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New Northumberland Council to use premium 0845 no (Read 38,056 times)
poppasmurf
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Re: New Northumberland Council to use premium 0845
Reply #15 - Jul 7th, 2009 at 12:01pm
 
It is incredible that after all this time, these councils are still talking such misleading claptrap. For example:

Clarification was sought as to whether it was a realistic option to consider making the change to a local rate number sooner rather than later in relation to potential charges

The fact that they are still talking about 'local rate number' shows that they have still not grasped the fundamentals of phone charges.

Is there any hope that one day, we may get council officials who actually know what they are talking about, rather than pontificating?
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« Last Edit: Jul 7th, 2009 at 12:03pm by poppasmurf »  
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: New Northumberland Council to use premium 0845
Reply #16 - Jul 7th, 2009 at 12:05pm
 
This looks to me like an excellent result for the Council and those whom it serves.

Obviously it would have been better if issues had been better understood at an earlier stage.

Dual numbering is not something to be recommended in general, for service reasons. Whilst some providers offer discounted rates on calls to 0845 numbers however, it is hard to argue against it.
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trevhagl
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Re: New Northumberland Council to use premium 0845
Reply #17 - Jul 8th, 2009 at 7:00pm
 
it is indeed a disgrace that they can LIE about it being local rate when they run the bloody trading standards dept!!
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Re: New Northumberland Council to use premium 0845
Reply #18 - Jul 8th, 2009 at 8:55pm
 
Dave wrote on Jul 7th, 2009 at 11:15am:
…Continued

RESOLVED that:

(b)      Both the 0845 and 01670 numbers be included on the Council’s website and on any future literature with immediate effect together with a link to an explanation of the charging policy.  


This is not entirely ideal, but it is an acceptable solution for all such organisations.   This is what the Dept of Health could do as a result of its recent Consultation on the banning of 084 numbers in the NHS as an interim step.

http://www.saynoto0870.com/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1229408403/0#0

All GPs currently using 084 numbers should be required to reveal their 01/02 numbers with immediate effect and publish them alongside their 084 numbers until their current supplier contracts expire.    This would give the choice to all their patients who could choose which number they would prefer to use.

This is a principle which the present Government has introduced into the NHS and a principle that it is enthusiastically promoting.    What an ideal solution!    Totally on message with the Governments ideas and patient choice being exercised within the NHS.    This was proposed during the Consultation so we expect that it has been given serious consideration in the options placed before the Minister.   Northumberland Council have demonstrated that issuing geographic numbers alongside 084 numbers is a feasible practical and realistic option.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: New Northumberland Council to use premium 0845
Reply #19 - Jul 8th, 2009 at 10:24pm
 
loddon wrote on Jul 8th, 2009 at 8:55pm:
... This is not entirely ideal, but it is an acceptable solution for all such organisations.   This is what the Dept of Health could do as a result of its recent Consultation on the banning of 084 numbers in the NHS as an interim step. ...
All GPs currently using 084 numbers should be required to reveal their 01/02 numbers with immediate effect and publish them alongside their 084 numbers until their current supplier contracts expire.

NO !!!

Some callers in Northumberland would be able to call the Council more cheaply on a 0845 number than the geographic number. I refer to those on BT "Unlimited", where the package is not in effect at the time of the call, and some others. For this reason (BT's perverse discounting of chargeable 0845 calls) there is some genuine benefit in offering callers a choice. In general it is not good policy to offer lots of different numbers so as to take advantage of differing provider pricing policies. Where this is done, it should be a cardinal rule for the public sector that the primary number must not be one that is subject to revenue sharing.

The situation with GPs on 0844 numbers is totally different. No caller would require that number to obtain a cheaper call as a result of perverse discounting, because there is no such discounting in effect. There is therefore no valid justifaction for publishing the number.
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Dave
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Re: New Northumberland Council to use premium 0845
Reply #20 - Aug 17th, 2009 at 9:40am
 
Source: Northumberland Gazette

http://www.northumberlandgazette.co.uk/news/Phone-number-sparks-fury.5549393.jp

Phone number sparks fury
Published Date: 15 August 2009
By Helen Woods

A WOMAN has hit out at having to use a premium rate number to call Northumberland County Council because of increased call charges.

