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Direct Travel Insurance Services (Read 5,173 times)
BenDToy
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Direct Travel Insurance Services
Nov 13th, 2006 at 9:02am
 
Recently I received an invitation to renew my travel insurance policy with this company. This renewal invitation now shows only 0845 contact numbers, including the claims line. The accompanying document says the following "We have introduced an 0845 local call charge number to help reduce your call charges".
I subsequently emailed them and pointed out the appropriate facts, and advised them that I would not be calling their number to renew my policy. Almost immediately I received a reply, listing the geographical number (which I already know of course, and also is listed on this site) and promising to forward my complaint to the relevant department.
Since then I have received another email from them, also quoting the geographical number and assuring me that they have "requested a report from their systems consultant" to help investigate my complaint, and promising to contact me with the information.
In case it helps anyone at all, the text of my email to them is given below.
Any constructive criticism will be gratefully accepted.
Also, in order to support one part of my argument, I would be interested if anyone could confirm that there are some countries from which it is not possible to call a UK 0845 number.

Sirs,

I received your recent mailing inviting me to renew my annual travel policy. I have been a customer of direct travel for many years now, and I had planned to continue to be so.

However I have only just noticed from the enclosed leaflet you have an 0845 telephone number, and are offering no geographical alternative. I quote " We have introduced an 0845 local call charge number to help reduce your call charges".

This statement is blatantly untrue for so many reasons that I almost despair. You are playing on the ignorance of the majority of the population to covertly boost your income, and that of the companies who conspire to peddle the myth of non-geographical numbers (NGNs). I suspect that perhaps you may be an innocent perticipant who has been misled by the telephone service providers.

I would like to draw your attention to the following facts;
- For the vast majority (at least 99.9%) of UK subscribers, there is no such thing as a "local call charges". All calls to UK landlines (01 and 02 numbers) from another UK landline cost exactly the same, except for people on for example the BT light user tariff, of which there are very few.
- For many people on inclusive call packages, calls to UK landlines are free. Calls to 0845 numbers are always charged on a per minute basis.
- For the vast majority of people, evening and weekend calls to UK landlines cost a maximum of about 5.5p for up to an hour. As above, calls to 0845 numbers are always charged per minute, so for anyone calling you, say early evening, a 15 minute call would cost approximately three times the cost of calling a UK landline, regardless of location.
- I can call the US for about the same price as your so called "local call charge".
- Revenue sharing is a standard feature of most 0845 deals, and the only people who benefit from their use are the receiving party and the telecoms companies. The caller is no better off except in a very, very small minority of cases.

In addition I believe that in some countries of the world it is not possible to call UK 0845 telephone numbers. Given that you are a travel insurance company I consider this move to be downright irresponsible and totally unacceptable.

If you do genuinely believe that it is better for the caller, then why do you not offer a geoographical number as an alternative, so they can make up their own minds?

In light if the above, I urge you to re-consider this change, and to at least offer a landline number for people to call.

I consider that you are effectively forcing people to covertly contribute to your profits by calling you on a disguised premium rate number which will cost the vast majority of them significantly more than similar call to a UK landline by misleading them (some may say lying to them) into believing that it is cheaper for them. there is absolutely no benefit to the caller, and significant benefits to yourselves.

In conclusion, I will not be phoning you to renew my policy, unless you provide me with a gegraphical (01 or 02) telephone number to contact you on.

I also look forward to your early comments regarding the above, and please include an answer to the basic question "what are the benefits to the caller?"
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« Last Edit: Nov 13th, 2006 at 9:09am by BenDToy »  
 
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AJR
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Re: Direct Travel Insurance Services
Reply #1 - Nov 13th, 2006 at 2:21pm
 
Thanks for pointing this out. I use them too and I will be sending them an email on this topic.
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farci
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Re: Direct Travel Insurance Services
Reply #2 - Nov 13th, 2006 at 3:30pm
 
BenDToy wrote on Nov 13th, 2006 at 9:02am:
Recently I received an invitation to renew my travel insurance policy with this company. This renewal invitation now shows only 0845 contact numbers, including the claims line. The accompanying document says the following "We have introduced an 0845 local call charge number to help reduce your call charges".
I subsequently emailed them and pointed out the appropriate facts, and advised them that I would not be calling their number to renew my policy. Almost immediately I received a reply, listing the geographical number (which I already know of course, and also is listed on this site) and promising to forward my complaint to the relevant department.
Since then I have received another email from them, also quoting the geographical number and assuring me that they have "requested a report from their systems consultant" to help investigate my complaint, and promising to contact me with the information.
In case it helps anyone at all, the text of my email to them is given below.
Any constructive criticism will be gratefully accepted.
Also, in order to support one part of my argument, I would be interested if anyone could confirm that there are some countries from which it is not possible to call a UK 0845 number.

Sirs,

I received your recent mailing inviting me to renew my annual travel policy. I have been a customer of direct travel for many years now, and I had planned to continue to be so.

However I have only just noticed from the enclosed leaflet you have an 0845 telephone number, and are offering no geographical alternative. I quote " We have introduced an 0845 local call charge number to help reduce your call charges".

This statement is blatantly untrue for so many reasons that I almost despair. You are playing on the ignorance of the majority of the population to covertly boost your income, and that of the companies who conspire to peddle the myth of non-geographical numbers (NGNs). I suspect that perhaps you may be an innocent perticipant who has been misled by the telephone service providers.

I would like to draw your attention to the following facts;
- For the vast majority (at least 99.9%) of UK subscribers, there is no such thing as a "local call charges". All calls to UK landlines (01 and 02 numbers) from another UK landline cost exactly the same, except for people on for example the BT light user tariff, of which there are very few.
- For many people on inclusive call packages, calls to UK landlines are free. Calls to 0845 numbers are always charged on a per minute basis.
- For the vast majority of people, evening and weekend calls to UK landlines cost a maximum of about 5.5p for up to an hour. As above, calls to 0845 numbers are always charged per minute, so for anyone calling you, say early evening, a 15 minute call would cost approximately three times the cost of calling a UK landline, regardless of location.
- I can call the US for about the same price as your so called "local call charge".
- Revenue sharing is a standard feature of most 0845 deals, and the only people who benefit from their use are the receiving party and the telecoms companies. The caller is no better off except in a very, very small minority of cases.

In addition I believe that in some countries of the world it is not possible to call UK 0845 telephone numbers. Given that you are a travel insurance company I consider this move to be downright irresponsible and totally unacceptable.

If you do genuinely believe that it is better for the caller, then why do you not offer a geoographical number as an alternative, so they can make up their own minds?

In light if the above, I urge you to re-consider this change, and to at least offer a landline number for people to call.

I consider that you are effectively forcing people to covertly contribute to your profits by calling you on a disguised premium rate number which will cost the vast majority of them significantly more than similar call to a UK landline by misleading them (some may say lying to them) into believing that it is cheaper for them. there is absolutely no benefit to the caller, and significant benefits to yourselves.

In conclusion, I will not be phoning you to renew my policy, unless you provide me with a gegraphical (01 or 02) telephone number to contact you on.

I also look forward to your early comments regarding the above, and please include an answer to the basic question "what are the benefits to the caller?"


I also wrote along these lines 12 months ago but nothing has changed. They belong to AXA so it's probably decided at a corporate level. I will be interested to see what happens.

Still - their prices are very good for annual policies! Wink
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