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Sefton Council considers axing premium 0845 number (Read 15,262 times)
Dave
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Sefton Council considers axing premium 0845 number
Oct 16th, 2009 at 5:26pm
 
Source: Southport Visiter

http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/southport-news/southport-southport-news/2009/1...

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Sefton Council considers axing expensive 0845 phone number in Southport

Oct 16 2009 by Lyndsay Young, Southport Visiter

A CALL for Sefton Council to axe its costly 0845 phone number is being reviewed.

Sefton Citizen’s Advice Bureau is fighting to reduce the cost to call Sefton Council.

It wants the Sefton Plus Contact Centre’s 0845 prefix, replaced with a cheaper 0300 number.

A survey carried out by CAB revealed people on low incomes could be missing out on vital support because of the cost to call 0800 from a Pay As You Go mobile.

Many of these people had a mobile phone because they could not afford a landline.

Councillor Paula Parry, Sefton’s cabinet member of Corporate Services referred the matter to the Scrutiny Review Committee for consideration.

In a Sefton Council report Paul Edwards, finance and information services director said changing it would be costly for the council.

In a report he said: “The proposed number was chosen because it is easy to remember and can be dialled from anywhere in the borough at local rate without the need for an added prefix.

“If a decision were made to change from the current 0845 number, there would be additional costs which the council would incur in relation to publicity of the new number.”

Cllr Parry said she does not want the number changed because people know the number and added: “We appreciate that when people use mobile phones it costs them more but people who use normal landlines have the standing charge to pay.

“However if there is a problem and if people have commented on it then we will look at it.”

>>
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NGMsGhost
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Re: Sefton Council considers axing premium 0845 nu
Reply #1 - Oct 17th, 2009 at 11:01am
 
Dave wrote on Oct 16th, 2009 at 5:26pm:
Cllr Parry said she does not want the number changed because people know the number and added: “We appreciate that when people use mobile phones it costs them more but people who use normal landlines have the standing charge to pay.


I wonder why Cllr Parry never seems to have thought this was an issue when the council's original much loved and cherished geographic main switchboard phone number was presumably withdrawn? Wink Roll Eyes
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Dave
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Re: Sefton Council considers axing premium 0845 nu
Reply #2 - Nov 27th, 2009 at 3:51pm
 
http://modgov.sefton.gov.uk/moderngov/Published/C00000147/M00004813/AI00008727/$...

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Agenda Item 10

REPORT TO:   Cabinet Member – Corporate Services
DATE:   14 October 2009
SUBJECT:   Corporate Customer Contact – Use of 0845 pre-fix to Contact Centre telephone number

[…]

PURPOSE/SUMMARY:
To seek the views of the Cabinet Member in relation to the use of the current “0845” pre-fix to the Contact Centre telephone number.

REASON WHY DECISION REQUIRED:
The Citizen’s Advice Bureaux (CAB) have approached Members requesting that consideration be given to replacing numbers with a 0845 pre-fix with numbers that are less costly for people to contact by mobile phone.

RECOMMENDATION(S):
It is recommended that the Cabinet Member for Corporate Services:
(a) Notes the contents of this report.
(b) Considers whether there should be a change to the Council’s current Sefton Plus Contact Centre number.

1. INTRODUCTION
1.1. In August 2009, Alan Toms of the Sefton Citizens Advice Bureau contacted a number of Members, requesting support for a national CAB campaign to reduce the cost of contacting Government (national and local) on a mobile phone.
1.2. In this communication the CAB referred to the Council’s use of an 0845 number for the Sefton Plus Contact Centre (0845 140 0845), and the cost to residents of calling that number from a mobile phone. In particular, the communication advised / suggested that:
• Sixty-five CAB from across the north of England have been collecting evidence of problems this causes clients.
• Many CAB clients have a mobile phone but no land line.
• The cost of calling an 0845 number from a mobile phone “can cost up to 40 pence per minute”.
• The cost of using a number with an “03” pre-fix is less costly.
1.3. CAB urged Sefton to make a policy to adopt 03 numbers in place of the current range.
1.4. Following an investigation of the issues raised, an update letter has been sent to all Members, and a copy of the letter is included in Annex A to this report.
1.5. The purpose of this report is to seek the Cabinet members views on the issues raised.

