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The Wright Stuff & Channel 5 (their 0871 number) (Read 22,157 times)
bbb_uk
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The Wright Stuff & Channel 5 (their 0871 number)
Oct 18th, 2006 at 10:52pm
 
Shortly following all the press activity into this site and these numbers, I decided to email The Wright Show (that use an 0871 number) and Channel 5 (only because its broadcast on Channel 5).

This is what I put in my email:-

Quote:
Dear Matthew or whomever else it concerns,

I have also copied Channel5 and would therefore appreciate a response from Channel5 on this issue as well.

There has been a lot of coverage today about the money companies/government departments/organisations, etc make when using numbers beginning 0844, 0845, 0870 and 0871.

Up until now I wasn't aware of how expensive these numbers were and how anyone using them can earn money in return even on the lower 0845 tariffs which cost a maximum of 4p/min from a BT landline and I especially wasn't aware that government departments are making money as well by using these numbers.

I noticed you have been using 0871 numbers which cost from a BT landline 10p/min at all time.  Calls from other providers can cost more and in some cases upto 40p/min from a mobile.

I am outraged at how such a good programme like yourselves would stoop as low as this and use a number costing at least 10p/min for your phone-in.  An 0871 number appears to be the highest cost possible with the exception of 09x numbers and I'm concerned at how you (and Channel 5) would even consider using such an expensive number which can only be described as a premium rate because it costs more than a normal geographical (those beginning 01 or 02) number.

If my memory serves me correct, you were using normal geographical numbers before this but made the decision to move to more expensive 0871 numbers that actually earn you revenue.

I would be grateful if you could explain the reasons why you chose the most expensive number to ring (except for 09x numbers) for us audiences to ring you?  However, I suspect (and it is looking this way) that you specifically chose this 0871 number to earn you more revenue as there are many other cheaper numbers you could have used and in fact no reason why you couldn't stick with your old normal number that was a lot cheaper.

The newspaper/TV coverage referred to above is in the following papers and some others:-

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=4086...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2389087,00.html

And it was also mentioned in a BBC video as well here:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/nolavconsole/ukfs_news/hi?redirect=st.s...

Again thanks for your time and I appreciate a response which would hopefully clarify the reasons for choosing such an expensive number and possibly maybe even you thinking about withdrawing that number for another less expensive number like a geographical (those beginning 01 or 02) number.

I would appreciate your response to this as well as Channel 5's


I received the following response from Channel 5 to this email (received nothing from The Wright Show):-

Quote:
Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding The Wright Stuff and please allow us to apologise for the delay in responding.

We were sorry to read that you believe the viewers call in number is too expensive. Five uses a premium rate number for several reasons. We have summarized them below.

The premium rate telephone network can handle a large number of simultaneous calls, ensuring that calls are more likely to be answered. This helps avoid disappointment for Five viewers.

Premium rate calls are diverted off the ordinary telephone network so they cannot disrupt emergency service (999) calls – even when there are high numbers of calls being made. This is essential to protect the public.

Premium rate calls cost the same to all callers regardless of where they have dialled from so Five is avoiding any regional discrimination that would be inherent by using, say, a London telephone number.

Callers stand an equal chance of their call getting through regardless of where they have dialled from. This is not true of all types of telephone numbers but it is for premium numbers.

All telephone subscribers can call-bar premium rate services at no charge by contacting the company which provides their telephone service. This service is a basic consumer right enforced by Ofcom.


When the programme first went on air we did use an 0207 number, but as previously stated, this could have caused problems for viewers calling from outside London.

If there is anything further we can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for your interest in Five.


~ Edited by Dave: Thread title amended
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« Last Edit: Apr 16th, 2007 at 2:18pm by Dave »  
 
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bbb_uk
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Re: The Wright Show & Channel 5 (their 0871 number
Reply #1 - Oct 18th, 2006 at 10:54pm
 
Below is my response to Channel 5's inaccurate email trying to explain their use of an 0871 number:

Quote:
To whomever else it concerns,

Thank you for your email and sorry about the delay in replying.

