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Some views from the "other" side (Read 20,011 times)
Telecoms_Ted
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Some views from the "other" side
Sep 28th, 2005 at 11:39am
 
I work with the telecoms industry within the UK.
We manage near to 80 helpline numbers.
We operate all of these a with either 0870 or 0800 numbers, depending upon our agreements with our clients.

This web site has been an interesting read to see what the percieved opinion is of 0870's.

The fundlemental reason for firms to use 08xx numbers is to allow for stats, Disaster recovery & onward flexibilty NOT for money making reasons. Settng up these lines & renting the numbers sometimes cost more that the revenue made on these lines. 1 pence per minute.


Were these helplines to change office locations from a London office (020) to a Nottingham office (01159), the amount of work generated & the cost/upset of changing documents, web sites & TV ads with the new number would be huge.. at the end of the day the customer would pay this cost one way or another.  Plus should people use old documents, they'd end up at a dead end message... Not really a customer focused approach.


By using 0870 numbers we aim to provide a better/more consistant service than using a local number.
Were we wanting to make money on these services, an 09xx number would be used.








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Shiggaddi
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Re: Some views from the "other" side
Reply #1 - Sep 28th, 2005 at 2:50pm
 
Were these helplines to change office locations from a London office (020) to a Nottingham office (01159), the amount of work generated & the cost/upset of changing documents, web sites & TV ads with the new number would be huge.. at the end of the day the customer would pay this cost one way or another.  Plus should people use old documents, they'd end up at a dead end message... Not really a customer focused approach.



A very fair point.

So, what do you have to say to customers who find an old document from 10 years ago, which lists a geo number, from before 0870 became widespread.  Are you concerned about those customers or not?

If you had read more in this web site, you would have found that stats, and moving the terminating number IS possible with geo numbers, as it is with non geo numbers.

And why should people pay more to contact you.  When I post a letter to a business address, it's either a freepost envelope, or you put a 1st, or 2nd class stamp on the envelope.  If I write a letter to a residential address, again, I put a 1st or 2nd class stamp, and I don't have to pay a premium to post a letter to a business.

So, why is it OK for us to pay a premium for making phone contact with a business.  Your benefits include call monitoring, and being able to change the terminating number, but what extra service do we get?

If you want call stats, etc, then pay for them.  Next you'll be moving to premium rate 090 numbers because you want us to make a contribution to the company directors golf games!!
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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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Keith
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Re: Some views from the "other" side
Reply #2 - Sep 28th, 2005 at 3:09pm
 
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The fundlemental reason for firms to use 08xx numbers is to allow for stats, Disaster recovery & onward flexibilty NOT for money making reasons.




Surely this is basic business common sense. You spend this money to set this up for stats, etc to do one of the following:

To minimise your overheads by analysing costs, providing flexibility, insurance against disasters, etc.

OR

To maximise revenue by increasing sales or marketing more profitable lines by analysing your calls

OR

Improving customer relations which in turn will improve revenue or reduce overheads or both.


These are all good things to do and as someone who owns his own company I do the same.


My question is why the hell should I pay for (or contribute to) your costs in achieving a lower cost base or higher revenue.

If you ned to incur a cost to improve your business, build that into your business plan. If it improves your profitability (and you shouldn't do it if it doesn't) you won't need to charge your customers extra. If you have to it obviously isn't a cost effective expense is it?

You seem to have a good arguement for using 0800, but not 0870.

I don't do this to my customers. I have more respect for them.
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Telecoms_Ted
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Re: Some views from the "other" side
Reply #3 - Sep 28th, 2005 at 3:19pm
 
Moving Geo numbers from London to Nottingham would incur a cost on each call made to the old number.
Our firm would pick up this cost, which in turn gets past onto the customer!  ( Someone has to pay!!)

Other benefits to customers include Disaster recovery. Were one of our centre's lose the ability to take calls... ( Such as the whole of London with the bombings), the 08 platform allows us to redirect the calls at the flick of a switch.. again giving the customer a better seemless experience regardless of what is happening in localised area's.


IF we could get a true local/national rate number, which  Joe Bloggs payed normal rates on & we didn't get billed on, we would run all of our services on them.. However there isn't such a thing at present.

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Dave
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Re: Some views from the "other" side
Reply #4 - Sep 28th, 2005 at 3:26pm
 
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IF we could get a true local/national rate number, which  Joe Bloggs payed normal rates on & we didn't get billed on, we would run all of our services on them.. However there isn't such a thing at present.

Have you or your company suggested this to Ofcom? Have you responded to previous consultation(s) suggesting this?

