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Direct Line (Read 22,947 times)
Dave
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Direct Line
Mar 3rd, 2005 at 3:51pm
 
I wrote to Direct Line a couple of weeks ago. I explained about the 'local rate' term and why telcos cannot reduce prices. Here is the response I received:

Quote:
Dear Mr ****

Thank you for your letter of 23 February regarding Direct Line Financial Services.

With regard to your specific concern over the usage of 0845 numbers, it is our understanding that an 0845 number is charged by BT at a local rate, specifically 3p per minute daytime and 1p per minute on evenings and weekends

The inclusion of 0845 numbers in BT discounted tariffs is a matter which is outside our control, however, we consider the 0845 number to be the most cost effective telephony solution available, and one that is common place within the rest of the financial services industry.

Using an 0845 number creates efficiencies with regard to producing and maintaining marketing material and other customer-facing literature with resultant cost savings, which if not available, would almost certainly be passed on to the customer.

Also, as you may be aware from our literature, the customer service team is located in Enfield, Middlesex, so any geographically specific telephone number would be the local 0208 code, which would I presume result in a national rate call for customers, such as yourself, who are not located the London area.

I appreciate your concern that you cannot take advantage of discounted telephone tariffs as a result of British Telecom policy, however given the costs involved in a typical call to the customer service team, I would hope that any cost differential is at best minimal, and that our service is otherwise efficient and to your satisfaction.

May I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to tell me about your concerns regarding Direct Line.

Yours Sincerely

Anne Callan
Customer Feedback Manager
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« Last Edit: Feb 25th, 2006 at 12:41pm by Dave »  
 
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Shiggaddi
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Re: Reply from Direct Line
Reply #1 - Mar 3rd, 2005 at 5:16pm
 
And yet another person who is still not aware that there is no difference in cost between local and national geographic calls.
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I realy hait itt wen peeple canot spel proply. Itt getts onn mye nervs sew mutch annd streses mee owt. Knot onley iz itt vary bade speling butt allso bade gramer.
 
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pelham9
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Re: Reply from Direct Line
Reply #2 - Mar 4th, 2005 at 4:40am
 
Dave

I hope you are writing to correct her understanding.
It is this kind of rubbish that we are fighting. I have written referring to this board.
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Dave
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Re: Reply from Direct Line
Reply #3 - Mar 4th, 2005 at 6:44pm
 
It does seem to be a common misconception that people think that national calls cost more than local ones. If this is the case, what chance is there that they understand other non-geographical prefixes, especially where 0844 and 0871 are charged at a mish-mash of rates.
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reggie
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Re: Reply from Direct Line
Reply #4 - Mar 4th, 2005 at 7:09pm
 
It's good to see that "Which" has finally produced an article pointing out that 0845 and 0870 numbers are premium rate numbers.Perhaps you shoud refer your lady to the March issue of "Which"
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dorf
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Re: Reply from Direct Line
Reply #5 - Mar 4th, 2005 at 8:27pm
 
Yes Reggie. It is about time they decided "which" side they were on! They have pussy-footed about this issue for far too long.
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Ofcom are completely ineffectual
 
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Dave
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Re: Reply from Direct Line
Reply #6 - Mar 5th, 2005 at 3:08pm
 
The reply seems to pass the buck to BT; "it's up to BT what it charges." It's the way the numbers work, a fact companies using them should be aware of. They just peddle rubbish like "it's only local rate". Ofcom should be aware that companies aren't aware of this.

I even pointed out in my letter to them why telcos cannot reduce call prices. When I receive replies like that, I feel as though I'm banging my head against a brick wall.

It is up to companies like Direct Line to reply to Ofcom's consultations and give Ofcom its views on what these numbers should be. By not doing so, it's a bit like not voting and them complaining about the decisions that the government/council makes.

If I don't have any joy second time around, does anyone know who in DL I can contact. Maybe Director of IT etc? Maybe someone works for them and can say.
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japitts
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Re: Reply from Direct Line
Reply #7 - Mar 7th, 2005 at 12:45pm
 
The ironic thing is, they can't even get their area code right...

0208 is not a valid STD code, 020 is.

This is one of my pet hates, but in this context is rather ironic...
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WWW 41410672 pittsjon jonpittsaim  
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Dave
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Re: Reply from Direct Line
Reply #8 - Mar 10th, 2005 at 3:26pm
 
In my response to the above letter I explained that Ofcom had recently ran a consultation on these issues and suggested that it may be in DL's interest to respond.

Quote:
Dear Mr ****

Thank you for your letter of 4 March. Once again, may I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to tell me about your concerns regarding Direct Lineís 0845 telephone number.

