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Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (Read 19,996 times)
Dave
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Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Apr 30th, 2008 at 1:36am
 
Meeting of the Rowley Regis Town Committee, 11 December 2007

http://cmis.sandwell.gov.uk/CMISWebPublic/Binary.ashx?Document=26145


A breakdown of charges for calling the Council’s 0845 numbers
(received at the meeting on 2nd October, 2007)


Since the introduction of the Contact Centre and 0845 numbers, the Council has been able to deal with 30,000 calls more in one year for Environment Services alone and gone from a 60% answer rate to 95% answer rate.

0845 numbers provide equality of cost; all customers are charged equally, irrespective of their location.

An 0845 number is flexible and can be transferred to another building or even to mobile phones in the event of relocation or emergency. The same number can be used to cover several departments situated across the Borough and put residents directly in touch with staff who can offer advice and assistance. As more services are offered, the contact centre will be able to deal more efficiently with customers wanting to contact the Council.

0845 numbers also gives the Council the ability to gain vital statistics about the number of calls received and, for example, if people are getting an engaged tone, which 0121 numbers cannot provide.

Calls to 0845 numbers from a standard BT landline, according to BT’s latest call pricing information, cost the
caller (per minute and including VAT):

3.948p (Daytime)
0.99p (Evening)
0.99p (Weekend)

This is exactly the same charge from a standard BT landline for calling a local (0121) number. Although 0845 numbers are included in some packages offering free local calls, there are providers who do not include calls to 0845 numbers in their free call packages. When calls to 0845 numbers are not included in the calls package, they are charged at normal local rate.

Charges for other telephone service providers can vary. However, callers to 0845 numbers should generally expect to pay their telephone service provider’s local rate, which should be between 2p and 5p per minute and is usually around 3p per minute.
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Dave
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Re: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Reply #1 - Apr 30th, 2008 at 2:07am
 
Meeting of the Rowley Regis Town Committee, 7 December 2006

http://cmis.sandwell.gov.uk/CMISWebPublic/Binary.ashx?Document=20886


Clarification on why the Council had changed it customer services contact numbers
(received at the meeting on 12th October, 2006)


All of the Council’s services are currently listed in the BT Phone Book under Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. Customer Services have identified the main numbers that are to be used by customers and these have been placed in a prominent position on a full page.

The main reason for moving to 0845 numbers is for contingency planning, if anything were to happen to the telephone lines, Sandwell Council would still be able to operate the telephone service from a different location.

Many of the Council’s customers have also stated that they need to contact the Council when they maybe outside of the Borough, therefore by offering an 0845 number, it will ensure that customers always pay the local rate for the call, no matter where they are telephoning from.
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Re: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Reply #2 - Apr 30th, 2008 at 2:11am
 
Report to the Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, 13th March 2008
Report to the Cabinet Member for Improvement and Equality, 13th March 2008

Findings of a Feasibility Study in relation to the Anti Social Behaviour Hotline

http://cmis.sandwell.gov.uk/CMISWebPublic/Binary.ashx?Document=27548


Recommendation 2.3a - Promotional material around the ASB Hotline is issued including the costs per minute of calling the ASB hotline - Costings

1.1 The 0845 ASB Hotline number cost is the same for all citizens irrespective of location. Calls to 0845 numbers from a standard BT landline line, according to BT's latest call pricing information (December 2007), cost the caller (per minute and including VAT):
•3.948p (Daytime)
•0.999p (Evening)
• 0.999p (Weekend)

1.2 This is the same charge from a standard BT landline for calling a local number. Charges for other telephone service providers can vary. However, callers to 0845 numbers should generally expect to pay their telephone service providers local rate, which should be between 2p and 5p per minute and is usually around 3p per minute - the same as they would pay to call an 0121 with a standard line.
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Dave
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Council’s wrong number
Reply #3 - May 1st, 2008 at 2:22am
 
Source: Express & Star

http://www.expressandstar.com/2007/09/28/councils-wrong-number/

<<
Council’s wrong number

I read with dismay that Sandwell Council is making £1,000 per month from residents because they are made to use an 0845 telephone number to get in touch with council offices.

And then, just to rub salt into our wounds, Cllr Pauline Hinton comes out with the statement: “We would like to reassure residents that the cost of calling our 0845 numbers at the contact centre from a standard BT line is the same as the cost of calling an 0121 number” (September 7). Does she think we are all stupid or what?

Most people these days either sign up to calling plans (either BT or Cable) that are all inclusive, meaning that all numbers starting with 01, 02 or 03 are free and unlimited as to how many times you ring and how long you are on the phone.

Likewise some people only have mobiles and no landline, and again the contract from the mobile company is similar, in that 01, 02 and 03 numbers are free.

But both landline and mobile deals do not allow for free calls to 0845, 0870, 0871Êetc and you get charged for the connection as well as the call.

