum
Post by RBJ on Feb 24th, 2004 at 2:43pm
I delighted to have come across this site. Some years ago I received a mail shot from Cable and Wireless about these numbers. The penny dropped as I began to realise what a monumental consumer rip-off 0870/0845 numbers are.

The arrogance of suppliers who use 0870/0845 to extract revenue from their customers is mind boggling. All with the blessing of Oftel whose web site advice suggested that if customers didn't like it they could go elsewhere.
Right! But what if you are calling the BBC, Inland Revenue, Customs & Excise, Experian, and lots of others.

The more awareness there is of these numbers the sooner consumer pressure will force their withdrawal.

It seems that most people think that 0870/0845 are just normal national/local rate calls. Yet the amount of extra revenue involved for the providers must be staggering. Just type 0870 into google and see how many suppliers come up.

In my efforts to get round these numbers I have concluded that there are basically two types of subscriber.

1. Those that know exactly what 0870/0845 means and for whom the derived call revenue is an integral part of their business plan. Examples include:
BBC, Freeserve, Dixons, P&O, Most Banks, Experian, All Outsourcing Suppliers, Virtually all Travel Agents with the distinguished and honourable exception of Trailfinders.
These will be the most reluctant to release their landline or free number.

One travel agent in London, who I no longer use, told me his 0870 revenue paid for most of his national press advertising.

Consider Experian. Parliament says that they must provide you with a copy of your credit report for 2.00. Phone their 0870 number and you can wait 20min plus. Thus they effectively charge the consumer a whole lot more than parliament intended.

2. Other 0870/0845 subscribers who were sold the numbers along the lines of "its only a national call, all your customers will pay the same, you can keep the number if you move".
Quite often these subscribers are not aware that their customers are being ripped off and are usually more willing to give alternative numbers.


I think it is worth examining outsourcing suppliers a bit more closely. When they pitch for a job whether it be running the congestion charge or doing the subscriptions for a magazine they will seek to use 0870/0845 to enhance their revenue stream from the contract. In the last year I have had discussions with two magazine editors who were completely unaware their suppliers were making extra money from subscribers who called to renew.

Personally I think these numbers should be abolished. Far better to have a simple premium rate/normal landline structure.

Meantime many thanks for this forum.

Here is what I do to evade these numbers. Please forgive me if I repeat information given alsewhere in the forum.

1. Always ask for a proper number. If I am given 0870/0845 I firstly try to E-mail a request for their landline. I usually say my phone system will not connect to these numbers (which it won't) and that I want to buy something (which I usually do).
2. Use the International Number.
3. Use the selling number (usually 0800) not the service/claims/help number (usually 0870/0845 or worse).
4. Google
5. Old phone books
6. if an outsourcing company is the problem complain to the originating company.

Now I can check this site as well and will shortly add a few numbers to the already impressive list.

Many thanks again for the site.


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