[…]

3. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF CHANGE TO THE USE OF THE 0845 CONTACT CENTRE NUMBER
3.1. Sefton MBC is charged £50.00 per month to use the 0845 number and the supplier agreement includes a standard revenue share clause providing Sefton MBC some modest income based on it’s use. Currently this income averages £3000 per annum and is used to offset the cost of the 0845 number with any (small) balance being re-invested in developing better services for Sefton residents.
3.2. Contact has been made with BT, who have provided the following information in relation to calls to an 0845 number:
• From BT public telephone - charged at 4.6p per minute.
• From other network provider public telephone - up to 6.0p per minute.
• From private BT landline - generally free in BT packages.
• From mobile phones - 0845 numbers are charge at rates varying from 11.0p to 22.5p per minute depending upon tariffs.
3.3. Contact has been made with Telewest (the Council’s telephony supplier) and they were less able to give specific costs due to the different service providers that can provide network services. They did say that public phone call charges varied between 5p and 7p per minute.

[…]
>>

Not sure who told them that BT public telephones cost 4.6p per minute. The cost is actually 20 pence per minute.

It's interesting to note that CABs are talking to each other about these issues and raising them with local authorities.
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Dave
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Re: Sefton Council considers axing premium 0845 nu
Reply #3 - Nov 27th, 2009 at 4:14pm
 
Source: Sefton Council

http://modgov.sefton.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.asp?CId=147&MId=4813

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Agenda and Minutes
Cabinet Member - Corporate Services
Wednesday 14th October, 2009 10.00 am

[…]

56. Corporate Customer Contact - Use of 0845 Pre-fix to Contact Centre Telephone Number pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Report of the Finance and Information Services Director

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member considered the report of the Finance and Information Services Director on representations received from the Sefton Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), seeking support for a national CAB campaign to reduce the cost of contacting local and national Government agencies on a mobile phone.  The CAB had contrasted the relatively higher cost of telephoning the Sefton Plus Contact Centre (0845 140 0845) compared to numbers using an 03 prefix.  The report set out a full analysis of the issues surrounding this campaign.


RESOLVED:   That

(1)       the report be noted;

(2)            subject to (3) below, no change be made to the Council's current Sefton Plus Contact Centre number (0845 140 0845); and

(3)       this matter be referred to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Performance and Corporate Services) for consideration.
>>
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Re: Sefton Council considers axing premium 0845 nu
Reply #4 - Dec 28th, 2009 at 8:38pm
 
Source: Sefton Council

http://modgov.sefton.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.asp?CId=363&MId=4684&Ver=4

<<

Agenda and Minutes
Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Performance and Corporate Services)
Tuesday 15th December, 2009 6.30 pm

[…]

38. Corporate Customer Contact - Use of 0845 Pre-fix to Contact Centre Telephone Number PDF 79 KB

   * Find out more about item 38.

Report of the Director of Finance and Information Services

Additional documents:

   * 14 October - Contact Centre - Use of 0845 number - Final, 14/10/2009 Cabinet Member - Corporate Services, item38. PDF 139 KB

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 56 of the meeting of the Cabinet Member – Corporate Services held on 14 October 2009, the Committee considered the reports of the Legal Director and the Finance and Information Services Director, seeking views on the use of the current ‘0845’ prefix to the Corporate Customer Contact Centre telephone number.

The report of the Legal Director indicated that the Cabinet Member – Corporate Services had considered representations received from the Sefton Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB), seeking support for a national CAB campaign to reduce the cost of contacting local and national Government agencies on a mobile phone. The CAB had contrasted the relatively higher cost of telephoning the Sefton Plus Contact Centre (0845 140 0845), compared to numbers using an 03 prefix.

Mr. John Farrell, Assistant Finance and Information Services Director, addressed the Committee, and indicated that the Cabinet Member – Corporate Services had resolved that no change be made to the Council’s current Sefton Plus Contact Centre number (0845 140 0845) – subject to consideration of the matter by this Committee.

Consideration was given to the additional costs which would be incurred by the Council in procuring the 03 prefix, and also for some customers, such as mobile phone users. It was suggested that for some customers it would be cheaper for them to ring the Contact Centre on one of the two existing geographical numbers, namely, 01704 533 133, for residents in the North of the Borough, and 0151 922 4040, for residents in the South of the Borough, as these numbers were now automatically routed to the Sefton Plus Contact Centre.

