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Police introduce charges for non-emergency calls (Read 296,656 times)
idb
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Police introduce charges for non-emergency calls
Sep 8th, 2007 at 2:24pm
 
http://www.lep.co.uk/news/Fury-at-39ripoff39-police-and.3186155.jp

<<
Lancashire police is planning to introduce new charging phonelines.
The constabulary has confirmed it will introduce an 0845 code for its non-emergency number, which takes up to 1.5 million calls a year, following advice handed down nationally.

Today, the Evening Post can also reveal that a number of councils in Lancashire are also using the phone lines.

Although not officially classed as premium rate, the new numbers are up to 4p a minute more expensive to call from standard BT landlines and can cost up to 35p a minute more using a mobile phone.

The move goes against advice handed out by the government's Central Office of Information, which says that public service providers should keep local dialling codes.

It follows a revelation that at least four GPs surgeries in Preston had abandoned their 01772 dialling codes in favour of more expensive 0844 numbers.

A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said that the decision to introduce the 0845 as a non-emergency number was taken at a national level and will be in force from November.

Superintendent Bill McMahon, who is overseeing the new system, said: "This new system will help us answer calls more effectively without the caller hanging on the line for too long.

"Our target is to answer all non-emergency calls within 40 seconds, but due to the sheer volume of incoming calls, this is occasionally difficult to achieve.

"This new system means that more callers will be answered, albeit not always by someone working in their local communications room."

A spokesman for regulator Ofcom said it had just completed an investigation into how these numbers are advertised.

She said: "We have clear guidelines that all adverts for services operating 0845 or 0870 prefixes must make the cost of the call very clear. We have powers to investigate any evidence of that not happening."

Calls to Lancashire County Council now go to the Red Rose Hub, in Bluebell Way, Preston.

Assistant director of customer access at the county council Gabby Nelson said this meant people in all parts of the county paid the same, adding: "There is parity across the board."

Preston Council has two 0845 numbers, the Guild Hall box office and the payments line.

A spokesman said: "We are currently reviewing telephone services."
In Lancaster those paying their council tax by phone have to call an 0845 number since the council closed its two cash offices in 2005.

A spokesman said: "It is supplied by an external company not based in the district. A local code would not be practical."

They said the council had no intention of introducing further 0845 numbers for services.

Currently public calls to Lancashire Trading Standards are made on an 0845 number and diverted to Consumer Direct.

A spokesman for Trading Standards said: "Consumer Direct was introduced by the Government, and welcomed by Trading Standards, as a nationwide service with a single recognisable number. The cost is the same regardless of where you live."
>>
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farci
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Re: Police introduce charges for non-emergency cal
Reply #1 - Sep 8th, 2007 at 2:54pm
 
idb wrote on Sep 8th, 2007 at 2:24pm:
A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said that the decision to introduce the 0845 as a non-emergency number was taken at a national level and will be in force from November.

Apart from the usual Ofcom blarney is there REALLY  a national policy to introduce 0845?
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derrick
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Re: Police introduce charges for non-emergency cal
Reply #2 - Sep 8th, 2007 at 4:54pm
 
<

Tidb wrote on Sep 8th, 2007 at 2:24pm:
http://www.lep.co.uk/news/Fury-at-39ripoff39-police-and.3186155.jp






Assistant director of customer access at the county council Gabby Nelson said this meant people in all parts of the county paid the same, adding: "There is parity across the board"


They said the council had no intention of introducing further 0845 numbers for services.

Currently public calls to Lancashire Trading Standards are made on an 0845 number and diverted to Consumer Direct.

A spokesman for Trading Standards said: "Consumer Direct was introduced by the Government, and welcomed by Trading Standards, as a nationwide service with a single recognisable number. The cost is the same regardless of where you live."
>>



The cost is the same regardless of where you live on an 01 number!!

I have had several  conversations with Lancs TS and they still  call 0845 "local rate" even though I have proved to them that it is not..

On Thursday this week, I think it was Thursday, Jim Potts, LCC head TS officer had a spot on radio Lancashire where again he plugged the Consumer Direct 0845 number, adding "this is a local rate number"
For gods sake, if the boss of Trading Standards cannot/will not get it right, how are consumers going to know the true cost??
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irrelevant
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Re: Police introduce charges for non-emergency cal
Reply #3 - Sep 8th, 2007 at 6:44pm
 
derrick wrote on Sep 8th, 2007 at 4:54pm:
On Thursday this week, I think it was Thursday, Jim Potts, LCC head TS officer had a spot on radio Lancashire where again he plugged the Consumer Direct 0845 number, adding "this is a local rate number"
For gods sake, if the boss of Trading Standards cannot/will not get it right, how are consumers going to know the true cost??