Dawn Barnett, of Lion Mews, Alnwick, is outraged at having to use an 0845 number to get through to the authority.

She said: "Taxpayers have got to call 0845 to get through to their local council. It costs customers more money, it's a disgrace."

She added: "It is supposed to be a local service. The council acts on behalf of the people who pay council tax.

"Enquiries need to be made, it should be a simple process. It is outrageous."

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Dave
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Northumberland County Council doesn't learn
Reply #21 - Aug 27th, 2009 at 5:32pm
 
Source: Morpeth Herald

http://www.morpethherald.co.uk/news/New-system-of-Northumberland-housing.5571183...

New system of Northumberland housing allocation

Published Date: 25 August 2009

A NEW housing allocations service will be launched by Northumberland County Council at midnight on September 3.

Northumberland Homefinder which has been developed in partnership with Homes for Northumberland, Wansbeck Homes, Milecastle Housing, Castle Morpeth Housing and Berwick Borough Housing will change the way that social housing is allocated in the County

All partners will be allocating their properties from the council waiting list, through the Northumberland Homefinder service at www.northumberlandhomefinder.org.uk; in some public buildings i.e. libraries; partner offices, Council information centres and on an automated telephone number 0845 60 66 546.

[…]
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« Last Edit: Aug 27th, 2009 at 5:37pm by Dave »  
 
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Re: New Northumberland Council to use premium 0845
Reply #22 - Aug 27th, 2009 at 11:44pm
 
Dave wrote on Jul 7th, 2009 at 11:15am:
RESOLVED that:

(a)      Use of the 0845 number be continued until the emerging position on charging becomes clearer and that a report be brought back to the Communities and Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee reviewing the situation in six months time.
(b)      Both the 0845 and 01670 numbers be included on the Council’s website and on any future literature with immediate effect together with a link to an explanation of the charging policy.  
(c)      To publish outline guidance on the website on call charging.  (Detailed guidance is not possible due to the variation and volatility of call charging).

Despite this resolution passed at a meeting on 2 June, the Council's contact page still does not display the 01670 geographical number.

It states:
Quote:
Phone:

If you prefer to phone us:  0845 6006400

Calls from BT landlines to 0845 numbers cost the same as calling your next door neighbour.  Call charges may vary with other providers.


The "explanation of charging policy" only applies to calls from lines operated by the Council's own telephone provider, BT. In so doing, the message totally distorts what is the likely cost due to BT's regulatory obligation resulting in the perverse discounting of 0845 calls.
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Re: New Northumberland Council to use premium 0845
Reply #23 - Aug 30th, 2009 at 4:41pm
 
The new social housing scheme, Northumberland Homefinder, has published leaflets advertising homes that can be bid for:

From Thursday 13th August to Monday 17th August: http://www.blythvalleyhousing.com/docs/1457.pdf

From Thursday 6th August to Monday 10th August: http://www.blythvalleyhousing.com/docs/1456.pdf


They state that they will be stopping advertisement of homes in the local newspaper and that the ways to find out what properties are on offer will be:

They also state "Lo-call number to find out what properties are available: 0845 606 6546".

When will these people learn??  Roll Eyes

I refer to Trading Standards article 180805:

Quote:
I use a special services contact number for my business. How should I describe it in adverts?

You should not use the terms 'local rate' or 'national rate', or any reference to local or national rates. You should also not use words which could imply a local or national rate (e.g. 'Lo-call', 'low rate', 'national call', 'standard rate').


