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Main Forum >> Geographical Numbers Chat >> BBC still has difficulty with cost of 0800/03 nos
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Message started by Dave on Feb 17th, 2019 at 11:23am

Title: BBC still has difficulty with cost of 0800/03 nos
Post by Dave on Feb 17th, 2019 at 11:23am
Listening to Radio 2 earlier, Steve Wright explaining that the cost of calling the 0370 number is, I paraphrase, geographic call charges, but from mobiles may cost more.

I have heard other presenters quoting the "08000" number as "free from most landlines" and that mobiles may cost more (or something to that effect).

It's hardly helpful to the 0800 and 03 brands that they persist with the confusing message about call charges, making them appear more complex than they actually are, doing disservice in the process.

Title: Re: BBC still has difficulty with cost of 0800/03 nos
Post by kasg on Feb 18th, 2019 at 11:27am
Indeed, it is annoying and happens frequently on the radio, not so much on TV now. Radio 2 changed from an 0500 to an 0800 number but still sometimes give out the old 0500 pricing information.

Title: Re: BBC still has difficulty with cost of 0800/03 nos
Post by CJT-80 on Mar 5th, 2019 at 9:11am
Not just on the air, it would appear their website has the same "interesting" info.  From Zoe Ball Breakfast Show "Standard geographic charges apply and calls may be included in your telecom provider's call package. Calls from mobiles may be higher"

The mind boggles.

Title: Re: BBC still has difficulty with cost of 0800/03 nos
Post by G7MZH on Apr 6th, 2019 at 11:21pm
And "Feedback" is still saying "Calls from some mobiles might cost more" about its 0333 number.

Title: Re: BBC still has difficulty with cost of 0800/03 nos
Post by NGMsGhost on Aug 20th, 2019 at 8:49am

Dave wrote on Feb 17th, 2019 at 11:23am:
Listening to Radio 2 earlier, Steve Wright explaining that the cost of calling the 0370 number is, I paraphrase, geographic call charges, but from mobiles may cost more.

I have heard other presenters quoting the "08000" number as "free from most landlines" and that mobiles may cost more (or something to that effect).

It's hardly helpful to the 0800 and 03 brands that they persist with the confusing message about call charges, making them appear more complex than they actually are, doing disservice in the process.


This won't change unless those of us here who care email the BBC Director General and any other relevant members of senior staff as listed at https://www.bbc.com/aboutthebbc/whoweare/staff (all bbc email addresses are firstname.lastname@bbc.co.uk unless there is more than one person of that name or except for one or two senior staff who have got fed up with emails from the public and adopted non obvious email addresses) plus the Presenter and Producer of the program (presenter is obvious and producer normally stated at the end of the program) in question pointing out why all numbers starting 01, 02 or 03 and are charged at standard geographic rate and always included in call packages on landlines and mobiles.

I suppose when you  think about the statement that "mobiles may cost more" this clearly stems out of the landline situation where unfortunately BT does not include mobiles in normal anytime call packages and continues to charge mobiles at much higher rates than landlines outside those call packages and/or than landlines for customers who do not have a call qualifying package.  But this shouldn't be at all relevant in respect of the call charges to 03 numbers as they don't cost more to call from either a landline or a mobile phone (under Ofcom General Condition 14).  So basically some very screwed up thinking aimed at back covering but that shows a total lack of comprehension of how phone charges work by many members of staff at the BBC.  And so far any central guidance documents on this subject at the BBC seem to be out of date and/or highly misleading to their staff (perhaps an FOI on that matter would also yield interesting results).

I think the phrase "calls are charged at standard geographic rates" in respect of the BBC's 03 numbers and "calls to this number are free from landlines and mobile phones" for their 080 numbers should in fact be entirely adequate.

What do others think?

Title: Re: BBC still has difficulty with cost of 0800/03 nos
Post by Ian01 on Aug 20th, 2019 at 1:16pm

The point is now moot. The BBC swapped almost all of their lines to freephone 080 numbers last year.

Calls to 080 number are free from landlines and mobiles.


Title: Re: BBC still has difficulty with cost of 0800/03 nos
Post by kasg on Aug 20th, 2019 at 1:25pm

Ian01 wrote on Aug 20th, 2019 at 1:16pm:
Calls to 080 number are free from landlines and mobiles.

Yes, but it would be really nice if the BBC didn't keep saying that there may be charges from mobiles and some landlines!

Title: Re: BBC still has difficulty with cost of 0800/03 nos
Post by NGMsGhost on Aug 20th, 2019 at 3:24pm

Ian01 wrote on Aug 20th, 2019 at 1:16pm:
The point is now moot. The BBC swapped almost all of their lines to freephone 080 numbers last year.

