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NGN charges - get real! (Read 35,331 times)
realist
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NGN charges - get real!
Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:50am
 
For anyone who feels that NGN related charges should be abolished is naive. Not all companies using this service are making extortionate amounts of money as some might think. Some, including registered charities use the service to reduce their overheads, which in turn may take the pressure in another part of the operation. By eliminating any so called profits from callers using their service, these operations will simply have to pass on the burden to another area. If people know they are being charged even a very small amount extra for using a service that is provided on an otherwise free basis in some cases, then perhaps then there would be less time wasters clogging up the telephone network. When you make a call to a customer service centre, somebody has to bear the cost of paying the person on the other end of the telephone line to take your enquiry. In some cases, the revenue received simply covers the cost of paying for the annual maintenance of the telephone system itself.
Basically, if you want somebody to sit ready to take your call, then you have to accept that you will have to help pay for it. admittedly there may be a few companies out there that simply use the system to rip people off, but don't tar everyone with the same brush.
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idb
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Re: NGN charges - get real!
Reply #1 - Dec 13th, 2005 at 12:05pm
 
'Very small amount extra'?!!! - well, $8/hour in my money for making a complaint, or what you call a 'service' is, I suggest, unacceptable to most people except NTS scammers and is not a small amount when aggregated over all rip-off calls that people are now expected to make.

These costs should be factored into the total cost of providing the service, as it is done here in the United States. We don't have these crazy rip-off numbers, and wouldn't tolerate them if they were introduced.

It is the NTS scammers that need to, as you say, 'get real'.
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jrawle
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Re: NGN charges - get real!
Reply #2 - Dec 13th, 2005 at 1:01pm
 
We hear similar arguments to this time and time again, and the answer's always the same. Sure, if people are going to phone customer services instead of bothering to find information for themself, maybe they should pay for the service and not be subsidised by less lazy customers.

However, I never use the phone if I can help it, and would never choose to call a customer services department. I do all my business online. The only time I call customer services is when a company has messed something up, got an order completely wrong, billed me incorrectly, or made some other mistake. Often the opportunity to make contact by e-mail is either non-existant or is just ignored, leaving me no alternative to phone. Why should I pay a premium rate to be kept on the line for 30 minutes - during office hours at a cost of 2.40 - just because of a mistake that is not my fault whatsoever?!

It's bad enough having to waste time calling to sort out a mess made my an incompetent organisation, without filling their coffers with phone revenue in the process.
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Dave
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Re: Ending Revenue Sharing isn't the whole solutio
Reply #3 - Dec 13th, 2005 at 1:02pm
 
realist wrote on Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:50am:
For anyone who feels that NGN related charges should be abolished is naive. Not all companies using this service are making extortionate amounts of money as some might think. Some, including registered charities use the service to reduce their overheads [...]

Hello realist. May I point you in the direction of Useful Information & Say no to 0870! Hot Topics which has links to other threads started by people who use such numbers trying to justify their use like you have done.

A few points you need to be aware of:
  • The problem with 0870 (and other 084/087 numbers) is that they are covert premium rate. That is the person calling isn't aware of revenue share. Had they been sold as revenue generating, then there wouldn't be a problem.
  • Revenue payments to service providers are relatively small compared to the cost of the call. Thus, it's a very inefficient way of, say, a charity generating extra funds.
  • The services are paid for by the caller, rather than the service provider, who is the party using it. This means that there's no market forces driving down the cost of these NTS. All communication providers receive (pretty much) the same level of payments. Also, this is on a per minute basis.
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« Last Edit: Dec 13th, 2005 at 1:06pm by Dave »  
 
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realist
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Re: NGN charges - get real!
Reply #4 - Dec 13th, 2005 at 2:46pm
 
