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FOI Response - TfL's Dial-A-Ride (DaR) (Read 8,688 times)
bbb_uk
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FOI Response - TfL's Dial-A-Ride (DaR)
Jan 6th, 2007 at 10:42am
 
Forum member leolover has sent off an FOI request to Transport For London (TfL)'s concerning the 0845 number used for their Dial-A-Ride (DaR) scheme.

Also see leolover's thread in the Geographical Request section here.

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« Last Edit: Jan 14th, 2007 at 9:07pm by bbb_uk »  
 
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Re: FOI Request - TfL's Dial-A-Ride (DaR)
Reply #1 - Jan 8th, 2007 at 6:44pm
 
I have received the following from Tfl Re Dial A Ride number today via email. I really cannot believe how quick they have replied and it's good news. they have given me the Number that I requested.



Please find below the information you recently requested. Please do not hesitate to contact me if your equire any further information on this matter.

Joyce Mamode
Head of Passenger Services
London Dial-a-Ride
Tel: 0207 027 5819
Fax: 0207 027 5801
joyce.mamode@tfl-buses.co.uk



1.  What is the geographical number(s) of your main contact number 0845 999 1 999?  

020 7394 5800

2.  What was your reasons for the introduction of your 0845 number when it actually costs those less fortunate, able bodied or those on low income more money to ring it compared to your old geographical (020x) number?

As part of the set up of the central Management Control Centre, a Disaster Recovery site has been created. The use of an 0845 number enables us to place messages on the service (e.g. if serious disruption has been caused by power failure, flood etc) and also redirect the number to a Disaster Recovery site should access to the primary site be barred. In addition, the use of an 0845 number gives us the ability, should we decide to do so, to utilise another site or sites to, for example, overspill our calls at busy periods. The creation of a London wide number for Dial-a-Ride encompasses most areas within the M25. Some of these areas are not part of the 020 number range and therefore may pay more (dependent on actual location) than local rate for calls to 020 numbers.

3.  Do you receive any money (revenue) from the use of this number in anyway shape, or form (whether this is invested back in maintaining the call centre/switchboard or not)?  And if so, how much per minute or per call?  

We receive no income from the use of the 0845 numbers.

4.  Do you contribute in anyway to the use of your 0845 number?  And if so, how much per minute?

We pay no per minute charge for the use of the 0845 numbers.

5.  What features/benefits do you utilise when using the 0845 number that can't be offered on normal (cheaper) geographical number (please bear in mind that call queuing, automatic diversion and automated voice prompts like "press 1 for such a thing, press 2 for this, etc...") is possible from a geographical number?  

Please see the answer for question 2

6.  Were you aware of the Central Office of Information (COI) and Ofcom's (the telephone regulator) guidelines about the use of such numbers?  

Ofcom are continually reviewing all aspects of telecoms and the guidelines you referred to were issued in September 2005, the planning for this service began eighteen months prior to this date.

7.  Were you aware the excessive costs involved from those ringing from a payphone or mobile before you implemented the 0845 number?  

The differential between 0845 tariff call through BT and a local number call through BT has changed over the past few years with the introduction of their Option packages. We refer you back to the answer to question 6 in as much as the planning and introduction of this service was undertaken prior to this differential becoming more noticeable.

8.  Now that you are aware of the excessive costs involved and the fact that both the COI and Ofcom advise against the use of non-geographical numbers (those beginning 08x), do you have any plans on switching back to a geographical number, or as recommended by Ofcom, displaying a geographical number alongside your 0845 numbers for those people who are on a low income, calling from a mobile or abroad, etc and so does not act as a "Cost barrier" or more importantly discriminate against those on low income?  

We will begin, as per Ofcom recommendation, to make the 020 number available alongside the 0845 number. The proposal from Ofcom relating to a new range of numbers (03) which will be non geographic (and hence give the benefits we wish to achieve with flexibility to redirect calls to another location) but not revenue sharing may prove to be the best solution both for ourselves and you the customer (assuming these numbers are included in free/low call packages).







-----Original Message-----
From: Findlay Patricia (ST)
Sent: 08 January 2007 09:10
To: Mamode Joyce (ST)
Subject: FW: Freedom of Information
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Re: FOI Request - TfL's Dial-A-Ride (DaR)
Reply #2 - Jan 8th, 2007 at 7:14pm
 
All in all a very good response and very quick.

The reasons stated for setting up the number is the usual response but at least it wasn't setup to make money from people calling them.

I liked the way they are totally aware of the price difference between 0845 and a geographical.  Most often it's confused with local rate.

Also, it's very promising that they'll look into an 03x number but I can imagine this is going to happen as it is very much likely it would cost them money to receive calls on their 03x number.
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« Last Edit: Jan 8th, 2007 at 7:19pm by bbb_uk »  
 
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Re: FOI Request - TfL's Dial-A-Ride (DaR)
Reply #3 - Jan 8th, 2007 at 8:24pm
 
Quote:
The creation of a London wide number for Dial-a-Ride encompasses most areas within the M25. Some of these areas are not part of the 020 number range and therefore may pay more (dependent on actual location) than local rate for calls to 020 numbers.


There is still a lot of nonsense here about "local" calls.

Quote:
Ofcom are continually reviewing all aspects of telecoms and the guidelines you referred to were issued in September 2005, the planning for this service began eighteen months prior to this date


Quote:
The differential between 0845 tariff call through BT and a local number call through BT has changed over the past few years with the introduction of their Option packages. We refer you back to the answer to question 6 in as much as the planning and introduction of this service was undertaken prior to this differential becoming more noticeable.


How many years lead-in time can one expect from TfL before they change anything?
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