The BBC is actually still actually using 0370 numbers for some Radio phone in shows.

For instance Moneybox Live on 03700 100 444.  See https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1M8DssCcgjtZQlwLCrLBmpM/contact-money-box

But this has the correct phrasing that "Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply"

So dear Ian the point is not actually moot after all.... ;) ::)

Or are you going to say that Moneybox Live was your exception that proved the rule?  But before you reply I see that Any Questions also uses the same 03700 100 444 number.  See https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3vtcXXpPWV3xLcHhvj6lmbN/contact-any-questions.

Same is also true of Any Answers at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/B8QptbJ3M2HXfXn2xycKsx/contact-any-answers and Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs on 03700 100 200.  See https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wqw1/contact

Anyway I can see why I previously gave all this internet forum posting up as it takes up far too much time and clearly appeals to people who enjoy arguing the toss over things..........

Title: Re: BBC still has difficulty with cost of 0800/03 nos
Post by SilentCallsVictim on Aug 21st, 2019 at 8:09am

NGMsGhost wrote on Aug 20th, 2019 at 3:24pm:

Ian01 wrote on Aug 20th, 2019 at 1:16pm:
Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs on 03700 100 200.  See https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wqw1/contact

I have submitted a report of a fault on a BBC website, referring to this page, as follows:
[quote]The text "Calls from mobiles may be higher." is erroneous, superfluous and misleading. The point is addressed fully and accurately by the preceding sentence.
It looks as though this false and unnecessary sentence was mistakenly left behind after an earlier version of the previous sentence (perhaps referring only to landlines) was replaced by a statement covering all telecoms providers.
The quoted phrase needs to be deleted.
Any other web pages reflecting the same error also need to be addressed.

I hope that other campaigners have already reported this, and other similar errors, in the appropriate manner, and will take the opportunity to do so wherever they come to light.

This seems to be the only example of the reported problem with the BBC which has come to light in this discussion.
Unless there are other more serious cases, I do not see this as a matter of principle and BBC policy, but a simple error made when correcting text on a webpage. All such errors need to be reported to, and corrected by, the appropriate personnel.

Sadly there are many other similar errors around the internet. It is good to get them corrected wherever possible.

There also remains a serious (albeit diminishing) problem with the appreciation of the cost of calling 03 numbers. This will take some time to be eliminated, but we seek to do all we can, and encourage maximum support for this cause.

Title: Re: BBC still has difficulty with cost of 0800/03 nos
Post by NGMsGhost on Aug 21st, 2019 at 8:18am

SilentCallsVictim wrote on Aug 21st, 2019 at 8:09am:
This will take some time to be eliminated, but we seek to do all we can, and encourage maximum support for this cause.


For some strange reason visions of Queen Victoria and the Royal We after the death of Prince Albert are inclined to come to mind. ;) ::)

I think places like the BBC would have been far more likely to get this universally right had they received clear guidance from Ofcom on the correct language to use and a financial incentive to comply by a certain deadline.  As long as the wording is allowed to be voluntary and is self produced we inevitably end up in this kind of randomised situation.

Title: Re: BBC still has difficulty with cost of 0800/03 nos
Post by SilentCallsVictim on Aug 21st, 2019 at 8:39am

NGMsGhost wrote on Aug 21st, 2019 at 8:18am:

SilentCallsVictim wrote on Aug 21st, 2019 at 8:09am:
This will take some time to be eliminated, but we seek to do all we can, and encourage maximum support for this cause.


For some strange reason visions of Queen Victoria and the Royal We after the death of Prince Albert are inclined to come to mind. ;) ::)

I think places like the BBC would have been far more likely to get this universally right had they received clear guidance from Ofcom on the correct language to use and a financial incentive to comply by a certain deadline.  As long as the wording is allowed to be voluntary and is self produced we inevitably end up in this kind of randomised situation.


The fair telecoms campaign is not about the actions of an exclusive group of individuals but what is done and achieved by all those who pursue the same aims. This includes, primarily, many contributors to this site who helped to inspire and guide me in taking up this cause.

Right or wrong, Ofcom has no power to direct how users of telecoms services express call charges. I agree that it could be much more helpful in its guidance. In particular, we have been pressing for some time for major revisions to the pages https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/costs-and-billing/how-much-does-a-phone-call-really-cost and https://www.gov.uk/call-charges. After earlier progress, but no conclusion, these efforts are now being renewed.

The "randomised" situation is an inevitable consequence of a free, as opposed to totalitarian, society. This means that good is achieved by engagement between individuals in all roles and at all levels in organisations. This does not deny appropriate executive responsibility, however most of what gets done should (and does) not require it to be exercised.

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