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NHS - 0845 "not a premium rate number" (Read 30,592 times)
jgxenite
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NHS - 0845 "not a premium rate number"
Aug 3rd, 2007 at 5:50pm
 
From the Choose & Book website (https://www.healthspace.nhs.uk/feedback.aspx) -

Quote:
If you need to change your hospital appointment please call 0845 608 8888 (calls charged at local rate, this is not a premium rate number).


1. It is not "local rate" - it is up to 4p from a BT landline.
2. Yes, it is a premium rate number if you ring from a mobile - for example, from an O2 Pay Monthly - 20p a minute, from an O2 PAYG, 25p a minute. And I thought the definition of premium rate was anything above 10p a minute...

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Re: NHS - 0845 "not a premium rate number"
Reply #1 - Aug 3rd, 2007 at 6:38pm
 
I seem to remember that when 0845 numbers were introduced, they were hailed as local 'regardless of caller's location'. Have the rules changed, or was it missold in the first place.

Also, given the huge penetration (BT speak for takeup) of mobiles, its high time that all published numbers gave call cost information for these as well as landlines.
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Re: NHS - 0845 "not a premium rate number"
Reply #2 - Aug 3rd, 2007 at 6:53pm
 
Bradders wrote on Aug 3rd, 2007 at 6:38pm:
I seem to remember that when 0845 numbers were introduced, they were hailed as local 'regardless of caller's location'. Have the rules changed, or was it missold in the first place.

Also, given the huge penetration (BT speak for takeup) of mobiles, its high time that all published numbers gave call cost information for these as well as landlines.


From my understanding, "back in the day" 0845 was the same as a local call. However, such things were abolished long ago and now a local or national call is charged at the same low rate. However, 0845 and 0870 prices remained high and so publicising them as "local" and "national" calls respectively is wrong. If you have purchased an 0845 number recently, and been told it is local rate, then yes - you have been missold it. As has all the public who keep believing it is "local rate" because they are none the wiser...

Personally, I feel that any number above the cost of a normal geographic call (or excluded from any kind of free minutes, as non-geographic numbers are) should be labelled as "premium rate numbers", and an announcement of the price made, for free, before the call is connected. However, I very much doubt Ofcon will do anything to implement these changes as they don't want to upset big business, and big business enjoys hearing the coppers rolling in from these covert premium rate numbers.
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« Last Edit: Aug 3rd, 2007 at 6:54pm by jgxenite »  

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Dave
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Re: NHS - 0845 "not a premium rate number"
Reply #3 - Aug 3rd, 2007 at 6:58pm
 
Bradders wrote on Aug 3rd, 2007 at 6:38pm:
I seem to remember that when 0845 numbers were introduced, they were hailed as local 'regardless of caller's location'. Have the rules changed, or was it missold in the first place.

Read my post What's the problem with 0845/0870 numbers?  Wink

Put simply, there's two telcos involved; the one originating the call (eg BT, Talk Talk, Tiscali, Sky Talk etc) and the one that provides the NGN (non-geographical number) or 0845. Originally, BT had to originate the call for the price of a local call (and 0870 for national call rate) and it was allowed to retain, on a cost basis, payment for carrying the call. All the rest is passed to the NGN provider. Thus, loads of 'telcos' have sprung up that provide these numbers. They, of course, don't have an interest in lowering the charges they make to originating providers. Hence, 0845/0870 has remained, broadly speaking, as it always has.

Bradders wrote on Aug 3rd, 2007 at 6:38pm:
Also, given the huge penetration (BT speak for takeup) of mobiles, its high time that all published numbers gave call cost information for these as well as landlines.

This was covered by a consultation from Ofcom last year. The conclusion was that telcos should provide clear pricing information on NGNs, as they do geographicals (01/02). Despite this, telcos continue to ignore this. The worst offender, by far, is T-Mobile, discussed here.
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« Last Edit: Aug 3rd, 2007 at 7:02pm by Dave »  
 
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Re: NHS - 0845 "not a premium rate number"
Reply #4 - Aug 3rd, 2007 at 8:20pm
 
However, from a BT Together residential landline, 0845 calls now cost:

6p connection + 2p/minute 6am-6pm and
6p connection + p/minute evenings/nights.

Which, weekdays anyway, is now cheaper than a standard UK 01/02 calls (for those fool enough to still use BT for such calls).
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« Last Edit: Aug 3rd, 2007 at 8:20pm by bill »  
 
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Re: NHS - 0845 "not a premium rate number"
Reply #5 - Aug 3rd, 2007 at 8:30pm
 
bill wrote on Aug 3rd, 2007 at 8:20pm:
However, from a BT Together residential landline, 0845 calls now cost:

6p connection + 2p/minute 6am-6pm and
6p connection + p/minute evenings/nights.

Which, weekdays anyway, is now cheaper than a standard UK 01/02 calls (for those fool enough to still use BT for such calls).

However, it is likely more expensive from other providers, and is still premium rate if called from a mobile.
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Re: NHS - 0845 "not a premium rate number"
Reply #6 - Jan 7th, 2020 at 10:08am
 

As a result of the Directions to NHS Bodies issued by the Department of Health in December 2009 banning the usage of premium rate numbers starting 084, 087 or 09 within the NHS, the telephone number for the Choose and Book service changed from 0845 608 8888 to 0345 608 8888 in mid-2010.

In 2015 the service was renamed to the NHS e-Referral Service.

Also in 2015, the way that calls to telephone numbers starting 084, 087, 09 and 118 are charged was changed to a two-part system separating the charge levied by the caller's telephone provider from the one jointly levied by the called party and their telecoms provider. These are known as the Access Charge and the Service Charge and this change confirmed all of these number ranges as being premium rate. The premium is the additional Service Charge.

Calls to all 03 numbers continued to be included in allowances on landlines and on mobiles on the same basis as calls to 01 and 02 numbers, or otherwise charged at the same rate as calling an 01 or 02 number, the same as they had been since their introduction in 2007.

In early 2020 it was discovered that although the new 0345 608 8888 number had come into use in mid-2010, the old premium rate 0845 number had never been shut off and was still fully operational and offering the exact same service as the 0345 number - but with callers incurring charges of up to 67p per minute.

It was also discovered that the premium rate 0845 number was still promoted by various hospital, GP, and other websites as being the only number for the service, and that a number of these and other organisations were still printing the 0845 number on letters sent out to patients.


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« Last Edit: Jan 8th, 2020 at 3:53pm by Ian01 »  
 
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Re: NHS - 0845 "not a premium rate number"
Reply #7 - Jan 8th, 2020 at 6:28am
 

It looks like almost one hundred NHS organisations are still promoting the old 0845 number ...

https://www.google.com/search?num=100&q=%220845+608+8888%22+OR+%220845+6088888%2...

None of the listed pages give the correct premium rate charge for calling the 0845 number as required by Ofcom since 1 July 2015, and some incorrectly claim a "local rate" charge - something that hasn't been true since January 2004. All need to be updated to show the "new" 0345 number.

A "changed number announcement" placed on the 0845 number would permanently stop people spending on an expensive phone line, irrespective of whether the errant web pages are ever updated, or not.



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« Last Edit: Jan 8th, 2020 at 7:55am by Ian01 »  
 
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Re: NHS - 0845 "not a premium rate number"
Reply #8 - Feb 6th, 2020 at 2:08pm
 

In recent days, when calling the old premium rate 0845 608 8888 number, all callers are now advised to hang up and re-dial the inclusive 0345 608 8888 number that came into service in 2010.

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« Last Edit: Feb 6th, 2020 at 2:09pm by Ian01 »  
 
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