Again I say, don't tar everyone with the same brush. The problem is not necessarily with the person at the other end of the phone whom some of you appear to be targetting. The NGN facility is extremely useful when publishing a contact number. It means that the terminating number is not tied to a particular service or point of contact for the rest of time. This gives a lot of flexability when making changes. Some of you must have moved home before and been irritated when people keep phoning for a previous user of your new home phone number. As individuals I'm sure you would all like a bargain, i.e. a new TV at 10 or 20 percent cheaper than the big chain store is selling it for down the road and a free extended warranty. You shop around. It's the same when you need a new phone number in any organisation. If you can get a free number instead of paying for it and get some of your operational overheads on that phone line covered as well then it's a tempting proposition.
I'm not at all impressed with the real premium rate lines that con people, that do make a lot of money and offer no or very little service in return. However, many businesses do make out-going calls which do cost money. They have to pay someone to make and or take phone calls. If they are a reasonable company and you tell them you can't afford the call charges then they will call you back at their initial cost, which again at some point has to be passed on to the consumer as overheads have to be covered else you go out of business.
If your local DIY shop with 3 or 4 lines going into his operation has an 0870 number, do you feel agrieved that he is trying to cover the cost of his business while you are phoning him for free advice whislt making the customers physically standing in his shop wait. I'm sure some of you have got fed up whilst waiting to be served because the attendant is busy talking on the phone to someone who either can't or is too lazy to attend the shop in person. When you get really fed-up with waiting, maybe you then leave without buying the goods you had gone in for. Result - another little bit of much needed operating revenue lost for providing good customer service to someone else. Or perhaps you sometimes drive a little bit further in your car to go to your preferred shop. You do this at your own expense without complaining to the shopkeeper because he is friendly and gives you the free advice. Life often involves a trade off.
I don't advocate for one minute people who make money for moneys' sake, and often you will find it's the middle-men that are making the money for doing very little, not necessarily the end service provider. So when you are on the phone about to complain for have to spend 50p or a 1 for a service that is costing a lot more to provide, think. You may be targetting the wrong person!
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Dave
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Re: NGN charges - get real!
Reply #5 - Dec 13th, 2005 at 9:38pm
 
realist wrote on Dec 13th, 2005 at 2:46pm:
Again I say, don't tar everyone with the same brush. The problem is not necessarily with the person at the other end of the phone whom some of you appear to be targetting. [...]

That is correct. But the revenue collected and/or services received in kind from 084/087 numbers is covert. That means it affects every number with that prefix. That doesn't necessarily mean that every company consciously set out to rip-off their customers. Indeed, those on 0845 may have adopted their numbers back in the day when it was of benefit to most people, being local rate.

NGN providers have sold these numbers as 'local' or 'national' rate, making service providers think that it won't cost their customers any more to call. The more that jump on the bandwagon, as it were, the more that feel that it is the in thing to do, simply because everyone else in the industry does it.

realist wrote on Dec 13th, 2005 at 2:46pm:
[...] The NGN facility is extremely useful when publishing a contact number. It means that the terminating number is not tied to a particular service or point of contact for the rest of time. [...]

It is, and that is why there should a non-geographical number whereby the caller pays the normal rate, had they called the underlying geographical number(s) directly. The cost of the NTS would be paid by the service provider, as they are clearly the ones benefiting.

realist wrote on Dec 13th, 2005 at 2:46pm:
[...] As individuals I'm sure you would all like a bargain, i.e. a new TV at 10 or 20 percent cheaper than the big chain store is selling it for down the road and a free extended warranty. You shop around. It's the same when you need a new phone number in any organisation. If you can get a free number instead of paying for it and get some of your operational overheads on that phone line covered as well then it's a tempting proposition. [...]

What, a free lunch?  Shocked

Of course nothing is free, contrary to what today's telecoms industry would have us believe! It's more a case of who you can fool into thinking that it is free!

realist wrote on Dec 13th, 2005 at 2:46pm:
[...] Or perhaps you sometimes drive a little bit further in your car to go to your preferred shop. You do this at your own expense without complaining to the shopkeeper because he is friendly and gives you the free advice. Life often involves a trade off. [...]

Yes, but the shop doesn't charge me a premium on my petrol. I pay market price for that petrol. I don't pay market price for telephone call to a UK call centre (which is presumably fixed and therefore connected by fixed lines) which operates 0845 and 0870 numbers.
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tripleeight
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Re: NGN charges - get real!
Reply #6 - Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:04pm
 
Dave wrote on Dec 13th, 2005 at 9:38pm:
[...] It is, and that is why there should a non-geographical number whereby the caller pays the normal rate, had they called the underlying geographical number(s) directly. The cost of the NTS would be paid by the service provider, as they are clearly the ones benefiting. [...]


