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BBC Watchdog now using 020 number (Read 77,913 times)
barclay55
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BBC Watchdog now using 020 number
Sep 20th, 2005 at 8:01pm
 
We already had what seems good news this week regarding the curtailment (in 2007) by the Gambling Commission, of inanely simple TV programme quiz questions with thousands upon thousands of entries to premium numbers to provide TV companies with easy earned money.

But did you see the end of BBC Watchdog tonight? Apparently our friends at ICSTIS (not to be outdone by the Gambling Commission) are also to investigate the Quiz Call channel (and 2 other similar channels) for possible abuses on premium rate lines.

Followed immediately afterwards by "You can contact BBC Watchdog on 0870 . . . . ." No hypocrisy there then.

*** Edited by Dave: Thread title changed now BBC Watchdog have changed from 0870 to 020 ***
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« Last Edit: Dec 13th, 2005 at 8:24pm by Dave »  
 
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Smasher
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Re: Pot calling the BBC Watchdog kettle ?
Reply #1 - Sep 21st, 2005 at 1:47pm
 
Anyone remember the good old days before Anne Robinson had BOTOX injections and watchdog had a Freepost postal address and an 0500 freephone number? Roll Eyes
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Ed_Stirling
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Re: Pot calling the BBC Watchdog kettle ?
Reply #2 - Sep 21st, 2005 at 3:17pm
 
I was thinking about this the other day...

Why doesn't Watchdog do a feature ('expose') this 0870/0845 etc. rip-off... since most peole are ignorant of the costs/money making aspect of this...

Though, then realising that Watchdog, as do many other programmes, make use of these 0870 numbers (like they are not based in London!).

Has anyone ever approached Watchdog on this?

Hypocrits - yes, i'm afraid so - especially since the Beeb is funded by the licence fee...
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« Last Edit: Sep 21st, 2005 at 3:19pm by Ed_Stirling »  

End bad things... if you want to!
 
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davis
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Re: Pot calling the BBC Watchdog kettle ?
Reply #3 - Sep 22nd, 2005 at 8:35pm
 
I did indeed ask Watchdog to investigate to wholesale migration of companies to non geographic telephone numbers.  Before posting my request on their website I read the details about contacting them by phone on 0870---.  It stated the various prices that apply dialling to the 0870 number and the comment that they do not "receive any revenue from the proceeds generated by this number" (where do they go then).  It also stated that the price was 4ppm if dialled between the hours of 18.00hrs and 08.00hrs, which I believe is incorrect as I understand that BT about 6 months ago changed the lower rate times to from 18.00hrs to 06.00hrs.  I asked watch dog to investigate the use of 0870 numbers and pointed out that whilst they may not receive direct funds from the use of the 0870 number the BBC do, I am given to understand, receive benefit in the form of an offset against calls dialled out which shold be mentioned.  I also pointed out the anomaly in the times that the cheap rate applied and asked for their comments.  I also pointed out that the use of the 0870 number would adversly affect those who in all probability could least afford it-i.e. people without a computer who could not communicate by e-mail. I received the computer generated reply but unsurprisingly nothing more!  It appears that this is one topic that Watchdog would prefer not to investigate.
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mc661
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Re: Pot calling the BBC Watchdog kettle ?
Reply #4 - Sep 22nd, 2005 at 11:04pm
 
Quote:
Anyone remember the good old days before Anne Robinson had BOTOX injections and watchdog had a Freepost postal address and an 0500 freephone number? Roll Eyes


I even remember when they used an 081 and 01 number (yes that was before the days of phONEday)
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Smasher
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Re: Pot calling the BBC Watchdog kettle ?
Reply #5 - Sep 22nd, 2005 at 11:27pm
 
Quote:
I even remember when they used an 081 and 01 number (yes that was before the days of phONEday)


Shocked Wow!  You must be sooooo old! Wink
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mc661
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Re: Pot calling the BBC Watchdog kettle ?
Reply #6 - Sep 22nd, 2005 at 11:31pm
 
nah not that old, remember phONEday wasnt that long ago, while I was young I was brought up in a middle class life in the 90's and spent most of my life watching cable TV through videotron
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Smasher
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Re: Pot calling the BBC Watchdog kettle ?
Reply #7 - Sep 23rd, 2005 at 11:08am
 
tee hee, only kidding. Cheesy

Back to the topic, and I have just emailed Watchdog.  I've basically used davis' post as a template and worked around that, taking care not to make it look too much like a duplicate email. 

