Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
SAYNOTO0870.COM

<---- Back to main website

 
Home Help Search Login Register

Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
FOI Request - Ofsted (Read 11,947 times)
bbb_uk
Global Moderator
*****
Offline



Posts: 2,041
FOI Request - Ofsted
Apr 30th, 2006 at 6:45pm
 
I've today sent off an FOI request to Ofsted due to the fact that most of the numbers we have are no longer working - see this thread.

I'll shall post a reply here, and mention it in the link above.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
bbb_uk
Global Moderator
*****
Offline



Posts: 2,041
Re: FOI Request - Ofsted
Reply #1 - May 18th, 2006 at 8:36pm
 
Here is the email I sent off:-
Quote:
I hereby request under the Freedom of Information Act the geographical termination number (those beginning with 01 or 02) that your 0845/070 contact numbers point to.

Each of your contact numbers that you ask us to ring is translated to one or more geographical numbers and I hereby request you provide me with this information under the above act.

I’m requesting this information because the cost of having to call your 0845 number from a landline is ACTUALLY more than calling a local or national geographical call (numbers beginning 01x or 02x) and in fact calling a 0845 from a payphone or mobile can cost upto 40ppm, yes 40ppm.

I therefore think that by using an 0845 contact number is not in anyway of benefit to us public, therefore it is in the public interest to have your underlying geographical number and in fact acts as a "cost barrier" due to the excessive costs of ringing an 0845 (ie can cost upto 40ppm from some mobile networks and payphones) and therefore may stop the public from ringing you.

Since well over a year ago, BT removed the difference between local rate and national rate geographical (those beginning 01x or 02x) calls and they now cost the same.  For example, calling from London to Scotland costs the exact same amount as calling from London to Essex - and that is 3ppm but yet ringing a 0845 can cost more than this and in most cases often does.

For example, Telewest charge 3.95ppm which is more than a geographical local number and more importantly and as mentioned earlier it can cost upto 40ppm to call non-geographical numbers like your 0845 from a mobile and this can be confirmed here.

Look at where it states standard calls and it has a "*" then scroll down near the bottom to the small print related to the "*" and you'll see it then reads:-

"* UK to UK standard fixed line numbers. 0845, 0800 and 0870 numbers are charged are charged at 35p per min in the daytime..."

Or, another example is T-Mobile charge 40p/min to call 0845 numbers as can been seen here.

The following link from BT's website confirms that local and national rate calls cost the same (3ppm) but calling a non-geographical number is excluded from this rate (see their small print) and is generally higher.  See here.

Also, as you may or may not be aware that not all operators outside the UK will allow connection to a UK NGN (non-geographical number) beginning with 084x/087x.   Although it may be rare to receive calls from abroad it is possible that I (and other people) whilst on holiday abroad may have cause to ring you for which depending on the operator may be impossible.

I quote this from Ofcom:-

"Ofcom is aware that callers may experience difficulty in accessing UK non-geographic numbers from outside the UK. This results from uncertainties over financial returns for routing between international operators caused by the variable cost of calls and imbalances between charges that can be retained or passed on through international arbitrage. UK residents dialling the non-geographic numbers of other countries from the UK frequently experience the same or similar problems. Individual countries do not normally permit access to non-geographic numbers from overseas. This is because these services are differently priced from geographic services and it is impossible for an operator in the originating country (which in many cases may not be transmitting the international part of the call) to know what the appropriate price and for the correct amount to be passed via several carriers and be paid to the terminating operator."

Are you aware of both Ofcom's and Central Office of Information (COI) guidelines regarding the use of non-geographical numbers like your 0845 and from them I quote:-

Ofcom guidelines:

"Ofcom believes it is inappropriate for public bodies to use NTS numbers exclusively (i.e. without at a minimum, giving equal prominence to a geographic alternative) when dealing with people on low incomes or other vulnerable groups. Ofcom has been active in providing advice to the Government's Central Office of Information ('COI') and Government Departments and will continue to provide this support. Ofcom would like to see a greater level of compliance with the COI's published guidelines on the use of number ranges, given the level of public disquiet over this issue, and would be keen to support the Government in achieving this objective."

Central Office of Information (COI) guidelines:

"0845 in particular has been known as ‘local rate’ – however with increased competition in the marketplace and resultant changes in tariff structures, these rates will often be in excess of normal local rates that citizens might be charged on their package. 0845 (and 0844) costs through phone boxes and some mobile tariffs can also be expensive to the citizen and this should also be considered."


Continued....
Back to top
« Last Edit: May 18th, 2006 at 8:38pm by bbb_uk »  
 
IP Logged
 
bbb_uk
Global Moderator
*****
Offline



Posts: 2,041
Re: FOI Request - Ofsted
Reply #2 - May 18th, 2006 at 8:42pm
 
.... Continued:-

Quote:
I also noticed that you do not mention the cost of calling your 0845 number and this is now misleading according to the ASA/CAP (Advertising Standards Authority) and OfCOM because you can no longer remain silent on the cost of calling an 0845 as it is no longer classed as a 'local' call.