I believe you've missed some key points:

When you call from your geographic number (eg 0209999999) to another geographic (eg 01419999999), your call is delivered landline to landline. The call is direct. There is no middle-provider.

Many NTS numbers are run by SME telcos and not big companies like BT. In this example I'll use NTS number 08709999999:
When you call the 0870 number, it generally goes to another landline: eg you call from 0209999999 -> 08709999999 which terminates at 01419999999). An outpayment is made from the originating telco to the NTS provide, after they have made a termination charge. The NTS provider use the revenue they receive to terminate the 0870 call on 01419999999 without any charge to the Customer. Any money left over will be used to pay the overheads of the NTS provider. Additionally, the NTS provider may or may not offer revenue share to the 0870 subscriber.

If you have your own way and the cost of calling an 0870 number is reduced to that of geographic rate, the outpayment made by the originating telco to the NTS provider will be geographic rate less the termination rate. This means the NTS provider will not be able to terminate the call without suffering the effects of negative margin. This leaves the NTS provider with two options: Charge their subscriber to receive the call or close the service down. I suspect alot of the smaller SME telcos will choose to close the service, as alot of NTS users are SoHo/SME companies who simply CANNOT afford to pay for incoming calls. This will lead to job losses in the telecom industry, closure of telcos and an increase in market share by BT, leaving both individuals and businesses less product and service choice in the telecom market.

Let me back this up by giving you a real-life example:
1) I have an 0870 number, an 08445 number and an 0845 number. I do not receive outpayment on any of these numbers, so I am NOT USING THEM FOR REVENUE SHARE.
1.1) The 0870 number is given out to general callers and companies whose products and services I use. I also use it to receive calls from international destinations as diverse as the USA, OZ and the Far-East...blowing away the myth that 0870 numbers cannot receive calls from outside the UK.
1.2) The 08445 number is given out to friends and some family members. They have the benefit of getting hold of me anywhere, anytime and I don't see why I should pay to receive their call. Additionally, the fact it has a per minute cost stops certain people from nattering on the phone for ages...something they would certainly do if they had a geographic number for me. If I were to use an 0845 number in this instance, I would have to pay to receive the call as my numbers are from an SME Telco and not a large telco like BT.
1.3) The 0845 number is my emergency contact point and is routed to my mobile. Only immediate family and some very close friends have access to that number, as I have to pay alot to receive the call - I offer them this choice as IT'S CHEAPER THEN CALLING THE MOBILE DIRECTLY. For the avoidance of any doubt, my mobile is used for general outgoing calls and incoming priority calls only.

2) I change location several times a week and need the flexibility which NTS provides me, including instant rerouting.
2.1) Some of the sites I visit do not allow me to give out any of their geographic numbers. Using an NTS number allows me to assure the sites that any calls I receive will not reveal their TLI.

3) If NTS is forced down to geographic rate, my SME telco will have to charge me to receive calls, or they may close the service.
3.1) Even if they don't close the service (which will be lucky), I will not pay to receive calls.
3.2) I will, therefore, buy a second mobile with a PAYG SIM in it. Now all my contacts using 0870, 08445 or 0845 will have to pay alot more to call me. I won't be giving out my home number as I don't want to receive calls at certain times of the day or night. Remember that NTS 08 numbers allow me instant rerouting, so I can reroute to another number when I don't want to receive calls, or even NU.
3.3) I will have to change contact / calling cards, stationary, website numbers. This will cost me several hours and several hundred pounds.
3.4) I will loose contact with contacts who've had my 08 numbers for up to six years, no matter how hard I work to ensure that everyone knows.


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« Last Edit: Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:08pm by Dave »  
 
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idb
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Re: NGN charges - get real!
Reply #7 - Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:09pm
 
tripleeight wrote on Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:04pm:
1.1) The 0870 number is given out to general callers and companies whose products and services I use. I also use it to receive calls from international destinations as diverse as the USA, OZ and the Far-East...blowing away the myth that 0870 numbers cannot receive calls from outside the UK.
I can assure you that it isn't a myth. Check your facts first.
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Tanllan
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Re: NGN charges - get real!
Reply #8 - Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:12pm
 
But if you want the service of routeing why do you want me to pay for it?

Why not pay for it yourself, if it is convenient and valuable (and useful) to you?