Would that count as an advert, do you think?  I'm suggestng a referral to the ASA of course...  they might have even less teeth than Ofcom/ICSTIS(PhonepayPlus) but it'd give the poor chap a wake up call!
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Re: Police introduce charges for non-emergency cal
Reply #4 - Sep 8th, 2007 at 8:43pm
 
Thames Valley Police were forced to reveal their geographic number by a Freedom of Information request reported on this Forum here : --- http://www.saynoto0870.com/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1123761070/15

"idb   Supreme Member
 Re: FOI response - Thames Valley Police
Reply #17 - Jun 6th, 2007, 3:19pm Quote  Quote from idb on Sep 29th, 2005, 9:17pm:
I have now submitted a complaint to the Information Commissioner regarding TVP's failure to provide the requested information.

After twenty-one months, the IC has now responded with the following:

<<
Re: Freedom of Information Request – Thames Valley Police

Thank you for your recent email.

I have been in contact with the Police regarding this matter and have been informed that there is now a telephone number on its website that can be dialled by those unable to dial 0845 numbers.

This number is 01865 841148 and routes the call to the same system as the 0845 number. As I understand it, your grievance regarding these numbers stems from your inability to dial the 0845 number from outside the UK. It seems that the Police took your comments and concerns seriously and have responded by providing a telephone number."  


This has set a precedent which surely all Police Forces will have to follow ---- so you should request their geo number as soon as possible.
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Re: Police introduce charges for non-emergency cal
Reply #5 - Sep 12th, 2007 at 11:49pm
 
loddon wrote on Sep 8th, 2007 at 8:43pm:
This number is 01865 841148 and routes the call to the same system as the 0845 number. As I understand it, your grievance regarding these numbers stems from your inability to dial the 0845 number from outside the UK. It seems that the Police took your comments and concerns seriously and have responded by providing a telephone number."

Does this number work from the UK, or have they done a National Rail Enquiries and added some wizardry that only allows international calls through?

Anyway, eventually all these numbers will be probably be scrapped and replaced with 101, at 10p per call.
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Re: Police introduce charges for non-emergency cal
Reply #6 - Sep 13th, 2007 at 2:03am
 
Quote:
Does this number work from the UK, or have they done a National Rail Enquiries and added some wizardry that only allows international calls through?


But surely, if you withhold your caller ID from within the UK, they would HAVE to allow the call to be connected? Caller ID between countries is flakey at the best of times - in the US, I sometimes see 44xxx on calls from the Uk and sometimes 'Private Caller' (ie unknown Caller ID). Same on calls from Australia or New Zealand. Since it is so flakey, I cannot see how National Rail could possibly bar UK calls that are made without a valid caller ID?

I suspect the problem is that a lot of people either don't understand how to withhold Caller ID from being transmitted - or are too lazy to learn!  Wink
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Re: Police introduce charges for non-emergency cal
Reply #7 - Sep 13th, 2007 at 7:37am
 
Or use a cheaper way of calling them?  Several of the indirect suppliers, and more of the VOIP suppliers, don't offer the end user caller-id, or seem to give it out wrong..

My local chinese chippy use caller-id to verify delivery orders.  I phoned them (via voipcheap.com) and got a suspicious  "Why does it say International call?"   (luckilly they know me...)
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Re: Police introduce charges for non-emergency cal
Reply #8 - Sep 14th, 2007 at 11:35pm
 
mikeinnc wrote on Sep 13th, 2007 at 2:03am:
But surely, if you withhold your caller ID from within the UK, they would HAVE to allow the call to be connected? Caller ID between countries is flakey at the best of times - in the US, I sometimes see 44xxx on calls from the Uk and sometimes 'Private Caller' (ie unknown Caller ID). Same on calls from Australia or New Zealand. Since it is so flakey, I cannot see how National Rail could possibly bar UK calls that are made without a valid caller ID?