For further information on the ASA’s decision that advertising your 0845 number as ‘local’ rate or remaining silent on the call cost is now classed as misleading and can be read here and here.

Due to the problems dialling an 084x/087x (non-geographical number) and the excessive costs involved (especially from payphones and mobiles), the Home Office have now changed their contact number to a geographical (020) number for this reason along with the Casualty Bureau number that will now be a freephone number (for landline customers) and a geographical number for those calling from outside the UK and from a payphone or mobile.  This can be confirmed here.

In brief, and taking into consideration my points above, here is the information I request:-

1.  What are the geographical numbers along with their equivalent 0845 (and 070) and the name of the service/department for all services/departments that currently utilise an 0845x/070x?

If you view your 'Contact Us' page here:-  http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/contactus/, you can see that you use several 0845 numbers and one 070 number.  I request the geographical alternative number (or numbers) that each of these 0845/070 numbers point to.  I also request the geographical alternative numbers to all other 0845, 0870 and 070 numbers you may use that aren't listed on the above 'Contact Us' page.

2.  What was your reasons for the introduction of your 0845/070 numbers when it does not offer any benefit to us public (local rate and national rate no longer exist and geographical calls actually cost the same regardless of the area you are calling from), and an 0845 can, and in most cases, does cost more (upto 40ppm) and acts as a "cost barrier" and goes against advice from both the COI and Ofcom, as mentioned previously?

3.  Do you receive any revenue from the use of this number in anyway shape, or form (whether this is invested back in maintaining the call centre/switchboard or not)?  And if so, how much per minute?

4.  Do you contribute in anyway to the use of these 0845/070 numbers?  And if so, how much per minute?

5.  What features/benefits do you utilise when using these 0845/070 numbers that can't be offered on using a geographical number (please bear in mind that call queuing and automatic diversion is possible from a geographical number)?

6.  Were you aware of the potential difficulties of people attempting to call your 0845/070 numbers from overseas and the excessive costs involved from those ringing from a payphone or mobile before you implemented the 0845/070 numbers?

7.  Now that you are aware of the difficulties faced by people ringing from overseas, the excessive costs involved and the fact that both the COI and Ofcom advise against the use of non-geographical numbers, do you have any plans on switching back to a geographical number, or as recommended by Ofcom, displaying a geographical number alongside your 0845/070 numbers for those people who are on a low income, calling from a mobile or abroad, etc and so does not act as a "Cost barrier" or more importantly discriminate against those on low income?


I have not received a reply yet as they have 10 days left going by my calculations.  I shall post their reply when it arrives.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
bbb_uk
Global Moderator
*****
Offline



Posts: 2,041
Re: FOI Request - Ofsted
Reply #3 - Jun 4th, 2006 at 5:41pm
 
Below is the reply to my FOI.  I've mentioned the answers only as you can view the questions from my two previous posts.

1.  What are the geographical numbers along...

08456 404040      0161 618 8611      National Business Unit
08456 0141772      0161 618 8612      National Business Unit
08456 404045      020 7421 6693      Education Helpline

0700 263 7833      This number is operated by The Stationery Office at Norwich, who provide Ofsted publications . I have been unable to obtain the geographical number, but will forward it once I have been able to do so.

2.  What were your reasons for the introduction...  

Ofsted has recently undergone a re-organisation into 3 regions, from 8, and has introduced a National Business Unit to make contact with Ofsted much easier. The number of contact phone numbers has been significantly reduced by making use of 0845 ‘Golden Numbers’, and may be reduced still further. The use of 0845 numbers will enable Ofsted to retain the same contact number(s) and associate the 0845 number with any geographic number in the future, reducing overheads in the event of further re-organisations or movement of staff.

Annex A shows information provided by BT, via our ICT partner LogicaCMG, with regard to call tariffs.

3.  Do you receive any revenue from...

No.

The following response is from our ICT partner, LogicaCMG:

“No money is generated to LogicaCMG from the use members of the public phoning Ofsted on any of the phone lines or services provided by LogicaCMG to Ofsted. As LogicaCMG do not receive any money against calls, no reductions or additional benefits are presented to Ofsted on members of the public contacting Ofsted.”

4.  Do you contribute in anyway to the...

The 0845 numbers are provided by BT, via LogicaCMG, who deliver ICT services to Ofsted. Ofsted pays LogicaCMG for a range of ICT services. The annual fee, for a range of 0845 numbers provided to Ofsted, is £8,000 ex VAT.

The following response is from our ICT partner, LogicaCMG:

“Prior to 2006, Ofsted was contributing to the use of members of the public contacting the help line and complaints line on a per call basis against the actual usage per minute. During the last quarter of 2005, the lines were changed such that the rental charges for the 0845 numbers were increased and call charges to Ofsted for members of the public contacting the help line or complaints line was removed. Ofsted therefore contribute through a higher rental charge.”

