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Richmond Council (Read 16,005 times)
Jimmy S
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Richmond Council
Oct 24th, 2006 at 6:51am
 
I have just got back from the US where all customer service numbers are free - i.e. 1 800 numbers. Why do we have to deal with these type of rip offs in the UK? Imagine my disgust to discover upon my return that my local councils council tax payment by phone number is an 0870 number. It is a disgrace that a local council should profit from its tax paying residents, all of whom are in the local call catchment area, in this way. I believe this type of profiteering is actually harmful to our society breeding resentment, anger and disillusion.
Does anyone know of any active campaigns to join? I understand Labour MP Tom Watson has taken up the anti 0870 cause.
Jimmy
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bbb_uk
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Re: Richmond Council
Reply #1 - Oct 24th, 2006 at 10:29am
 
Welcome.

I've removed your post in the Geographical section as you had posted here as well.

The most effective method appears to be MP's and EU law, etc and there are a few threads in this section which may help.

BobbyBoy here started a thread which may help you join the campaign.

Richmond upon Thames Council have a geographical number according to their Contact Us page on their website.

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« Last Edit: Oct 24th, 2006 at 10:32am by bbb_uk »  
 
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acezing
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Re: Richmond Council
Reply #2 - Oct 24th, 2006 at 11:17am
 
Clearly gives 020 8891 7724 on their site and it works. Wink
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Heinz
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Re: Richmond Council
Reply #3 - Oct 24th, 2006 at 2:38pm
 
Jimmy S wrote on Oct 24th, 2006 at 6:51am:
It is a disgrace that a local council should profit from its tax paying residents, all of whom are in the local call catchment area, in this way.

Local call catchment area?  What's that then?

Residential customers have not had such a thing since 1st July 2004 - when BT forced everyone to move onto one of the BT Together packages (most went onto BT Together Option 1) and made calls to all 01 or 02 numbers the same price (3p/minute weekdays and 5.5p for up to an hour evenings and weekends) regardless of where in the UK you are calling from.
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« Last Edit: Oct 24th, 2006 at 2:39pm 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
WWW  
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pw4
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Re: Richmond Council
Reply #4 - Oct 24th, 2006 at 3:59pm
 
Heinz wrote on Oct 24th, 2006 at 2:38pm:
Residential customers have not had such a thing since 1st July 2004 -

apart from customers on the Light User Scheme, and those still on BT Together Local Calls Option and BT Working Together, all of whom still pay less for local calls than for national ones.
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Dave
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Richmond Council - Taken in by Opal Telecom (CPW)
Reply #5 - Oct 25th, 2006 at 12:28pm
 
bbb_uk wrote on Oct 24th, 2006 at 10:29am:
Richmond upon Thames Council have a geographical number according to their Contact Us page on their website.

That's what I thought until I clicked the Council Tax link and then the link to pay your council tax.

Quote:
Paying over the telephone

You can pay using a debit or credit card by phoning our dedicated line for payments on 0870 389 1389 (national call rate). As this is an automated line, this service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will be asked to input your council tax account number, which is shown on the front of your bill.

So they are either complete liars or clueless about telecoms matters.  Roll Eyes

The prefix 0870 389 is allocated to Opal Telecom, a part of the Carphone Warehouse Group. The change date on this number is 09/2006, so probably a new number range.

I think that this page tells the story really. It can be found be clicking on this graphic on Opal's website:
...

The above graphic cycles through the different numbers as follows:
  • 0800 Calls free to your customers
  • 0845 Appear local to everyone
  • 0870 National number - no location
  • 0871 National number - with earning potential
  • 090 Premium rate number

Jimmy S, perhaps you can contact the local press about this. Other examples of media reports can be found on here. Doctor's surgeries are prime examples of these such press reports, along with the infamous and quite sick exploitation of the victims and their relatives of the London transport bombings.
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« Last Edit: Oct 25th, 2006 at 1:05pm by Dave »  
 
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Jimmy S
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Re: Richmond Council
Reply #6 - Oct 26th, 2006 at 12:26pm
 
Thanks Dave - I've already written to my three local ward councillors and my MP. Be interesting to see what their position is.
Jimmy
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Keith
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Re: Richmond Council
Reply #7 - Oct 26th, 2006 at 3:36pm
 
You might like contacting Dee Doocey, local London Assembly member. It was her I contacted when I joined this site after the disgrace of the use of 0870 numbers during the London Bombings. She followed it up with the Police (she is/was on the Met Police Authority).

She might rattle some cages with local Lib Dem councillors.
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bbb_uk
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Re: Richmond Council - Taken in by Opal Telecom (C
Reply #8 - Oct 26th, 2006 at 7:44pm
 
Dave wrote on Oct 25th, 2006 at 12:28pm:
bbb_uk wrote on Oct 24th, 2006 at 10:29am:
Richmond upon Thames Council have a geographical number according to their Contact Us page on their website.