I suspect the problem is that a lot of people either don't understand how to withhold Caller ID from being transmitted - or are too lazy to learn!  Wink

See the thread on this here: http://www.saynoto0870.com/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1116613395/0

If you want to try it for yourself, the number is 020 7278 5240, although this is getting off-topic for this thread now!
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Re: Police introduce charges for non-emergency cal
Reply #9 - Sep 15th, 2007 at 12:42am
 
mikeinnc wrote on Sep 13th, 2007 at 2:03am:
Does this number work from the UK, or have they done a National Rail Enquiries and added some wizardry that only allows international calls through? [...] Since it is so flakey, I cannot see how National Rail could possibly bar UK calls that are made without a valid caller ID? [...] I suspect the problem is that a lot of people either don't understand how to withhold Caller ID from being transmitted - or are too lazy to learn!  Wink


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caller_ID#Blocking:

Quote:
Where blocking is applied on a call-by-call basis (at the time a call is made), subscribers can block -- prevent their numbers from being displayed -- by dialing a special code before making a call. [..] The United Kingdom and Ireland use 141. This special code does not block the information from companies using call capture technology. This means that equipment with caller ID will simply display the word 'PRIVATE' or 'WITHHELD'. When CNID is blocked at the caller's request, the number is actually transmitted through the entire telephone network, with the 'Presentation Withheld' flag set; the destination CO is expected to honor this flag, but sometimes does not [..]


So basically, all 141 does is tells the destination "this call is private", and the destination equipment is meant to obey this requirement and not display the phone number. NRE obviously has equipment that ignores this and can tell that you are dialling from a landline, therefore blocking your call. This is sometimes why calls to alternative numbers seem to fail at the last hurdle - they can tell you are dialling from a landline. I think the only case where this is likely not to apply is from mobile phones - I read somewhere else that the Caller ID information is stripped by the mobile phone provider before entering the normal telephone network.
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« Last Edit: Sep 15th, 2007 at 12:43am by jgxenite »  

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Re: Police introduce charges for non-emergency cal
Reply #10 - Sep 15th, 2007 at 6:13am
 
jgxenite wrote on Sep 15th, 2007 at 12:42am:
I read somewhere else that the Caller ID information is stripped by the mobile phone provider before entering the normal telephone network.


Then how do I get CLIs from all the mobile phone numbers that call me on my landline including some overseas mobile numbers? Huh Undecided Roll Eyes
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« Last Edit: Sep 15th, 2007 at 6:13am by NGMsGhost »  

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Re: Police introduce charges for non-emergency cal
Reply #11 - Sep 15th, 2007 at 9:15am
 
What I meant was that I think the CLI is stripped when it is withheld on a mobile. I'm not 100% sure of that, but I'm sure it works the other way around (if the CLI is withheld when it enters the mobile phone network, it is stripped by the provider so the receiver [on the mobile] cannot find out who called).
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Re: Police introduce charges for non-emergency cal
Reply #12 - Sep 15th, 2007 at 2:36pm
 
jgxenite wrote on Sep 15th, 2007 at 9:15am:
What I meant was that I think the CLI is stripped when it is withheld on a mobile. I'm not 100% sure of that, but I'm sure it works the other way around (if the CLI is withheld when it enters the mobile phone network, it is stripped by the provider so the receiver [on the mobile] cannot find out who called).


It should never actually be sent to the terminating device, though it does usually get  through the telehone network as far as the final exchange, which strips the number before ringing your phone - since mobiles operate differently to landlines, not having  local exchanges all over the country, I can quite see them doing it at the central switch for all calls.  Generaly, however, it does, get presented to the termincating telco, pricacy flag set or not.

Since it's a standard feature of NTS systems to be able to switch the call around depending on originating phone number, witheld flag or not, and since the rail service has it's own telco, I can easily believe that they have managed to put the same arrangements in place for the geographic number.

You could try using the "make a free trial call" on www.voipcheap.com front page.  You don't need an account; enter your number and their number and they'll connect you both, connecting as an international call Wink   Just get your enquiry completed within a minute...


Back on topic ... Manchester use a local number, 0161 872 5050, and always have done, for non-emergencies.  I'd imagine it would be very difficult for them to withdraw that, thankfuly, due to the vast number of places and notices and documents that quote it ...

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« Last Edit: Sep 15th, 2007 at 2:37pm by irrelevant »  
 
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Re: Police introduce charges for non-emergency cal
Reply #13 - Sep 23rd, 2007 at 8:48pm
 
round these ways they have got the number 101 setup for non emergencies.
http://www.101.gov.uk/

but you can get around it by looking up the local police hq and ask to be put through to non emergency
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Re: Police introduce charges for non-emergency cal
Reply #14 - Sep 23rd, 2007 at 10:46pm
 
irrelevant wrote on Sep 15th, 2007 at 2:36pm:
Back on topic ... Manchester use a local number, 0161 872 5050, and always have done, for non-emergencies.  I'd imagine it would be very difficult for them to withdraw that, thankfuly, due to the vast number of places and notices and documents that quote it ...


Sheffield is the same - South Yorkshire Police non-emergencies is 0114 220 2020 (quite memorable if you ask me Smiley).
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