Hope you don't mind davis Grin  I have a rather poor imagination I'm afraid Embarrassed
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neilbun
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Re: Pot calling the BBC Watchdog kettle ?
Reply #8 - Sep 23rd, 2005 at 2:15pm
 
Yeah to all that, but the one that REALLY gets up my nose is the Traffic reports. The beeb wants YOU to call an 0870 to tell THEM about traffic problems which they then air as a "public service". Roll Eyes
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lavillegour
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Re: Pot calling the BBC Watchdog kettle ?
Reply #9 - Sep 23rd, 2005 at 3:12pm
 
Although extremely symphatico with most views expressed here I  do not post very often preferring to make direct vigorous attacks on the 0870 pirates who come closer to my life day by day. Should just mention in passing that I wrote to our friendly Watchdog (among many others approx six months ago (It's mentioned in this forum somewhere) receiving the usual indignant nonsense in reply.
Of course at that time they gave the usual speel that it seems EVERY mouthpiece of these company's give these days.
Personally from time to time I need to back off because this lobbying becomes an obsession and I get the distinct impression that we are winning some wars but losing the real battle . I even wrote to BBC feedback recently to ask Roger Bolton to discuss his very own use of the 0870 word when advertising the program....

Sometimes I despair...   Surely the ONLY way is to get at OFCOM and Politician's so as to regulate it away. 'Shame' and exposure does not seem to work.

I must add that I do admire the solid , intelligent determined citizens who contribute regularly to this website... But will we ever 'Win' ?
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NonGeographicalMan
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Re: Pot calling the BBC Watchdog kettle ?
Reply #10 - Sep 23rd, 2005 at 5:34pm
 
Quote:
Sometimes I despair... Surely the ONLY way is to get at OFCOM and Politician's so as to regulate it away. 'Shame' and exposure does not seem to work.

I must add that I do admire the solid , intelligent determined citizens who contribute regularly to this website... But will we ever 'Win'?


Well unfortunately its no good relying on OfcoN because they are a regulator that does not actually work because their regulatory integrity is totally bankrupted by nearly all of their senior posts being filled with people formerly working at senior level in the telecoms or broadcasting companies, some of whom have formerly been some of the main driving forces behind the viral mushrooming of these very same 084/7 numbers. For instance the Ofcom stance on 084/7 is that if the public finds it fairly hard to work out they are being ripped off then there isn't actually a problem!

I find it odd that the regulator for the advertising industry (the Advertising Standards Authority) actually disbars anyone from the direct marketing and advertising industries from serving on their board while Ofcom thinks it is ok for its own staff and its board to be almost entirely comprised of people who have worked at senior level in the telecoms and broadcasting industries.  It would appear that the whole concept of a "confflict of interest" that Mr Nolan has imposed so extensively on the rest of public life has somehow not touched employment criteria used by Ofcom. Shocked
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lavillegour
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Re: Pot calling the BBC Watchdog kettle ?
Reply #11 - Sep 23rd, 2005 at 7:43pm
 
And you Non Geo are one of those I mention . Those with dogged determination. One who actually does something about trying to redress the balance. One who posts hundreds of encouraging comments . One who chases the scam hounds.

But......... Are we getting anywhere at all  ?

Your comments about OFCOM (N) are well understood.
But Why ? and How ? can they get away with it.

At the risk of repeating the obvious.
Somebody (BT?) came up with an idea to make money.
A Sales team went out and sold the idea.
(REMEMBER THE WHOLE OBJECT WAS PROBABLY TO TAKE MORE MONEY FROM THE PUBLIC and offset (or hold back) the reducing income from telephone calls.

In the marketplace now the majority of companies advertise contact by 087.

Amazingly nobody has managed to 'persuade' OFCOM to legislate that the use of 'National Rate' is nothing but a LIE.

Why Oh blessed Why can they get away with PRINTING on literature 'National Rate' and not be committed to using the correct word PREMIUM. (Trading Standards take note)

I and others have written to M.P.'s . This usually elicits a flurry of paperwork and defence--- Nothing Changes

I have challenged a number of companies only to be given the usual crap (sorry can't think of a better word).

I hear respected broadcasters from the BBC (apparently) reading out the words they have been given to say. I am sure this in most cases is innocent ignorance. I suppose one doesn't expect them to endanger their jobs but godzilla they are citizens too !
They allow the scam to continue. They are not really interested in doing something about it . (It takes us obsessive lot).

In about twenty minutes or so I'll be going down to my 'local'. There I will bore everybody silly about this injustice. When I get back I'll probably respond to that 'customer service' person from Liverpool Victoria to tell her that her response to my considered queries re this are uphelpful and disingenuous. Then I'll sit and watch T.V. into the early hours and contemplate how much longer I can go on with my normal life and NEVER RING AN 0870 number !(sending letters is so much harder)

Fellow participants  H E L P . I really want us to change things.
I really want us to get the majority of Joe Public to become MORE AWARE.

I want this scam stopped.

One of the areas that really annoys me is the INSULT. The insult to our intelligence.

If this amazingly successful conspiracy succeeds  -and it looks as though it will. (I'm ignoring internet progress). I personally will feel like the loser I am.

Look out Pint Of Real Ale - Here I come !
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NonGeographicalMan
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Re: Pot calling the BBC Watchdog kettle ?
Reply #12 - Sep 23rd, 2005 at 8:43pm
 
Quote:
But......... Are we getting anywhere at all ?

