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How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ? (Read 18,803 times)
gwr
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How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Sep 27th, 2004 at 1:03pm
 
How does one complain to BT (by email) about the use/abuse of these revenue earning numbers.  Ofcom say on their website that they won't entertain complaints unless you have exhausted the phone service provider's complaints procedure.

???
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Heinz
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Re: How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Reply #1 - Sep 27th, 2004 at 2:26pm
 
What's it got to do with BT?
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After years of ignoring govt. guidelines & RIPPING OFF Council Tax payers using 0845 numbers, Essex County Council changed to 0345 numbers on 2 November 2015
 
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hoxne
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Re: How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Reply #2 - Sep 27th, 2004 at 4:47pm
 
If they're being advertised as 'national rate' or 'local rate', complain to your local trading standards department.  Complain to the company which is asking you to contact them on these numbers.  Complain to your MP about the issue in general.
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gwr
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Re: How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Reply #3 - Sep 27th, 2004 at 10:59pm
 
Thanks Hoxne

I'll make a start on them.
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Heinz
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Re: How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Reply #4 - Oct 1st, 2004 at 7:27pm
 
When you complain to Ofcom, below is the sort of (non) reply you get:


"01 Oct 2004                     

Dear Mr Heinz

0845 & 0870 Non-Geographic Number Charges

Thank you for your recent correspondence to Ofcom about the above matter. 

Although Ofcom understands the points that you have raised, it may be helpful if I explain.   It is clear that if a company wants to attract a lot of customers it may choose to use a Freephone number, however these companies also have a choice to choose a 0870 or 0845 number instead.

Consumers have the choice of using these numbers to contact the company or to choose an alternative.   

The charging range for the use of 0870 numbers is upto 10 pence per minute, which is the reason why consumers will need to clarify the charge that will be levied with their telecoms provider, as there is a responsibility on the consumer to make sure that they are aware of the charge before making the call. 

Whatever the reason, it is a company's own commercial decision to decide what type of telephone number to have. Ofcom cannot dictate to companies what type of numbers they must use.  Neither can we demand that they link their 0870/0845 numbers to a geographic number.

However I should draw to your attention to a publication by Ofcom. A statement on retail pricing arrangements for 0845 and 0870 calls.  The document is available from the Ofcom’s web site, under ‘Consultations’ as it contains a further statutory consultation.  This may be found at –

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/current/0845/?a=87101

Yours sincerely

Leonard Martin
Ofcom Contact Centre"


They fail to explain how anyone can, "choose an alternative" when no geographical number is published or, if they mean an alternative 'supplier', how that is possible with a monopoly like the Inland Revenue, the Benefits Agency or BSkyB.

Don't bother clicking the link - it (very unhelpfully) takes you to a 'Page Not Found'
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After years of ignoring govt. guidelines & RIPPING OFF Council Tax payers using 0845 numbers, Essex County Council changed to 0345 numbers on 2 November 2015
 
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Dave
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Re: How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Reply #5 - Oct 1st, 2004 at 7:39pm
 
That's my experience too of contacting Ofcom. They don't acknowledge any views you put across.

The last thing I expect to see is Ofcom admit that it made errors and allowed 0870 to become premium rate.

The "commercial decision" excuse seems to come out when there is a book to pass. Apparently, it is upto BT's "commercial decision" how it routes new lines down our streets.  Lips Sealed
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pauld
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Re: How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Reply #6 - Oct 1st, 2004 at 9:34pm
 
Hi Heinz,

The link Ofcom gave you should have been is here.

I can't make head or tail of it, maybe you can.
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mypinknee
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Re: How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Reply #7 - Oct 1st, 2004 at 9:59pm
 
I  a bit new here - but did you notice ofcom have their own 0845 number!
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Communication is the most important thing.
 
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Tanllan
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Re: How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Reply #8 - Oct 1st, 2004 at 11:06pm
 
Yes - but they published their 020 7981 3000 number fairly early on after attracting some comment.

Well done 0fcom - they are evidently listening...
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gwr
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Re: How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Reply #9 - Oct 2nd, 2004 at 11:45pm
 
This seems to get their page, but I haven't had the heart to delve into their gobildigook yet - it's late and I have to be up in the morning.

