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What will Ofcom do? (Read 46,136 times)
idb
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What will Ofcom do?
Jan 29th, 2005 at 5:41pm
 
It will be interesting to see what Ofcom actually does in response to its consultation regarding NTS. The Ofcom response pages below demonstrate two opposing positions - the replies from the 'general public', that is those that have to call rip-off numbers, generally want the numbers ditched or the prohibiting of revenue sharing. The responses from business however is, somewhat expectedly, very different with a general consensus of keeping NTS and modifying its format. How is Ofcom to 'arbitrate' between two vastly different positions? What is the speculated outcome? Will Ofcom, as usual, 'fudge' this one? Will it favor the consumer or the businesses?

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/ntsoptions/Responses/?a=87101

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/ntsctmr/resntcctr/?a=87101
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kk
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Re: What will Ofcom do?
Reply #1 - Jan 29th, 2005 at 7:01pm
 
Ofcom states:

"Ofcom exists to further the interests of citizen-consumers as the communications industries enter the digital age."

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dorf
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Re: What will Ofcom do?
Reply #2 - Jan 30th, 2005 at 12:35am
 
The reality is that it was the failure of Oftel and then of Ofcom to fulfil their responsiblities under the Act, which they are so fond of quoting, which resulted in the original contraventions of the New Telephone Numbering System/National Telephone Numbering Plan (NTNP), which contraventions this scam is rooted on. The NTNP was specifically designed to ensure that "revenue-sharing" of any sort (Premium Numbers) was limited to the 09 category only thereafter and that queueing was prohibited with revenue sharing numbers. In fact the term "revenue sharing" was subsequently invented to attempt to deny that NGNs other than 09 were being blatantly used as Premium Numbers!

Since Oftel supported BT initially in these blatant contraventions and Ofcom now supports them and other telcos in this laterly, you cannot expect them to act now. To do so would expose their failures in the past to fulfil their obligations, and would bring into direct question the reasons for their failing to do so. They have indicated quite clearly that they have again pre-agreed a "decision" for their last consultations with BT. This is their stated Option 2 and it is clear that this is what they will "decide" to implement when they announce their "decision". They pay no attention to the views or the interests of consumers. 

In any case Ofcom is under the control of the UK government, and the government is now also making so much from these abuses that they do not want the gravy train to end.

I believe that unless those responsible at Ofcom are exposed, with the real reasons for which they are allowing these contraventions and have been allowing them, they will never act in the interest of the consumer, despite their obligations under the Act, unless they are compelled to do so by the EU. 

It is now such an endemic abuse that it is only political action and ultimately action against them in the EU courts which could metre out the appropriate penalties and re-enforce proper unfettered competition in the UK domestic telecommunications market. However, a big part of the problem is that the majority of UK consumers cannot be bothered to complain and are nonchalant about all of these abuses. When there is a majority public apathy they will get the exploitation which they deserve. It is the same in Politics. (A good indication of this apathy is if you consider the total number of telephone subscriber consumers in the UK, and the number of those having access to the Internet, and you then consider the number of members of this site as a percentage of the latter! That equals apathy. No one can really help people like this very much!)
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« Last Edit: Jan 30th, 2005 at 12:52am by dorf »  

Ofcom are completely ineffectual
 
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omy
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Re: What will Ofcom do?
Reply #3 - Jan 30th, 2005 at 9:09am
 
I think this summation is correct, dorf, we get what we deserve.
The only possible route, to my mind, is through the 'political' route.
Even if all members of this site were to send an email to their MP, MEP etc then it might have some effect (in an election year!).
Other than that we are at the mercy of Ofcom, who are well into the pocket of BT.
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Paula
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Re: What will Ofcom do?
Reply #4 - Feb 2nd, 2005 at 2:54pm
 
I think your suggestion of contacting MP's is brilliant!  Would you suggest contacting MP's directly, or bombarding their head offices?  Grin
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bill
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Reply #5 - Feb 2nd, 2005 at 5:47pm
 
Quote:
I think your suggestion of contacting MP's is brilliant!  Would you suggest contacting MP's directly, or bombarding their head offices?  Grin

It's easiest to use writetothem.com
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pelham9
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Re: What will Ofcom do?
Reply #6 - Feb 2nd, 2005 at 10:21pm
 
Well siad dorf.

Ofcom has already prejudged the issue and it is hardly surprising that all the telcos who responded chose option 2 whereas consumers chose > 2. Until NTS are in the 09xx range there will continue to be problems. One thing we will get if they are in the 09xx range is publiction by the SPs their call costs - everybody knows that 09 numbers are very expensive so they will have to publish costs to get anybody to use their services.