Not doing so is much like not voting in an election and then objecting to decisions made by government. Lips Sealed

Quote:
We operate all of these a with either 0870 or 0800 numbers, depending upon our agreements with our clients.

Whilst still a rip-off, why no mention of 0845?
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Keith
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Re: Some views from the "other" side
Reply #5 - Sep 28th, 2005 at 3:32pm
 
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Moving Geo numbers from London to Nottingham would incur a cost on each call made to the old number.
Our firm would pick up this cost, which in turn gets past onto the customer!  ( Someone has to pay!!)

Other benefits to customers include Disaster recovery. Were one of our centre's lose the ability to take calls... ( Such as the whole of London with the bombings), the 08 platform allows us to redirect the calls at the flick of a switch.. again giving the customer a better seemless experience regardless of what is happening in localised area's.


IF we could get a true local/national rate number, which  Joe Bloggs payed normal rates on & we didn't get billed on, we would run all of our services on them.. However there isn't such a thing at present.




Still missing the point. A business is there to make money for its shareholders. Your only justifcation for incurring a cost is if it improves your profitability by either increasing your turnover or reducing your expenses (improved customer satisfaction tends to do both of these).

Consequently there is no need to pass all or part of the cost on by way of an 0870 number as you have already recovered the cost (in increased revenue or, reduced cost - just to labour the point)

If you haven't done so to make the change was a bad business move in the first place.

For crying out loud this is basic business. Your "someone has to pay" comment is nonesense. If the cost of an activity isn't returned in increased revenue or reduced cost DON'T DO IT = YOU WILL GO BUST!
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idb
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Re: Some views from the "other" side
Reply #6 - Sep 28th, 2005 at 3:43pm
 
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By using 0870 numbers we aim to provide a better/more consistant service than using a local number.
Were we wanting to make money on these services, an 09xx number would be used.
Rubbish! Here in the United States, with possibly the world's most sophisticated telecommunications system and advanced customer service techniques, there is no equivalent to 0870 nor will there ever be. Of course there is a well-developed toll-free system to compare with NTS, and intelligent routing, together with stats and all the other so-called advantages of 0870, can and are provided on toll-free and geographic area codes. Any costs are factored into the whole cost of providing the service and the customer is not expected to make "micro(mega)-payments" to OCPs/TCPs. Customer service here is generally excellent and does not need 087X to provide, as you state, a "better/more consistent service". Learn from those that know how to provide *service* without exploiting the customer.

0870 is used because, in the UK, the regulator is weak, and the public apathetic about such issues probably due to being bamboozled by the clandestine and deceitful way 0870 scammers operate.

As I have said before, please explain why it costs more for a telephone customer sitting at home in say Glasgow to call BA's 0870 call centre in Newcastle that it does to call the one in New York City.

The whole NTS regime is fundamentally rotten and corrupt, and nowhere else on this planet are such numbers used to such a degree as that within the United Kingdom, including the disgraceful and inappropriate use by government agencies operating terrorism casualty numbers.

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« Last Edit: Sep 28th, 2005 at 3:50pm by idb »  

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Telecoms_Ted
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Re: Some views from the "other" side
Reply #7 - Sep 28th, 2005 at 3:51pm
 
When you mention the "RIP OFF" prices, these call rates are around the 8ppm rate.
In the grand scheme of things where a Starbucks coffee may cost upwards of £2.50 ( & then some) I don't see this figure as breaking the bank.

When calling from Land lines to mobile phones a much higher rate is charged for a service which is frankly appalling. ( drop outs, missed calls etc) & yet people seem more concerned with what megapixel their camera phone is!!! 

The revenue made on 0870 is generally less than 1 pence per minute.   So it is hardly a great revenue maker for these firms... The key company to make money on these services ( 0800's, 0870 or even geo's) are the Telco firms themselves.

Surely the main target for all is Ofcom/telcos???
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idb
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Re: Some views from the "other" side
Reply #8 - Sep 28th, 2005 at 3:56pm
 
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Surely the main target for all is Ofcom/telcos???
Together with the 0870 scammers, all three bodies are guilty of propping up a corrupt numbering system that exists only to generate money from the public.
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Keith
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Re: Some views from the "other" side
Reply #9 - Sep 28th, 2005 at 4:11pm
 
Quote:
When you mention the "RIP OFF" prices, these call rates are around the 8ppm rate.
In the grand scheme of things where a Starbucks coffee may cost upwards of £2.50 ( & then some) I don't see this figure as breaking the bank.



I wouldn't mind paying if it was 8p I was paying. It is the hundreds of pounds I pay because of the hundreds of minutes my phones are being used.