So Cllr Hinton, how do you work out that it’s the same to call your 0845 number as it is to call your 0121 number? I suggest you know the true facts before you make comments like that again.

Also I would like to make readers aware (some may already know) that if you have a PC and are connected to the internet, there is a website (which is all legal and above board) called “say no to 0870″ (www.sayno-to0870.com) that allows you to search for alternative numbers to the 0845, 0870, 0871 etc that a lot of companies are using.Ê

I have used this website for about eight months now and the big companies (eg British Gas, Npower, Sky) who all have these premium numbers, all have alternative numbers to phone which are free on inclusive call packages.

Try it and you will be surprised how many times we are all ripped off by these premium numbers.

Carl Burkitt

Connor Road, West Bromwich.

This article posted on September 28, 2007 at 6:55 am.
>>
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jgxenite
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Re: Council’s wrong number
Reply #4 - May 1st, 2008 at 10:45am
 
Dave wrote on May 1st, 2008 at 2:22am:
[...] there is a website (which is all legal and above board) called “say no to 0870″ (www.sayno-to0870.com) that allows you to search for alternative numbers to the 0845, 0870, 0871 etc that a lot of companies are using.


Shame that they quoted the website address wrongly...
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Stoday
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Re: Council’s wrong number
Reply #5 - May 2nd, 2008 at 2:49am
 
jgxenite wrote on May 1st, 2008 at 10:45am:
Dave wrote on May 1st, 2008 at 2:22am:
[...] there is a website (which is all legal and above board) called “say no to 0870″ (www.sayno-to0870.com) that allows you to search for alternative numbers to the 0845, 0870, 0871 etc that a lot of companies are using.


Shame that they quoted the website address wrongly...


Even more of a shame that that site advertises phone numbers, so new users may think that it's the real saynoto0870 site.
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Keith
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Re: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Reply #6 - May 2nd, 2008 at 9:08am
 
This is a complete rip off of this site. Can we do anything about it? I note there is no contact option (no surprise!).  Do all these telecom companies realise they are advertising here?

Just when you think the exploitation of 08xx can't get any lower you come across this!

I'm assuming the reference to it in the letter was an innocent mistake as the person is clearly on our side, but to get it so 'perfectly wrong' implies it must have been cut an pasted from the incorrect site or a search engine so this will be a common error made by many not helped by the free advert in the letter and we will lose lots of supporters who will go to the wrong site and at best find it useless, at worst think it is a scam (which it is)
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Re: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Reply #7 - May 2nd, 2008 at 10:08am
 
Their are a  few deliberate  misspells of this site around

See.  www.saynotoo0870.com  and http://www.wwwsaynoto0870.com/

Typosquatting as it is known has been around for Yonks heres an old article about the subject.

http://www.techweb.com/wire/story/TWB20001019S0003

Theirs even a Misspelled Name Generator
http://www.xpidea.com/Services/SearchEngineOptimizationTools/Misspelleddomainnam...

Even the Big Boys suffer from it EG. www.tlktalk.co.uk


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« Last Edit: May 2nd, 2008 at 10:36am by oldharryrocks »  
 
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Keith
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Re: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Reply #8 - May 2nd, 2008 at 11:38am
 
How do they generate revenue from it? I assume they get a few pence per link but surely to get this there must be a contract of some sort with the reputable suppliers advertised pn the site or an intermediary and they should not be doing business with scam sites.
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Dave
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Re: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Reply #9 - Feb 26th, 2012 at 9:57pm
 
There's a piece in the Halesowen News:

Sandwell Council advice line rings the changes after complaints

A TELEPHONE advice service run by Sandwell Council has boosted its waiting and call times after criticism from a Blackheath councillor.

The ASSIST call centre now boasts a reduction in its call answering times from an average of seven minutes to one minute 20 seconds.

It has also chopped the longest call time from 45 minutes to just 10 minutes.

Councillor Mary Docker first complained last July that residents ringing the 0845 number for inquiries about adult social care and other services after users were giving up trying to get through because the delay in answering was so long.

“Assessments were also being done over the phone, which can take a long time, and callers were not being offered a ring back service,” she said, adding: “I did eventually get a written response in December 2011 acknowledging that people were experiencing problems and that there would be a review and that it was expected to see noticeable improvements by the new year.”

She said she was “delighted” to hear about the improvements that had been made.



Whilst Sandwell Council ASSIST has improved its waiting times which means that callers no longer pay the Service Charge to the Council during extensive periods where no service is being provided, it should not be imposing the Charge in the first place. Use of 0845 numbers is entirely innappropriate for any type of use by Sandwell Council. Its contact page shows it to be a large abuser of these numbers, with all but school admissions and the community homes services using them.

The ASSIST helpline 0845 352 2266 can be reached on 0121 569 2266.
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Re: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Reply #10 - Jun 30th, 2015 at 7:58pm
 
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Re: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Reply #11 - Dec 4th, 2016 at 9:11pm
 
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