I was at first intrigued by BTs response. They suggested that their 2a was better. No profit sharing on 0845/0870 numbers which would be charged at geographic rates. I thought we had won!! But then they suggest that the NTS services for SPs who wanted them  would then be transferred to another number in the 08xx range. Talk about having there cake and eating it. You can hear them saying' We will take the heat out of the situation by making the numbers geographic and then contiue the scam with a new set of numbers - mild inconvenience only'

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pelham9
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Re: What will Ofcom do?
Reply #7 - Feb 3rd, 2005 at 12:21am
 
Can anyone help?

I am considering writing a history of this scam.

To do this I need to research the varoius documents that have been published particulary the original NTNP and the consultation and decision  documents that came from OFTEL at the time of the introduction of 0845/0870 numbers.

I cannot find this stuff on the OFCOM site. I have emailed them requesting this information but I do not think it is likely to produce the goods (or bads!)
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idb
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Re: What will Ofcom do?
Reply #8 - Feb 3rd, 2005 at 12:27am
 
Quote:
Can anyone help?

I am considering writing a history of this scam.

To do this I need to research the varoius documents that have been published particulary the original NTNP and the consultation and decision  documents that came from OFTEL at the time of the introduction of 0845/0870 numbers.

I cannot find this stuff on the OFCOM site. I have emailed them requesting this information but I do not think it is likely to produce the goods (or bads!)


You may get some useful information from the web archive at http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.oftel.gov.uk - many of the links are broken but plenty of NTS info is available. Best year to start is probably 2003.
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kk
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Re: What will Ofcom do?
Reply #9 - Feb 3rd, 2005 at 6:13pm
 
Ask Ofcom for the information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  Quote your name and address.
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Gazzer
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Re: What will Ofcom do?
Reply #10 - Feb 3rd, 2005 at 11:48pm
 
Quote:
Ask Ofcom for the information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  Quote your name and address.



And hope they haven't shredded it!
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galla1
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Re: What will Ofcom do?
Reply #11 - Feb 4th, 2005 at 2:56pm
 
perhap you should all try getting a life or something similer.

I do agree with some of what your all on about. but god, there are other internet sites.

what about mobile charges, everyone is worried about 7.9p a minute but everyone seems to be hunky dory about spending over half of there bill on mobile calls which are way more expencive?

also i don't mind paying a few pennys to some of the company who offer well programed IVR hence saving me time on the phone.

i feel there is a big difference between making someone hold on a 0870 customer service for 10 mins(which is of course a bad idea),  and giving someone the option of using a clever 08 service which can save them time and money.

thoughts?
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idb
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Re: What will Ofcom do?
Reply #12 - Feb 4th, 2005 at 4:31pm
 
Quote:
perhap you should all try getting a life or something similer. [...]
I have "a life" and a very content one at that. What I do not have is patience with cretins that use numbers that I cannot dial. Assuming that you are in the UK, I have just as much right as you do to access essential government services and other business services yet because I am resident overseas, the organizations that use 0870 and all the other rip-off numbers prevent me from getting in touch by phone. This is unacceptable and discriminatory. The 'final straw' for me was the rip-off number introduced by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate - clueless or what. Is there not anyone in this idiotic department that looked at this number and thought - yes why are we introducing a number for potential immigrants when they may not be able to use it?! If it wasn't so serious it would be laughable. Here in the US, "well programed IVR" as you put it is provided on either toll-free numbers or on standard NANP geographic numbers. This is also the case in much of the rest of the world. The UK telephone numbering system is such a mess that abuses can take place, hence the massive increase in rip-off numbers. The regulator does nothing. What a joke.
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galla1
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Re: What will Ofcom do?
Reply #13 - Feb 4th, 2005 at 4:58pm
 
hmm, a point well made! honest.

but what about mobile. do you mind ringing them?
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idb
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Re: What will Ofcom do?
Reply #14 - Feb 4th, 2005 at 5:20pm
 
Quote:
hmm, a point well made! honest.

but what about mobile. do you mind ringing them?
Cellular/mobile phones are very different. Whilst the charges are probably too high, there are important differences. It could be argued that there is some added benefit in being able to call someone on a cellular phone. The charges are generally not hidden, and any given operator will probably know the cost of calling an 07X cellular number. The calls are often bundled with airtime. The numbers are eligible for BT discounts. The numbers are generally routable from overseas, albeit at a higher cost. They (the numbers that is) are not "sold" and traded by sleazeball companies. They are generally not used for essential services. They are generally not used for business contact. They are not advertised at "national rate" or some other false description. Most important of all, they do not provide an income stream to the recipient. Whilst we would all like to see a reduction in cost for calling cellular phones, the numbers themselves are not used in an abusive manner unlike the clandestine rip-off 0870 numbers. Costs of calling cellular phones has generally fallen. People are aware of the cost. With rip-off 0870, everything is hidden as far as possible by companies such as NEG who *LIE* to you and me about the cost. I repeat, NEG and others tell LIES about these numbers. LIES.
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« Last Edit: Feb 4th, 2005 at 5:22pm by idb »  

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