I pay nothing for my geographic number calls. Yesterday I took part in a conference call to America for an hour for under £3.

I have no gripe with premium rate numbers and I don't care how much they charge. They have a legitimate use.

What I object to is the 0870/0845 etc numbers which are to all intent and purposes premium rate numbers (for the consumer) but which are little understood (by most consumers) and who are intentionally (or unintentionally) conned into using them.

How many times have I been told by someone that an 0845 number is the same cost as a local call?! NO IT ISN'T.
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jrawle
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Re: Some views from the "other" side
Reply #10 - Sep 28th, 2005 at 5:57pm
 
Quote:
When you mention the "RIP OFF" prices, these call rates are around the 8ppm rate.
In the grand scheme of things where a Starbucks coffee may cost upwards of £2.50 ( & then some) I don't see this figure as breaking the bank.


You might be happy to pay £2.50 for a coffee in Starbucks, but for a lot of people who might not be as well of as you, £2.50 is a huge amount of money. They can avoid visiting coffee shops, but if they need to contact a company (often because the company has made a mistake, messed up an order, something has gone wrong, etc.) they have no choice but pay 8p per minute - not in total (so if the calls amount to 30 minutes in total, that's a Starbucks coffee).

Whether I can afford it or not, I don't drink coffee in Starbucks as I can make an instant coffee for a few pence, or buy a whole bag of filter coffee for the same price. However, if I need to phone a company or certain Government departments, I have no choice but to use the 0870 number - particurly annoying when I'm already forced to pay BT £10.50 a month for supposedly cheaper rates that don't apply to the numbers I most frequently have to call.
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bbb_uk
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Re: Some views from the "other" side
Reply #11 - Sep 28th, 2005 at 6:56pm
 
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....Were we wanting to make money on these services, an 09xx number would be used.
You will find that if you were to choose an 09xx number that cost 8ppm (same as an 0870) then you would receive even fewer calls and therefore loss of business, etc simply because everyone one knows that an 09xx number is premium even if it actually cost the same as an 087x number.

How many of Joe Puplic know that an 087x number costs between 8ppm and 10ppm daytime and can earn the company revenue?  The answer is very, very few and this is why they are used simply because they can earn revenue and most joe public think that these calls are national rate which they are clearly not and are definitely not aware that the company is earning revenue from keeping us waiting.

Using an 09x number would mean that you would have to advertise the cost of the call and call queuing is NOT allowed.  Therefore if I ring Sky on a premium 09x number that was priced at 8ppm, I wouldn't start paying until they answered which is more acceptable than paying 8ppm to be held in a queue which can be over 30minutes and then paying to speak to their customer services.

I realise that during peak demands queues can't be helped that much but had I rung Sky on an equivalent cost 09x number I'd only be paying for the call when it's actually answered by a human being.  That same call to a geographical could be as less than 3p for the whole call.

So in the above circumstances and speaking to a human being for 5minutes but being held in a queue for 30minutes would cost me 40p for the whole call when ringing an 09x number charged at same rate as an 087x.  That same call on an 087x numbers would cost £2.80.

An example of companies using 087x numbers as revenue generating without informing the public has recently came to light with the PostCode Lottery that use an 0871 (cost is actually 10ppm from a BT landline) but they claim it's local rate.
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« Last Edit: Sep 28th, 2005 at 7:00pm by bbb_uk »  
 
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bigjohn
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Re: Some views from the "other" side
Reply #12 - Sep 28th, 2005 at 7:09pm
 
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The fundlemental reason for firms to use 08xx numbers is to allow for stats, Disaster recovery & onward flexibilty NOT for money making reasons. Settng up these lines & renting the numbers sometimes cost more that the revenue made on these lines. 1 pence per minute.


Come on Ted your talking to us now, not your clients.You are no doubt aware that the same facilties are now available using Geo numbers.This excuse just doesnt wash any more.


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reggie
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Re: Some views from the "other" side
Reply #13 - Sep 28th, 2005 at 7:26pm
 
Not quite relevant Ted but since when did pence become a singular noun.. 1 penny  2 pence or pennies.
Your excuses for the rip off08 numbers are very very lame.Perhaps you can tell us which cmpany you work for so that we can make sure not to give you any business.
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Smasher
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Re: Some views from the "other" side
Reply #14 - Sep 28th, 2005 at 8:28pm
 
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Plus should people use old documents, they'd end up at a dead end message... Not really a customer focused approach.


I'd rather hear a message saying 'please call our new number on 01xxx' than having to pay 8p per minute just to avoid the possibility that an office may shift location. Roll Eyes
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