Can I point out that I work in a telecom industry and some of your answers are incorrect and I would like an explanation before I send this to newspapers, etc that recently highlighted the fact that 0870/0871 numbers mean you receive revenue from the call (links in my original email - see bottom of this email).

I noticed despite emailing The Wright Stuff as well, they've not bothered to reply to my email which I believe just highlights the fact that The Wright Stuff have chosen such a high cost number purely to earn revenue at the expense of your callers for which I will inform newspapers and the BBC.

I will address each point you made in turn and respond accordingly and point out that this was in fact an incorrect reply:-

"The premium rate telephone network can handle a large number of simultaneous calls, ensuring that calls are more likely to be answered. This helps avoid disappointment for Five viewers."

This is true but cheaper alternative numbers like 0845 or the new number range 03x (when launched by Ofcom) can do exactly the same job as your expensive 0871 number The Wright Stuff uses now except of course you earn a lot of money from your 0871 number.

"Premium rate calls are diverted off the ordinary telephone network so they cannot disrupt emergency service (999) calls – even when there are high numbers of calls being made. This is essential to protect the public."

This is incorrect.  All numbers to 0844, 0845, 0870, 0871 are routed to ordinary geographical numbers beginning 01 or 02.  I would like to ask where you get your information that 0871 numbers are diverted off the ordinary telephone network (known as POTS - Plain Old Telephone System).

"Premium rate calls cost the same to all callers regardless of where they have dialled from so Five is avoiding any regional discrimination that would be inherent by using, say, a London telephone number."

This is also incorrect.  Calls to these numbers vary in cost from 10p/min to upto 40p/min from some mobile networks.  Also I would like to point out that there is no longer any regional discrimination as BT and all other telephone providers charge the same price whether you are calling around the corner or the other side of the UK (ie London to Scotland) and have done for nearly 2 years now.

"Callers stand an equal chance of their call getting through regardless of where they have dialled from. This is not true of all types of telephone numbers but it is for premium numbers."

This is also incorrect.  It makes no difference where a viewer maybe calling from as all calls get routed to the same destination (eg The Wright Studio, etc).  This applies no matter what type of number you use.

"All telephone subscribers can call-bar premium rate services at no charge by contacting the company which provides their telephone service. This service is a basic consumer right enforced by Ofcom."

This is also incorrect.  Only 09x numbers can be barred from use under ICSTIS guidelines.

"When the programme first went on air we did use an 0207 number, but as previously stated, this could have caused problems for viewers calling from outside London."

This wasn't true at the time nor is it true now.  Over 2 years ago then visitors calling from outside London may have paid a few pence more than those calling from within London but this no longer applies as from about 2 years ago nearly.  Even if it did still apply, calls to 0207 would still be cheaper than your 0871 number.

Although I knew this I also checked with my manager, an IT & Telephony Manager, and also Ofcom who were surprised at what you had actually put.

I look forward to your reply.



bbb_uk
A disgruntled viewer who is expected to pay over 10p/min to call your 0871 number and you don't even have the decency to display on screen how much (minimum) the call is costing us viewers.


I told a few little fibs but I had to make sure they were taking my response seriously!

Now only to this email, did The Wright Show decide to comment and all that they put was:-

Quote:
The cost of calls is clearly highlighted by Korin as the number is read out on air everyday.


That's it so far!
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« Last Edit: Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:04pm by bbb_uk »  
 
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Justin
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Re: The Wright Show & Channel 5 (their 0871 number
Reply #2 - Oct 22nd, 2006 at 5:18pm
 
Please keep us updated thanks
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Why not visit www.thatfreebie.com Smiley and enjoy freebies Smiley
 
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Re: The Wright Show & Channel 5 (their 0871 number
Reply #3 - Oct 22nd, 2006 at 7:41pm
 
Justin wrote on Oct 22nd, 2006 at 5:18pm:
Please keep us updated thanks
To be honest, I don't expect another reply as Channel 5 would have to admit that they told me lies which doesn't look good for them.