Amazingly nobody has managed to 'persuade' OFCOM to legislate that the use of 'National Rate' is nothing but a LIE.  Why Oh blessed Why can they get away with PRINTING on literature 'National Rate' and not be committed to using the correct word PREMIUM. (Trading Standards take note)

I and others have written to M.P.'s . This usually elicits a flurry of paperwork and defence--- Nothing Changes

Look out Pint Of Real Ale - Here I come !


Lavillegour,

I very much like your writing style even though it seems to be quite some time since we received the benefit of your own perceptive wisdom here.  Given your amusing comments about the pint of real ale and the lady from Liverpool Victoria I suspect that your forum avatar of Homer Simpson is possibly well chosen. Smiley  I also get the feeling that you possibly feel as Homer does about the slim prospects of the ordinary citizen righting the many wrongs of this world.

Like you I cannot believe that the overpaid but supine ranks of career enhancing Ofcom employees have still not even found it within their admittedly minimal competence to ban the kind of lies which BT's NTS number selling division still aggressively perpetuates to this very day here.

I understand that banning revenue share itself on 0845 and 0870 is a hot potato and requires consultation and advance notice but after 1st July 2004 (when BT abolished Standard Line Rental and made BT Option 1 the norm) I can see no excuse whatsoever for Ofcom having not immediately sought parliamentary powers or made regulations to ban the use of the words National Rate and Local Rate or for that matter National Call and Lo-Call in connection with the marketing of 0870 and 0845 numbers.  The fact they have still not done so while they go on and on procrastinating on their NTS consultation shows either that they are grossly incompetent, or that they are an utterly powerless regulator or possibly that too many of them simply have no sense at all of the general public interest compared to the commercial interests of telecoms companies.

In my dealings with Ofcom I have so far only come across one senior employee there who does appear to be convincingly motivated by a sense of genuine integrity and public service but what good can that one person do when seemingly surrounded by a sea of more cynical colleagues who seem to take whatever course of action presents the least risk of government censure plus loss of funding and thus ensures the highest possible staff salaries and bonuses and thus also the most generous possible pension scheme.
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« Last Edit: Sep 23rd, 2005 at 9:23pm by Dave »  
 
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NonGeographicalMan
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Re: Pot calling the BBC Watchdog kettle ?
Reply #13 - Sep 23rd, 2005 at 8:45pm
 
Also believe me that there is a reason why the 087 and 084 scam goes on and on and on and is almost as sinister and unstoppable an evil force as the mysterious spectre of Bad Wolf in the recent series of Doctor Who.  The sinister force that has in fact allowed 0845 and 0870 to almost endlessly spawn and mushroom like a virus has been a cynical Labour government that had clearly hoped that these 084/7 abuse numbers could be used as a secret source of revenue both for its own governemental activities and also by many of its commercial cronies who now fill top positions across the broadcasting and telecoms worlds.

But there is some hope as only yesterday I received the below unexpected email from Home Office.  This seems to show that despair as we might that little by little our own relentless campaign is starting to get through and may even force perhaps the uk's weakest regulatory organisation (Ofcom) into proposing tough regulagtions that stop this scam.  Well we can but hope for without hope there is no point in our continuing to wage the war......

-----Original Message-----
From: Kerr Kate [mailto:Kate.Kerr@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk]
Sent: 22 September 2005 18:30
Subject: Home Office Public Enquiry Number

You have previously raised a concern with the Home Office about the continued use of non-geographic number for the central Home Office public enquiry number.  I am aware that the Permanent Secretary's office advised you that I would be in touch to report any developments in the matter but that was some time ago.  I apologise for the delay in replying which was because the review and subsequent implementation took considerably longer than anticipated.

I can confirm that the Permanent Secretary agreed that the Home Office should adopt a geographic number for its central public enquiry number.  The number is 020 7035 4848 and is now operational. 

The contact page on the website has been changed to reflect the new number and efforts are being made to replace references to the 0870 number with the new number in material such as letterheads and phone directories, however, I anticipate that due to external publishing deadlines some elements of this transition will take in excess of 12 months. During this transitional phase both numbers will be retained so callers are not inconvenienced by having to record the new number and redial.

If you would like further information please contact me.

Katie Kerr
Direct Communications Unit, Home Office
7th Fl. Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London SW1P 2AW
020 7035 4725
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Keith
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Re: Pot calling the BBC Watchdog kettle ?
Reply #14 - Sep 25th, 2005 at 1:52pm
 

FYI: The BBC TV news programme Saturday morning (BBC2 I think) had what looked like a weekly slot for viewers to question the BBC. At the end of the session contact details were put on the screen. The full screen was used giving an 0870 number.

But here is the surprise a very bold message giving the cost of the calls as between 3p and 8p per minutes was given.

This is the first time I have seen the BBC do this. Is this progress?

I assume this doesn't satisfy those making calls from mobiles (I have no experience of this, but from what I've seen on this site I assume mobile users get stung).

And I would prefer a Geographic number given.
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