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BBC (Read 8,223 times)
Victors_Bruvver
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BBC
Jun 29th, 2006 at 6:04pm
 
I asked the BBC the following question;

You must not keep confusing the public on the true cost of using a 0870 number to contact the BBC regarding a programme or an issue.

This morning I was looking for some information on the BBC Breakfast website (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/breakfast/4242941.stm) and whilst I could not find it, I was informed of the following;
“If you can't find what you want here, try our phone line: 08707 87 87 87. It's open from 7am to midnight every day. Calls are charged at the normal national rate.”


I do find this an ambiguous statement to make. There is really no normal national or local rate any more and the cost of a telephone call now depends on the provider and the time of day. In fact you not only confuse the public but yourselves as I notice on the webpage I am completing to make this complaint you make the following statement;



“If you prefer, call us direct on 08700 100 222* to make your complaint. Otherwise please choose which option best describes the service you wish to complain about:
*calls from a BT line cost up to 8p per minute (some operators and mobiles vary) and may be recorded for training”


Please refer to Watchdog programme makers, they realised that by using a 0870 number to contact them was not in the public interest because of its cost and have now reverted to a “normal” geographic code.

This is their reply;

I understand that you object to the BBC's use of 0870 numbers and I appreciate that you claim the BBC presents misleading information to its audience about the cost of the calls.

You may be interested to know that the BBC gave considerable thought to the appropriate use of national rate numbers about five years ago and decided that callers to the BBC should pay the same costs regardless of where they were calling from, and those costs, typically should be no more than the price of a stamp.

There is another operational benefit of using 0870 numbers. Along with other non-geographic numbers' such as 0800, 0845 etc it is possible to better route these calls and report statistics. To better serve the BBC audience we have several contact centres handling telephone calls, e-mails and letters. These contact centres operate as one 'virtual' service and depend on the use of 0870 and other 'intelligent network numbers' to provide the best customer service.

Call charges are a matter for the network operators and the regulator but the BBC use of 0870 numbers is the result of careful policy and operational considerations.

Nevertheless, I do acknowledge your concerns and can assure you that your comments on this matter will be fully registered and made available to senior management within the BBC. Feedback of this nature helps us when making decisions about future BBC services and your views will most certainly play a part in this process.

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Barbara
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Re: BBC
Reply #1 - Jun 30th, 2006 at 2:19pm
 
Hmm, this seems very similar to the reply I received recently to a similar complaint.   Also, I find it most objectionable that an organisation such as the BBC has staff with such a poor standard of English grammar that they split infinitives throughout the response - once can be a typo, more is ignorance!  The truth is they they do not care about customer response and probably find 0870 is a way of discouraging the public from complaining while fleecing those who do not understand the cost implications of 0870.
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Star2000
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Re: BBC
Reply #2 - Jun 30th, 2006 at 7:34pm
 
I wrote to the BBC asking why they used an 0870 for their unpaid contributors to their road reports, pointing out that as they were reliant on people on the road phoning in from their mobiles with updates on traffic buildups, accidents etc, it seemed  unreasonable to make them pay the BBC for the privilege!
I got the usual all-purpose stock reply about the need for non-geographical numbers, but, of course, no answers to why they used 0870 ratherthan 0800!
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Tanllan
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Re: BBC
Reply #3 - Jun 30th, 2006 at 10:52pm
 
Star2000 wrote on Jun 30th, 2006 at 7:34pm:
I got the usual all-purpose stock reply about the need for non-geographical numbers, but, of course, no answers to why they used 0870 ratherthan 0800!
And, of course all (is this right?) mobiles charge for 080x. Freefone in the UK? - F***fone  Angry
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Dave
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Re: BBC
Reply #4 - Jul 1st, 2006 at 7:48am
 
Star2000 wrote on Jun 30th, 2006 at 7:34pm:
...I got the usual all-purpose stock reply about the need for non-geographical numbers, but, of course, no answers to why they used 0870 ratherthan 0800!

This must be a service that I have missed? Exactly how many people call in and how many operators are there across the country? Why could a number for reporting travel problems not be set up on a geographical number? If there is than more than one person taking calls, then a hunt group could be setup. Is this too hi-tech for the Auntie?  Roll Eyes
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Star2000
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Re: BBC
Reply #5 - Jul 1st, 2006 at 8:42am
 
I should have mentioned that the BBC proramme I referred to is Radio 5 Live's traffic summary every hour, which relies entirely on occasional unpaid contributions from someone who sees a traffic jam.    They read out such mesages as "Fred from Doncaster has phoned in to say there is an over-turned lorry on the A! causing an hour-long tailback at junction 6".    What Fred probably does not know is that his helpful (0870) call to the BBC is making them money and he is paying through the nose for the call.
As previously mentioned when I asked why such calls are 0870 rather than 0800, the BBC ducked the question with the standard waffle about the need for non.geographical calls,
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japitts
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Re: BBC
Reply #6 - Jul 7th, 2006 at 7:30pm
 
Quote:
And, of course all (is this right?) mobiles charge for 080x. Freefone in the UK? - F***fone  Angry


It's almost true, but not completely. Anyone on Orange who got the "Free 0800" bundle applied last November when charging for these numbers was brought in, has free 0800 calls until a year after the bundle was applied - so they've got a few months to go yet. Business users still get them free too, I believe.
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Tanllan
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Re: BBC
Reply #7 - Jul 7th, 2006 at 9:59pm
 
japitts wrote on Jul 7th, 2006 at 7:30pm:
Business users still get them free too, I believe.
Ah? I am just about to move from Orange Business (I joined when they opened - at the launch with Hans Snook) to
easymobile
(that is not
orange
) so just time to check.
I will report back.
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japitts
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Re: BBC
Reply #8 - Jul 30th, 2006 at 11:30am
 
I wanted to make sure this was documented somewhere online before posting, but - indeed, Orange business customers and staff continue to get free 0800 voice calls:

http://makeashorterlink.com/?G1E443C7D
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