The 0700 number is a number used by The Stationery Office to take orders for Ofsted publications. Ofsted pays an annual fee to PNC Telecom Services for this service. The annual fee, at the last invoice, was £296.10.

5.  What features/benefits do you utilise...

The following response is from our ICT partner, LogicaCMG:

“BT EIS (Enhanced Information Statistics)  reports are available on the line utilisation, providing information such as quantity of calls originated by geographical location, duration of call, call faults (such as failed calls, ineffective calls) and time of call. Analysis is therefore available to determine Call Centre staffing requirements and determination of the effectiveness of the service.”

6.  Were you aware of the potential difficulties...

The profile of people using Ofsted’s 0845 / 070 numbers is that of people providing, or wanting to provide, childcare facilities, schools making enquiries about inspections and parents seeking advice. As such, we have anticipated very few calls will be made to Ofsted from abroad and the majority of calls to Ofsted will originate from landlines.

7.  Now that you are aware of the difficulties faced...

Ofsted reviews, and will continue to review, its use of 0845 numbers.

Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
bbb_uk
Global Moderator
*****
Offline



Posts: 2,041
Re: FOI Request - Ofsted
Reply #4 - Jun 4th, 2006 at 5:44pm
 
ANNEX A

Freedom of Information -  Response to the following question:-

"Could you please obtain the call tariffs for members of the public phoning our 0845 numbers from landlines, payphones, mobile phones, and from abroad versus the cost of them phoning a geographic number (i,e. 0161 or 020) from the same places?"

"LogicaCMG has undertaken reasonable endeavours and due care to interpret and understand the enquiry and provide information in response to the Request for Information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000."

Charges from a BT landline in the UK – cost is in Pence per minute ex VAT.

     Daytime        Evening      Weekend
0845      3.00      1.00      1.00
0870      7.51      3.75      1.50
0870 09      4.95      2.49      2.00
0870 185      4.95      2.49      2.00
0870 187      4.95      2.49      2.00
0870 188      4.95      2.49      2.00
0161 – Local call      3.36      0.85      0.85
0161 – National call      6.73      3.36      1.27
020 – Local call      3.36      0.85      0.85
020 – National call      6.73      3.36      1.27

N.B.
Local and National calls will vary depending upon the provider chosen and the package of calls and services purchased from that provider. The charges above shown are BT’s undiscounted rates. These are taken from the attached website –

here.

For other packages and other offers from BT the following website will help -

here.

Charges from a BT Payphone  - Local and National calls – e.g. 0161 to 0161 or 0161 to 020 numbers – charges are inc VAT

The minimum fee is 30p (includes 10p connection charge). Local and national calls are charged at 30p for the first 15 minutes, then 10p for each 7 minutes & 30 seconds thereafter. Minimum fee 30p. Excludes Directory Enquiries, international calls, calls to premium rate numbers, calls to 0870 & 0845 numbers, calls to mobile phones or calls made via the Operator. Other exclusions may apply.  See here.

None Geographic numbers - 0845 etc from Payphone

0845 & 0870 numbers are charged at 10p for 55 seconds - subject to 30p minimum fee (includes 10p connection charge).      

Calls from outside the UK

Please refer to your local telecommunications provider

Calls from a Mobile Telephone

Please refer to you Mobile Communications provider.



Information Provided By British Telecommunications plc
Back to top
« Last Edit: Jun 4th, 2006 at 5:47pm by bbb_uk »  
 
IP Logged
 
NonGeographicalMan
Ex Member


Re: FOI Request - Ofsted
Reply #5 - Jun 8th, 2006 at 11:48pm
 
Well they haven't tried to avoid the questions and/or use deceitful get outs under the FOI not to answer but nor are we going to change their mind in the short term.  But at least they have gone to some trouble in producing their reply.

I suspect this is a perfect example of a body that would readily move to an 03 number when available either voluntarily or if the cretins at Ofcom ever force BT to add compulsory call price announcements to all calls not charged at standard geographic rates! Roll Eyes Angry

The scandal has always been that OFTEL then Ofcom never insisted at the outset on there being a class of numbers with NGN call rerouting facilities charged at geographic rates.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
(Moderators: Forum Admin, Dave, bbb_uk, CJT-80, DaveM)

Website and Content © 1999-2019 SAYNOTO0870.COM. All Rights Reserved.
Written permission is required to duplicate any of the content within this site.

WARNING: This is an open forum, posts are NOT endorsed by SAYNOTO0870.COM,
please exercise due caution when acting on any info from here.


SAYNOTO0870.COM » Powered by YaBB 2.5.2!
YaBB Forum Software © 2000-2019. All Rights Reserved.


Valid RSS Valid XHTML Valid CSS Powered by Perl Source Forge