Night, night !

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/current/spec_pricing/
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Heinz
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Re: How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Reply #10 - Oct 3rd, 2004 at 11:13am
 
Quote:
Hi Heinz,

The link Ofcom gave you should have been is here.

I can't make head or tail of it, maybe you can.
Thanks for that pauld.

To me, it's typical mumbo-jumbo quango-speak - but it is not difficult to see that, to them, the most important aspect is call pricing.

That demonstrates that Ofcom is not the 'protector of the consumer' I thought it was supposed to be.

They have repeatedly ignored my suggetion that a simple resolution of consumer dissatisfaction would be to REQUIRE all organisations which publish an 084 or 087 number to simultaneously and equally prominently publish an 01 or 02 number on which callers can make contact with equal ease.  Like Ofcoms' own website publication of their 020 7981 3000 number (alongside their 0845 number) that MUST be alongside the 08 number and equally prominent (same size font etc.).

Or is that too simple?
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« Last Edit: Oct 3rd, 2004 at 11:15am by Heinz »  
After years of ignoring govt. guidelines & RIPPING OFF Council Tax payers using 0845 numbers, Essex County Council changed to 0345 numbers on 2 November 2015
 
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gwr
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Re: How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Reply #11 - Oct 3rd, 2004 at 12:51pm
 
Agree entirely - what a good idea for OfCom to insist on companies (including government departments) listing their full '01' number alonside the '0845' & '0870'.

BUT, where would these companies get all this extra dosh that they are now raking in at our expense ? !!

Wink
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lj.accountancy
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Re: How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Reply #12 - Oct 3rd, 2004 at 2:39pm
 
Most 0870 numbers are a total rip-off to the paying public and benefit the company not the caller. They are not included in all-in landline packages and therefore all companies should be made to give their alternate 01-02 number. Totally agree with previous message
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Re: How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Reply #13 - Oct 14th, 2004 at 11:52am
 
Just thought you might like to see the reply I got from Ofcom

"13 Oct 2004                          
 
Dear Mr Penny
 
Thank you for your email to Ofcom about 0870 and 0845 numbers.
 
By way of background, I should explain that 0870 and 0845 numbers are known as Number Translation Services (NTS) ie the non-geographic number sits on top of a geographic number.  The NTS regime was created to encourage the provision of innovative value added services by terminating operators and service providers.  These services are often funded fully or in part by the revenue received from call charges.  As such it would be inappropriate for Ofcom to require that alternative geographic numbers are published alongside NTS numbers as this would mean the service provider received no payment for the use of their service.
 
However, we do share consumers’ concerns about the proliferation of 0870 and 0845 numbers.  In some cases their use would seem to be inappropriate as a simple substitute for geographic numbers and do not require revenue from calls. 

 
You may wish to be aware that Ofcom has already issued a statement and announced a further consultation on both 0870 and 0845 retail pricing.  We are a very aware of consumer consumers that they might be misled on the promotion and marketing of 0870/0845 numbers and, following the recent 0870/0845 statement, we are now actively working with advertising regulators and consumer bodies to agree how the prices for these calls should be advertised.   We are also re-examining the way in which the entire NTS regime operates and will be consulting widely on our proposals.  One of the possible options could be to require originating providers to provide price warnings of the prices of NTS calls before connecting the call but we have not finalised any views yet.
 
If you would like to see a copy of the Ofcom statement and further consultation, it can be found on our website at http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/past/0845/?a=87101.  Further information on the work of Ofcom on 0845/0870 numbers will also be published on our website.  If you are interested in receiving further updates on this, you can do so by registering on Ofcom’s website at http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/subscribe/select_list.htm.

  
Yours sincerely
 
 
Steven Parker
Ofcom Contact Centre"


Are things really happening?
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Communication is the most important thing.
 
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Tanllan
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Re: How to Complain about the 0870+0845 SCAM ?
Reply #14 - Oct 14th, 2004 at 1:06pm
 
Are things really happening?

Yup, I believe (and hope) so. Whilst I am less unhappy about dial up 084X at a very low rate for fee-free ISPs (after all I avoid any fee for very occasional use) I agree that many (most?) 087X schemes are little short of scams.

Now to prepare some responses
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