Firstly, I would like to confirm that Direct Line Financial Servicesí 0845 Savings teleprione number does not divert to any other office. As explained in my previous letter, the customer service team is located solely in Enfield, Middlesex.

After investigation, we are unfortunately unable to supply you witrl a geographical telephone number as requested and I can confirm that Direct Line Financial Services do not have any short term plans to introduce these.

However, should you wish to carry out a transaction on your account, an alternative would be for you to call the 0845 number and ask a member of the service team call you back. This will help keep the cost of your call to us to a minimum and we would be happy to bear the cost of the returned call.

Additionally, you may wish to consider calling at weekends or evenings, as BT and other suppliers charge less at these times.


Yours sincerely

Anne Callan
Customer Feedback Manager


There is a direct 020 number for DL Savings listed in the database, and it does work as I've just used it!
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dorf
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Re: Reply from Direct Line
Reply #9 - Mar 10th, 2005 at 3:32pm
 
Well done Dave, at least if you can get them to call you back you have defeated the problem.

It really shows just how obstinate these organisations become when cornered. They would prefer to bear the cost of calling you back rather than releasing their geo number. They probably suspect that it would then get posted on this site!
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Ofcom are completely ineffectual
 
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davis
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Direct Line
Reply #10 - Feb 25th, 2006 at 12:20pm
 
I received marketing information from Direct Line, a letter stated to call them on 0845** for great savings, max charge from a BT landline is 3p per min. An accompanying flyer states "A good deal better", call us on 0845** maximum call charge 4p per minute. I phoned Direct Line (via the Royal Bank of Scotland Head Office avoiding the 0845 no) and asked which was correct as a differencial of 33% appeared quite high. I was told neither-they had now negotiated the price down to 2p per minute! I subsequently received a letter stating as follows: "I can confirm that after speaking to our Marketing Department I have been informed that the previous charge was 4p per minute but that we have now negotiated this charge down to 3p per minute". I did ask them how they could achieve this as they had no control what my telecom supplier charged me, all I was told was that was what Direct Line charged for the call. I don't see how they can achieve this but I may be wrong-could anybody on the Forum with more knowledge than I give me more information to either confirm or deny their statement, as I would like to go back to Direct Line to stop this misleading information being given out to the public
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Dave
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Re: Direct Line
Reply #11 - Feb 25th, 2006 at 1:01pm
 
davis wrote on Feb 25th, 2006 at 12:20pm:
...I was told neither-they had now negotiated the price down to 2p per minute! I subsequently received a letter stating as follows: "I can confirm that after speaking to our Marketing Department I have been informed that the previous charge was 4p per minute but that we have now negotiated this charge down to 3p per minute". I did ask them how they could achieve this as they had no control what my telecom supplier charged me, all I was told was that was what Direct Line charged for the call. ...

What garbage!  Tongue

So somehow they had "negotiated" the price down to 2p per minute. Then the wonderful marketeers say that it's down from 4p to 3p!  Huh

I know that Direct Line's logo is a telephone, but I don't think that even they have the power over the telcos to reduce the price to these numbers.  Roll Eyes
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Heinz
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Re: Direct Line
Reply #12 - Feb 25th, 2006 at 9:39pm
 
Dave wrote on Feb 25th, 2006 at 1:01pm:
I know that Direct Line's logo is a telephone .........

A type 700 phone with no * or # buttons - so every one of their adverts reminds me that they're operating in the 1980's.

And their responses above confirm that.

Guess what?  They don't have any of my business.
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« Last Edit: Feb 26th, 2006 at 3:09pm by Dave »  

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
WWW  
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Shiggaddi
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Re: Direct Line
Reply #13 - Feb 25th, 2006 at 9:55pm
 
Heinz wrote on Feb 25th, 2006 at 9:39pm:
Dave wrote on Feb 25th, 2006 at 1:01pm:
I know that Direct Line's logo is a telephone .........

A type 700 phone with no * or # buttons - so every one of their adverts reminds me that they're operating in the 1980's.

And their responses above confirm that.

Guess what?  They don't have any of my business.



They're not quite stuck in the past.

Remember in the 80s, we didn't have 0870/0845 phone numbers!!

In that respect Direct line are bang up to date.
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« Last Edit: Feb 26th, 2006 at 3:10pm by Dave »  

I realy hait itt wen peeple canot spel proply. Itt getts onn mye nervs sew mutch annd streses mee owt. Knot onley iz itt vary bade speling butt allso bade gramer.
 
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Dave
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Re: Reply from Direct Line
Reply #14 - Feb 26th, 2006 at 3:15pm
 
See also UK Insurance who are also part of the RBS Group of companies. They seem to use 0870 numbers for (at least) some of their 'services' such as that provided for Vauxhall Insurance.
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