RESOLVED: That

(1) the decision of the Cabinet Member – Corporate Services, to retain the current ‘0845’ prefix Contact Centre number be supported; and

(2) the Cabinet Member be requested to consider the ‘promotion’ of the two existing geographical numbers 01704 533133 and 0151 922 4040, as alternative ways of accessing the Sefton Plus Contact Centre, rather than introducing a new number with an 03 prefix.

>>



Source: Southport Visiter

http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/southport-news/southport-southport-news/2009/1...

<<

Birkdale councillor’s answer to Citizens Advice Bureau campaign to ban costly 0800 numbers

Dec 30 2009

A PLEA by the Sefton Citizens Advice Bureau for Sefton Council to scrap the 0845 phone numbers could be answered.

The CAB launched a campaign for the 0845 Sefton Council Plus phone number to be replaced by a cheaper 0300 prefix.

But it was not backed by the council because of the costs involved in using an 0300 number.

Now Birkdale councillor Simon Shaw has come up with an alternative by suggesting the council promotes its cheaper landline number.

At an Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Corporate Services, Cllr Shaw received backing from fellow councillors for the council to promote the landline numbers.

The CAB’s suggestion to move to an 0300 number was not backed by Corporate Services Cabinet Member Cllr Paula Parry because it would cost the council almost £30,000 a year.

[…]

>>
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Dave
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Re: Sefton Council considers axing premium 0845 nu
Reply #5 - Feb 7th, 2010 at 12:30am
 
Source: Sefton Council

http://modgov.sefton.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.Asp?CId=159&MID=4755

<<

Southport Area Committee
Wednesday 6th January, 2010 6.30 pm

[…]

During the Open Forum the following questions/comments/petitions were submitted:

[…]

(c)        Mr. J. Lee suggested that the purchase of an 0845 telephone number for Sefton Plus would have cost Sefton a great deal of money and the cost of dialling it was only of benefit to people who did not live locally as all calls were charged as local calls; and that he could find no advantages for a Local Authority in having such a number.  The old telephone numbers for the former Southport and Bootle exchanges were reported as still working, so what was the point of introducing this 0845 number for Sefton Plus?

The Committee Administrator indicated that he had been advised by the Service Manager, Sefton Plus that Sefton Council introduced its 0845 telephone number in 2005 as part of the Council’s Customer Contact Strategy.  The overall aim of the strategy was to make services more accessible, and customers could now dial one number, 0845 140 0845 and access all services.  Although not a primary driver, one of the other customer benefits of the introduction of an 0845 number was that callers from anywhere in the United Kingdom were charged at local rate.  This arrangement also benefited Sefton residents in as much as callers from the south of the borough who called an office in Southport for example would previously have been charged national rate for calling outside of their 0151 prefix and vice versa.

In terms of cost, Sefton MBC was charged £50.00 per month to use the 0845 number and the supplier agreement includes a standard revenue share clause providing Sefton MBC some modest income based on it’s use.  This monthly income was used to offset the cost of the 0845 number with any balance being re-invested in developing better services for Sefton residents.

Members also advised of the recent decision of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Performance and Corporate Services) on this matter that:

(1)       the decision of the Cabinet Member - Corporate Services, to retain the current ‘0845’ prefix Contact Centre number be supported; and

(2)       the Cabinet Member be requested to consider the ‘promotion’ of the two existing geographical numbers 01704 533133 and 0151 922 4040, as alternative ways of accessing the Sefton Plus Contact Centre, rather than introducing a new number with an 03 prefix.

[…]
>>


Yet again we see another organisation that switches to a 0845 number is some mistaken belief that it is "local rate". It is the same price or less than a local call on BT's tariffs, but this is down to the "NTS Condition" regulation which keeps BT's rates abnormally low.
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Re: Sefton Council considers axing premium 0845 number
Reply #6 - Oct 25th, 2016 at 2:21pm
 

SIX years later, TWELVE years after 0845 numbers ceased to be charged at ''local rate', THREE years after the Cabinet Office told public services to get rid of 084 and 087 numbers...

Sefton Council's 0845 number will be switched off in November 2016.

The replacement number is an 0345 number.



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« Last Edit: Oct 25th, 2016 at 2:21pm by Ian01 »  
 
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