I suspect, though, that the lies I was told are also told to everyone else who may complain about these type of numbers (inc 09x).
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Re: The Wright Show & Channel 5 (their 0871 number
Reply #4 - Oct 30th, 2006 at 1:13pm
 
Just had a reply as follows:-

Quote:
Thank you for your further enquiry regarding The Wright Stuff and please allow us to apologise for the delay in responding.

Unfortunately, some of the statements we made in our response of 11th October relate to premium rate telephone numbers.  As you know, 0871 (NTS) services are not currently classified as premium rate.  In addition, some of the information we have appears to be out of date.  We are grateful to you for bringing these matters to our attention and for giving us a further opportunity to clarify our position.

The Wright Stuff does contain a statement that calls to the 0871 number are charged at 10 pence per minute, and that calls from mobiles and some networks may cost more than this.  This price includes VAT.  The revenue earned from the 0871 number is used to contribute to the cost of running the service allowing viewers' comments to be included in the programme.

As you may know, ICSTIS has recently pre-consulted on whether 0871 numbers should be classed, and therefore regulated, as premium rate services.  The consultation closed on 29th September 2006.  You can read the responses ICSTIS received at http://www.icstis.org.uk/service_providers/responsestoconsultations/0871.asp&nbs...; We shall review our use of the number once the result of their consultation is published.

We are sorry you are unhappy with the charge to call The Wright Stuff.  You are; of course, welcome to e-mail the programme for free.  The address is wrightstuff@five.tv
You can see they took the trouble of double-checking this time which probably explains the delay.
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Re: The Wright Show & Channel 5 (their 0871 number
Reply #5 - Nov 2nd, 2006 at 12:18pm
 
ShockedHello
I wrote an email to the Wright stuff about their article on this very site. It had apparently been in the papers recently (before their article) too.
I made a point of saying to them that I hoped their 'article' didn't get the telephone providers and others who are making a lot of cash out of poor JoePublic to come into this site and mess it up/close it down by hacking or whatever it is they do to ruin people these days!
I made the point that I am stuck with Talktalk and whilst my landline calls are free, the 087/084  numbers are premium rate and expensive and that this saynoto0870 site has been a godsend to me and lots of other people out there online who are in the same situation  Angryand are sick and fed up of being overcharged by greedy phone providers.

You are lucky, bb, I didn't even get a response from them. Smiley

Mind you, I also wrote them by email on here (this site) and thanked them for all the numbers they'd helped me with , and said I hoped and prayed that the 'articles' on them, didn't turn out to be their downfall...as obviously there are going to be some out there who'd like to see this site finished with. Lets all pray they never succeed in closing it down! The greedy so-and-so's!!

I have to admit that I had no idea that the companies using the 084/7 numbers actually made revenue from it, and they say you learn something new every day... Thanx for my 'learning subject' for today!!!
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Re: The Wright Show & Channel 5 (their 0871 number
Reply #6 - Nov 2nd, 2006 at 10:27pm
 
sleepyangel wrote on Nov 2nd, 2006 at 12:18pm:
You are lucky, bb, I didn't even get a response from them. Smiley
The response I got was from Channel 5.  The only response I got from The Wright Show was that they do state the cost of the call but this was only after my second email did I get this response.

The fact of the matter is they do receive revenue from the number but don't want to make a big fuss from it as they may be forced to migrate to another number then and suffer the loss of the revenue.

The best way to get to these companies is to complain and for this reason I wrote a draft letter/email you can send to the companies.  More info here.

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Re: The Wright Show & Channel 5 (their 0871 number
Reply #7 - Nov 14th, 2006 at 10:03am
 
They're devious with the way they present the number on screen (without any graphic showing the call cost) too.