That's what I thought until I clicked the Council Tax link and then the link to pay your council tax...
Thanks for spotting that, I never saw that.

Jimmy - you may want to consider doing an FOI and asking the council for the underlying geographical number and the reasons for implementing the number, whether they get money back in return (I doubt that though going by the link by Dave).  Also point out that National rate no longer exists.

If I thought the council were getting money from it then I'd do an FOI but I think they've simply been duped into getting it thinking it costs the same as a national rate call.
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Dave
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Re: Richmond Council - Taken in by Opal Telecom (C
Reply #9 - Oct 27th, 2006 at 2:03pm
 
bbb_uk wrote on Oct 26th, 2006 at 7:44pm:
Jimmy - you may want to consider doing an FOI [...] point out that National rate no longer exists.

I think that people are believing that by saying that local and national rate are the same, that 0870 will also have fallen. The point (that I feel that you have to make) is that calling London to Glasgow, for example, is cheaper than calling 0870.

The rate we pay for 0870 now is, roughly speaking, likeable to the old BT national rate. The vast majority of providers charge round about the same, and usually no less than BT. Why is it acceptable for this public sector organisation to cling to this pre-competition rate?
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« Last Edit: Oct 27th, 2006 at 2:05pm by Dave »  
 
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mikeinnc
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Ofcom - quis custodiet
ipsos custodes?

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Re: Richmond Council
Reply #10 - Oct 27th, 2006 at 7:50pm
 
Quote:
Why is it acceptable for this public sector organisation to cling to this pre-competition rate?


Public Sector and Competition in the same sentence? Doesn't that define an oxymoron?  Grin
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NGMsGhost
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Re: Richmond Council
Reply #11 - Oct 28th, 2006 at 12:18am
 
Jimmy S wrote on Oct 24th, 2006 at 6:51am:
Does anyone know of any active campaigns to join? I understand Labour MP Tom Watson has taken up the anti 0870 cause.


Quite a few backbench MPs from have been active in asking Parliamentary questions over which government departments are using 084 and 087 numbers and over 50 signed the Parliamentary Early Day Motion condemning government department use of 0870 numbers.  This can be found at:-

http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=28872%09%09%09%09%09%09%09&...

Known Parliamentary very active parliamentary opponents of 084/7 numbers include:-

Lord Tyler (formerly Paul Tyler the Lib Dem MP until the General Election)
Vince Cable MP
John Randall MP
Andrew Rosindell MP
Peter Bottomley MP
Anne Milton MP

This thread started by idb on the Parliamentary questions asked by Paul Tyler, Vince Cable, Andrew Rosindell and Anne Milton makes for interesting reading:-

www.saynoto0870.com/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1130983483/0

You have to realise though that there is a hidden New Labour agenda of stealth taxes behind the whole massive introduction of 084/7 numbers by government agencies like the DVLA, Passport Agency, Job Centres, Inland Revenue etc, etc and of course by the BBC.

Also those who run some of the largest 0870 call centre operations have been important financial contributors to New Labour coffers on the donations front and at least one of them has received a peerage.

Ofcom the telecoms regulatory body which is supposed to stamp out this scam and its predecessor OFTEL has been involved in an elaborate and prolonged scheme of avoidance of closing down these scam numbers (by endlessly consulting and then consulting again and then ignoring the responses to the consultations from the public it didn't like) despite public disquiet expressed over many years.  This seems to be because it has been heavily infiltrated by former senior communciations industry employees like Stephen Carter formerly of NTL and/or New Labour Cronies like Ed Richards, its new CEO.

See www.newlabourscandals.co.uk/bodies.htm and the section on Ofcom.
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« Last Edit: Oct 28th, 2006 at 12:20am by NGMsGhost »  

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Dave
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Re: Richmond Council
Reply #12 - Jul 15th, 2010 at 2:36pm
 
Source: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Council

http://www.richmond.gov.uk/home/council_government_and_democracy/democratic_proc...

Fulwell and Hampton Hill, Area Consultation Meetings
Wednesday, 2 December 2009 7:30 pm

Council Telephone Number

A member of the public enquired about the Council's main telephone number (08456 122660). The meeting was informed that this was a local rate number which had been introduced to make the Council's Customer Services more efficient.

[The Council's Customer Services Manager has subsequently supplied the following information: We use an 0845 number (a non-geographic number) so that our inbound callers pay similar to a local rate call charge from anywhere in the UK when dialling this number. We do not make money directly from this number. Calls to an 0845 number from a standard BT landline line will normally cost the caller (including VAT): 3.9p (Daytime); 1p (Evening and Weekends). Some BT packages include free calling to 0845 numbers. ]


Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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