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Three Valleys Water still say that 0845 is local (Read 8,612 times)
Alternative
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Three Valleys Water still say that 0845 is local
Dec 22nd, 2006 at 2:58am
 
Just got my bill and noticed at the top that they still say that their 0845 is 'local rate'!  I've just sent the following e-mail to their customer service department and would be interested to know how they'll respond:-


Also, I note you display an 0845 number at the top of my bill, with a note that the call is charged at 'local rate'  It costs me 5p per minte to ring this number and three times as much from an o2 mobile.  I have a fixed rate calling plan as do many many people now for all calls regadless of distance around the country - the distinction between 'National Rate' and 'Local Rate' doesn't exist anymore and hasn't for a longtime.  If you used a conventional 01707 number for me to ring, the call would be free, but since you use an 0845 it costs me 5 per a minute and as much as 15p per minute from my o2 mobile.  These non-geographical 0845 numbers are specifically disallowed on fixed rate calling plans with BT and NTL telewest and others, neither are they allowed against one's allocation of free minutes on one's mobile phone 

Can you therefore explain why use use the term 'Local Rate' as applied to this number when:-

1) The distinction on distance has long since been abandoned by BT, NTL telewest etc.
2) Ringing your 0845 number actually costs me more to ring than if I telephoned say, Inverness in Scotland.  Even without a fix rate calling plan. NTL would charge me around 3p per minute to phone Scotland.  If I used 1899 to ring Scotland, the call would cost me no more then 1p per minute.  However your 0845 number to call only a distance of less then 20 miles away would cost me around 5p per minute, being five times as much as 1899.com 

Your 0845 number is therefore a 'Premium rate' number to almost your entire customer base.

Please explain.
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« Last Edit: Dec 22nd, 2006 at 3:08am by Alternative »  
 
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Barbara
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Re: Three Valleys Water still say that 0845 is loc
Reply #1 - Dec 22nd, 2006 at 11:42am
 
I applaud your attack on Three Valleys Water!   We had enormous problems with them a couple of years ago when they replaced our stopcock but managed to leave the resulting works unfinished (different teams fill holes from those that dig them!) and me literally imprisoned in my house as they put a cordon round the hole in the driveway!   Obviously I had to make an enornous number of telephone calls & in the process discovered a good few 01707s which I will post when I have found them.   My tactic with them is always to call the line for leaks which is an 0800 (no good I know from mobiles) & ask to be put through; this line seems to be staffed by the not very bright (can't understand that rural lanes don't have road names & no one would know the post code of a grass verge!) so it has worked in the past.

Good luck with your campaigning (read your other post as well), will be interested in the replies.
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NGMsGhost
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Re: Three Valleys Water still say that 0845 is loc
Reply #2 - Dec 22nd, 2006 at 1:52pm
 
As you will see from the new thread I have started on this issue the ex senior telco industry boss of the ISP NewNet has had the nerve to tell me in response to my complaint about their 0845 numbers for customer services, technical support and sales  that 0845 is Local Rate and 0870 is National Rate

See www.saynoto0870.com/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1166794333

Yet can one honestly believe that anyone who had previously worked at a senior level in the telecoms industry would actually believe this to be true? Wink Roll Eyes Cry

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« Last Edit: Dec 22nd, 2006 at 2:09pm by NGMsGhost »  

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Alternative
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Re: Three Valleys Water still say that 0845 is loc
Reply #3 - Jan 4th, 2007 at 11:58am
 
Just got a standard letter back which totally disregards my e-mail insisting that the 0845 number is set at a 'local rate' of 5p per minute from a landline so that regardless of where our customer's live they are able to call at a local rate'  The letter also says that they are unable to comment on the different charges applied by the phone companies.  What utter nonsense!

I could go back and just quote them the ASA guidlines etc, but just wonder if I am wasting my time - these people are just so 'tunnel visioned' about the 'local' and 'National rate' deception that it just's not true.

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NGMsGhost
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Re: Three Valleys Water still say that 0845 is loc
Reply #4 - Jan 4th, 2007 at 1:06pm
 
Reply asking if you are deadlocked on the issue and can now take the complaint to OfWat the water regulator for an adjudication.  That should get their attention.
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