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Thames Valley Police (Read 9,163 times)
idb
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Thames Valley Police
Nov 7th, 2004 at 12:58am
 
I note that, after a rail accident in the UK, Thames Valley Police is using 0845/0870 contact numbers for people to call for information about relatives/friends. Just how low will organizations sink in the use of these rip-off numbers? Will this deception ever end? How does TVP expect people from outside the UK, who may also have genuine concerns, be able to contact the bureau below?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3989277.stm

"People worried about friends or relatives who may have been on the train are asked to call 08458 505505. The Thames Valley Police casualty bureau number is 0870 010 0732. "

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ian81
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Re: Thames Valley Police
Reply #1 - Nov 12th, 2004 at 12:15pm
 
I don't believe TVP deliberately set out to con people. It is easier often to set up aan 0870 / 0845 number as call routing and arrangement for overflow calls (if volumes are large) are more easily handled.
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idb
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Re: Thames Valley Police
Reply #2 - Nov 12th, 2004 at 2:41pm
 
I suspect some slimy “number reseller” business advised TVP that using an 0870 number would have wonderful benefits. TVP is almost certainly unaware of the real cost of these numbers to the caller, the difficulty in connecting from abroad, and the healthy profit the reseller is likely to make from these numbers. The difficulty lies in the description of these as “national rate” when in reality, this description is flawed yet not understood. It is noticeable that many of the scams that exist in the UK today relate to revenue generation facilitated by the (Ofcom) telephone numbering system. Internet-dialers, reverse-billed SMS, premium services and 0871 numbers appear to be able to operate with little or no regulation and can seemingly be set up by anyone.

There is no reason, other than cost, why intelligent routing cannot be performed on standard UK geographic area codes. Here in the United States, routing not only takes place on toll-free 800/888/877/866 numbers, but also on standard area codes such as 212 and 305. There is no equivalent to UK 870, 845 and similar rip-off numbers here. What I still find difficult to understand is why clueless UK businesses that can reasonably expect to receive international inbound calls, such as credit cards, airports (BAA being the worst offender), airlines, car rental and hotels, government agencies (FCO, DVLA), tourist offices, cellular phone companies and many more persist with the use of numbers that are difficult and often impossible to use from abroad. What is even more annoying is the impotence from the so-called regulator in putting a stop to the abuse of these numbers. I really wonder whether it is worth responding to the Ofcom consultation as the regulator simply seems to ignore consumers. It would be unfortunate if the UK were ever to host a major international event such as the Olympic games; those wishing to visit the UK would find their attempts at dealing with UK services to be fraught with difficulty.
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Tanllan
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Re: Thames Valley Police
Reply #3 - Nov 12th, 2004 at 3:34pm
 
[quote author=idb  link=1099789137/0#2 date=1100270500]What I still find difficult to understand is why clueless UK businesses that can reasonably expect to receive international inbound calls, such as credit cards, airports (BAA being the worst offender), airlines, car rental and hotels, government agencies (FCO, DVLA), tourist offices, cellular phone companies and many more persist with the use of numbers that are difficult and often impossible to use from abroad. [/quote]

But here we have a cultural difference: In the US the company wants the calls and so advertises toll-free numbers, here we expect the caller to pay (for the privilege?). And those US toll-free numbers are cheaper from competition.

Hence the value of this site in focussing on the abuses.
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idb
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Re: Thames Valley Police
Reply #4 - Nov 12th, 2004 at 3:59pm
 
[quote author=Tanllan  link=1099789137/0#3 date=1100273648]

But here we have a cultural difference: In the US the company wants the calls and so advertises toll-free numbers, here we expect the caller to pay (for the privilege?). And those US toll-free numbers are cheaper from competition.

Hence the value of this site in focussing on the abuses.
[/quote]

It is more than simply a cultural difference - UK companies are precluding people overseas from being able to call them. It is reasonable for the likes of Avis, BAA, NatWest, DVLA, Hilton and hundreds of other examples to expect international inbound traffic. How on earth is someone supposed to report a lost credit card to a 0870 number from abroad? It is probably considered "sexy" amongst idiotic marketing departments to have an 0870 number yet these people probably neither realize nor care about the difficulties people abroad face.

There has to be something fundamentally wrong with the UK numbering system when, even on BT's basic plan, it is cheaper to call, for example, the BA call center in Brooklyn, NY than the one in the UK. Why can't the numpties at Ofcom comprehend this?
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nutellajunkie
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Re: Thames Valley Police
Reply #5 - Jul 3rd, 2005 at 3:40am
 
numpties  Grin
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