Many of the citizens who are the target audience of this service are not likely to have internet access. They will have relied on buying the local newspaper to find out what properties are available. Unless they wish to make the trip to the council offices every week, they will have to phone this rip-off number. Of course, unlike in the newspaper, there will be no pictures or hard text to go on. The description of the properties will last for the duration of the call. If they want to listen again, they will have to pay for the phone call again.
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« Last Edit: Aug 30th, 2009 at 5:19pm by Dave »  
 
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Freephone number for Northumberland Council too co
Reply #24 - May 4th, 2012 at 9:57am
 
Source: New Post Leader

Freephone number for council is ‘too costly’

Published on Thursday 3 May 2012 09:14


CALLS to set up a freephone number for residents to report faults look set to be dismissed by council officials.

A petition signed by 49 people was presented to Northumberland County Council calling for the local authority to set up an 0800 freephone number to report any issues.

The council installed a new telephone system at the end of April as the existing system was 15 years old and “not fit for purpose” in some instances.

When the new system is fully operational, residents will have the choice of ringing 0845 600 6400 or a local number to report any issues.

But some campaigners have called for an 0800 number to be established instead of residents having to pay.


[…]



The call is for the Council to go from one extreme to the other for fault reporting. At present those who ring up contribute towards the service by a few pence per minute. A freephone number will mean that the Council (and therefore taxpayers) will cover the cost of calls from landlines. At the present time, calls from mobiles will usually incur a premium.

As the normal incidental cost of geographic and 03 calls is nothing, then the campaign should be pressing for such a number to replace the 0845 one. This would also be better than 0800 and 0845 for mobile users to dial.
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Re: New Northumberland Council to use premium 0845 no
Reply #25 - May 7th, 2012 at 3:34am
 
I hope Northumberland County Council stick to their word an publish a geographic alternative contact number to the 0845 number.  I notice from reading the posts above that an alternative number was going to be published on their website back in 2009, but to date the 0845 number is the only number listed in their contact details.

Since they upgraded their telephone system, there is no longer a switchboard (switchboard calls are currently diverted to the IVR and answered by the contact centre).  Furthermore, all direct lines to individual members of staff and departments have either changed or are in the process of being changed, so callers are forced to dial the 0845 number to obtain new contact details or to be put through.

Various geographical numbers (many of which were publicised contact numbers for the now-defunct district councils) which were retained as delivery numbers to the 0845 number will also cease to work over the coming months.

Unless you have a direct number for the individual or department you require, the 0845 number will shortly become the only way of contacting the council.  However, there is a non-public delivery number for the 0845 IVR menu, which is 01670 627000.

Northumberland County Council's Emergency Social Services Team, operating outside of normal office hours, also only publish an 0845 number as a means of contacting them.  The delivery number in this instance is 01670 627001.

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Dave
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Re: New Northumberland Council to use premium 0845 no
Reply #26 - May 7th, 2012 at 1:21pm
 
Morgan Jones wrote on May 7th, 2012 at 3:34am:
I hope Northumberland County Council stick to their word an publish a geographic alternative contact number to the 0845 number.  I notice from reading the posts above that an alternative number was going to be published on their website back in 2009, but to date the 0845 number is the only number listed in their contact details.

Since they upgraded their telephone system, there is no longer a switchboard (switchboard calls are currently diverted to the IVR and answered by the contact centre).  Furthermore, all direct lines to individual members of staff and departments have either changed or are in the process of being changed, so callers are forced to dial the 0845 number to obtain new contact details or to be put through.

Various geographical numbers (many of which were publicised contact numbers for the now-defunct district councils) which were retained as delivery numbers to the 0845 number will also cease to work over the coming months.

Unless you have a direct number for the individual or department you require, the 0845 number will shortly become the only way of contacting the council.  However, there is a non-public delivery number for the 0845 IVR menu, which is 01670 627000.

Northumberland County Council's Emergency Social Services Team, operating outside of normal office hours, also only publish an 0845 number as a means of contacting them.  The delivery number in this instance is 01670 627001.

Hello and welcome to SayNoTo0870. I have, of course, updated the listings, so thanks for providing these numbers.