After all I use call divert on our various mobile and landlines for that reason; I do not expect clients to have to pay for my convenience? Or am I missing something? Apart from covert income.
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tripleeight
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Re: NGN charges - get real!
Reply #9 - Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:21pm
 
Tanllan wrote on Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:12pm:
But if you want the service of routeing why do you want me to pay for it?

Why not pay for it yourself, if it is convenient and valuable (and useful) to you?

After all I use call divert on our various mobile and landlines for that reason; I do not expect clients to have to pay for my convenience? Or am I missing something? Apart from covert income.


You accuse me of 'covert income'. As stated elsewhere, I do not receive ANY TYPE OF INCOME/REVENUE SHARE to any of my NTS numbers.

I will not pay to receive calls. I will not pay for sales companies to telephone spam me. I will not pay for banks and credit card companies to call me. If I am forced into that situation by the reduction of NTS to geographic rate, I will only give out a mobile number. My CALLERS WILL HAVE TO PAY MORE.

If I had only thought of my own convenience, I would have used only a mobile number, meaning that my CALLERS WOULD PAY MORE. I use various NTS for the benefit of my callers. I have been told on several occasions that people were really pleased to get through to me without having to try several locations.

Additionally: Following your own logic, mobile numbers should also be reduced to geographic rate, as the mobile telcos receive 'covert income' from all calls made to their numbers.

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« Last Edit: Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:25pm by tripleeight »  
 
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Re: NGN charges - get real!
Reply #10 - Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:23pm
 
idb wrote on Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:09pm:
tripleeight wrote on Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:04pm:
1.1) The 0870 number is given out to general callers and companies whose products and services I use. I also use it to receive calls from international destinations as diverse as the USA, OZ and the Far-East...blowing away the myth that 0870 numbers cannot receive calls from outside the UK.
I can assure you that it isn't a myth. Check your facts first.


My own POV is that it is a myth. As stated elsewhere, I receive calls from abroad without any problem.
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Re: NGN charges - get real!
Reply #11 - Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:27pm
 
tripleeight wrote on Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:23pm:
My own POV is that it is a myth. As stated elsewhere, I receive calls from abroad without any problem.
As I said, check your facts. Just because *you* can receive calls from overseas does not guarantee universal termination. See what the regulator says about the issue, ie check your facts. If you are coming here to tout the advantages of scamming numbers, then it is unlikely that you can deceive many of us with half-truths and bare-faced lies. I live overseas and NGNs are a nightmare. For those living within the UK, NGNs are a nightmare. They are only of use to scamming businesses who are so clueless about provision of customer service.
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andy9
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Re: NGN charges - get real!
Reply #12 - Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:29pm
 
tripleeight wrote on Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:04pm:
The 0870 number is given out to general callers and companies whose products and services I use. I also use it to receive calls from international destinations as diverse as the USA, OZ and the Far-East...blowing away the myth that 0870 numbers cannot receive calls from outside the UK.

There are some countries where it is totally impossible to directly call 0870 numbers, including from some GSM networks. There are others that charge 0870 number at the same or higher tariffs than UK mobiles, for example increasing the per minute charge from 1p to 18p or 25p.

Don't believe it? In the same vein, try calling a French 0892 number from here using various providers. You can do it for 17p or 20 p per minute, but not 1p. Some providers, eg Finarea companies, simply will not connect the call.
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Re: NGN charges - get real!
Reply #13 - Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:30pm
 
tripleeight wrote on Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:21pm:
You accuse me of 'covert income'. As stated elsewhere, I do not receive ANY TYPE OF INCOME/REVENUE SHARE to any of my NTS numbers.

Notional income - hence the earlier definitions of revenue share. And perhaps "accuse" is a little strong; not quite what I meant. Mind you on those numbers and uses there is scope for a financial element...
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Re: NGN charges - get real!
Reply #14 - Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:34pm
 
tripleeight wrote on Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:23pm:
My own POV is that it is a myth. As stated elsewhere, I receive calls from abroad without any problem.

Nobody is saying that it is impossible from anywhere at all. But it is impossible from several places, and carries high premium charges from others.

Stop accusing people of lying when they have direct experience. Since you don't wish to increase the number of calls you receive, I won't be arsed to list the countries that you will not receive them from.
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« Last Edit: Dec 13th, 2005 at 11:34pm by andy9 »  
 
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