They use the 08712 442 555 format (thus partly 'obscuring' the fact that it's an 0871 number) instead of the
0871 244 2555 format (0871 two double four, two treble five) which would be far more memorable.
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« Last Edit: Nov 14th, 2006 at 10:04am by Heinz »  

After years of ignoring govt. guidelines & RIPPING OFF Council Tax payers using 0845 numbers, Essex County Council changed to 0345 numbers on 2 November 2015
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Re: The Wright Show & Channel 5 (their 0871 number
Reply #8 - Nov 14th, 2006 at 4:52pm
 
Heinz wrote on Nov 14th, 2006 at 10:03am:
They use the 08712 442 555 format (thus partly 'obscuring' the fact that it's an 0871 number) instead of the
0871 244 2555 format (0871 two double four, two treble five) which would be far more memorable.
I agree that would be far more memorable.  How often do they say the cost is 10p/min?  Is it everytime they read the number out or on odd occasions when reading the number out?
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Re: The Wright Show & Channel 5 (their 0871 number
Reply #9 - Nov 14th, 2006 at 5:02pm
 
bbb_uk wrote on Nov 14th, 2006 at 4:52pm:
I agree that would be far more memorable.  How often do they say the cost is 10p/min?  Is it everytime they read the number out or on odd occasions when reading the number out?

Hey, you don't think I actually listened to it do you?

I just surfed past and, remembering this thread, watched (sound off) the number appear on screen.
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After years of ignoring govt. guidelines & RIPPING OFF Council Tax payers using 0845 numbers, Essex County Council changed to 0345 numbers on 2 November 2015
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Re: The Wright Show & Channel 5 (their 0871 number
Reply #10 - Nov 15th, 2006 at 11:48am
 
Heinz wrote on Nov 14th, 2006 at 5:02pm:
Hey, you don't think I actually listened to it do you?

I just surfed past and, remembering this thread, watched (sound off) the number appear on screen.
That's something similar to what I did when just channel surfing, I noticed the number ages ago that it was 0871.  I dont watch the show so I didn't know they stated the call costs.   Smiley
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Re: The Wright Show & Channel 5 (their 0871 number
Reply #11 - Mar 15th, 2007 at 11:04am
 
Surprise,  Surprise !!!   No it's no not Cilla,  but The Wright Stuff are now using an 020 number

02071735555  Wonder why the change from 0871?
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Re: The Wright Show & Channel 5 (their 0871 number
Reply #12 - Mar 15th, 2007 at 2:57pm
 
I do not watch the show regularly but it is often on at work when I am on break and I did notice the return to the 0207 number. With regard to the format 0871 number some time ago I complained to Ofcom as in my opinion it was being projected as 08712 to make it seem like a normal geographic number. As stated the 0871 format would be easier to remember. However Ofcon stated that the public were now fully aware of the costs involved in dialling the 08 number range and did not feel that this was in any way trying to hide the true cost of dialling 0871. I asked if they would take action to ensure the codes are show separtely from the remainder of the number but I was told they did not feel there was a need to take this action!! Once again Ofcom(n) is truely on the side of the consumer.
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Re: The Wright Show & Channel 5 (their 0871 number
Reply #13 - Mar 16th, 2007 at 8:07am
 
I'm staggered by that statement. On the contrary most of the public think 0845 numbers are cheap (local!!!) or as Yellow Pages would say 'Low' and that 0870 is National i.e. same cost as a call to a non-local (sic) geographic number. They have no idea of the real cost

On what basis do they think that the public understand the actual cost when publications regualrly and incorrectly use the words local, low, national etc and when one complains you are usually told 'but it only costs the same as a local call'

Sigh!
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Reply #14 - Apr 16th, 2007 at 10:08am
 
Whilst watching "The Wright Stuff" a few minutes ago, I noticed that the phone number of 0207 173 5555 will be charged at 10p/minute - isn't there someting odd about that? Huh
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