However, I feel I must add that it is totally innappropriate for the Council to be imposing a Service Charge on callers and that offering an alternative to avoid it is no mitigation. It is likely that not all callers will be made aware of the alternative and have sufficient knowledge of which is cheapest for them to dial, which means that there will always be some who will pay the fee. Some may then ask the question why use the fee-charging number in the first place where there is a policy to provide an alternative?


There is a current Ofcom consultation which proposes that users of 084 numbers should openly declare the level of the Charges which they impose. The Council would therefore have to say something along the lines of "This call will cost you 2 pence per minute plus your phone company’s access charge."

As I say, clearly this is totally innappropriate, although it is the case now but with the Charge made to any particular caller being combined with the amount that his or her provider charges. This combined price means that the 0845 call will cost more than a "normal" call.
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« Last Edit: May 7th, 2012 at 1:27pm by Dave »  
 
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Call For Durham County Council To Drop 0845 Use.
Reply #27 - Aug 25th, 2012 at 5:32am
 
Councillors  are calling on the county council to drop its use of 0845 numbers.

Labour members are urging the local authority to make the move in line with a government proposal.


SEE: http://www.newspostleader.co.uk/news/local/call-for-council-to-drop-0845-numbers...
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« Last Edit: Aug 25th, 2012 at 5:36am by bigjohn »  

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Re: New Northumberland Council to use premium 0845 no
Reply #28 - Jan 29th, 2014 at 1:41am
 
An update on the Northumberland County Council situation. Following consultations, from Monday 13th January the council are publishing several alternative delivery numbers - in fact a different number for (virtually) all the area codes in the council's catchment area. They state that the only cost to the council is line rental of under £600 a year.

The numbers published are as follows:

01670 627000 (areas covered include: Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth, Cramlington, Felton, Hartburn, Longhorsley, Lynemouth, Morpeth, Red Row, Scots Gap, Stannington, Ulgham and Whalton).
• 01661 520005 (areas covered include: Belsay, Ponteland, Prudhoe, Stamfordham, Stocksfield and Wylam).
• 01665 660733 (areas covered include: include Alnmouth, Alnwick, Amble, Charlton Mires, Chathill, Embleton, Longframlington, Longhoughton, Powburn, Seahouses, Shilbottle and Whittingham).
• 01668 260355 (areas covered include: Bamburgh, Belford, Chatton, Milfield, Wooler and Wooperton).
• 01669 220355 (areas covered include: Harbottle, Hepple, Netherton and Rothbury).
• 01830 570085 (areas covered include: Kirkwhelpington and Otterburn).
• 01289 540455 (areas covered include: Ancroft, Beal, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Holy Island (Lindisfarne), Lowick, Norham and Paxton.
• 01434 400388 (areas covered include: Allendale, Allenheads, Bellingham, Blanchland, Corbridge, Great Whittington, Haltwhistle, Haydon Bridge, Hexham, Humshaugh, Newbrough, Riding Mill and Slaley).
• 0191 5009044 (areas covered include: Seaton Delaval)


The 01670 number has of course been in existence since the telephony upgrade of April 2012, but not publicised.

Other useful numbers which may be of benefit to callers are:

Council Tax: 01670 624884
Benefits: 01670 624883
Business Rates: 01670 624885
Recovery: 01670 624886

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« Last Edit: Jan 29th, 2014 at 1:42am by Morgan Jones »  
 
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Re: New Northumberland Council to use premium 0845 no
Reply #29 - Jan 29th, 2014 at 6:26pm
 
Morgan Jones wrote on Jan 29th, 2014 at 1:41am:
An update on the Northumberland County Council situation. Following consultations, from Monday 13th January the council are publishing several alternative delivery numbers - in fact a different number for (virtually) all the area codes in the council's catchment area. They state that the only cost to the council is line rental of under £600 a year.

The page on the Council's website is Local telephone numbers.

According to that page, all the numbers go through to the call centre in Cramlington.

The Council continues to impose an undeclared Service Charge on those who ring the 0845 number.

What a bizarre approach to publish multiple local phone numbers for a single call centre.
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« Last Edit: Jan 29th, 2014 at 6:27pm by Dave »  
 
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