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Freephone - please publish geographic alternatives (Read 12,746 times)
floella2
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Freephone - please publish geographic alternatives
Jan 28th, 2010 at 4:32pm
 
Many of you may have seen my comments in the freephone post, and thank you for listening Smiley

Please can we start a simple campaign to encourage any organisation using freephone numbers to also list the geographic?

Example:

Joe Bloggs Building Ltd
Tel 0800 xxx xxxx (Freephone)
or 020 xxxx xxxx (standard network rates)

Your choice which one to call. Everybody wins!

Thanks for looking Smiley
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Barbara
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Re: Freephone - please publish geographic alternat
Reply #1 - Jan 28th, 2010 at 5:24pm
 
Agree totally, what do you suggest we do?    From a slightly different angle, I had the ridiculous situation with a charity a while ago, the query I had did not warrant the use of the freephone helpline so I rang the admin no but no one there could help me, I had to ring the helpline 0808 number hence costing the charity money it can ill afford whereas I could have called a geo no from my inclusive package.   To publish a geo alternative is, as you say, a situation where everybody wins.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Freephone - please publish geographic alternat
Reply #2 - Jan 28th, 2010 at 8:16pm
 
Barbara wrote on Jan 28th, 2010 at 5:24pm:
I had to ring the helpline 0808 number hence costing the charity money it can ill afford...

Unless the charity in question is staffed by volunteers, whose time is considered worthless, it is important to remember that the major cost associated with a telephone call is the time of the staff spent dealing with it. The additional cost of paying for a 080 call, or indeed the subsidy gained from the revenue share on a 084 number, is tiny by comparison.

This truth must not detract us from our campaigning objectives, as it does nothing to undermine the point that we repeatedly make. I do believe that we must however be sensible, and retain a sense of proportion when commenting, despite the severe feeling of concern that these issues raise.


The important point made by Barbara is that the alternative issued must be effective and useful. For those who do load sharing and redirection of incoming calls between a number of points, it may not be quite so simple an exercise as may be imagined. One option to deal with this situation is to obtain a 03 number, however this means that the principle of "everybody wins" is undermined.


There is a danger that the campaign could be hi-jacked by the dial-through providers, who can offer the same benefit to callers and whose business would be threatened if the campaign was successful.


The essential point of the proposed campaign is however sound; it can count on my support for simple cases.
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floella2
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Re: Freephone - please publish geographic alternat
Reply #3 - Jan 29th, 2010 at 4:34pm
 
SCV and Barbara, both very good points.

I think my 0800 dislike began when helping a friend who was suffering from domestic violence. Having been driven out of her home and having to leave her job, a source of help was on an 0800 number. She had inclusive minutes on her mobile and could ill afford at that time to run up a larger bill by calling 0800.

I endeavoured to find her an alternative since she was at that time lacking the confidence to walk from her women's refuge to stand at a call box. It was difficult to find either a number or a call box for that matter!

Perhaps it is a feeling of disgust I get each time I see one (0800 that is, not the call box!) because it reminds me of that time, but it has also made me think how in SOME situations the benefits offered by these numbers verge on being pointless.

Examples:

Above mentioned DV helpline
RAC/AA Recovery
British Transport Police (stickers that say "if you see this train being vandalised call 'free' on 0800 xxx xxx")
5 Live 606 phone in after football
'Freephone' numbers to mobile phone companies when seeking a new contract, hahaha...

...the list could go on!

I know I have given this example in another post but a housing association puts both numbers on its contact page in a very easy to understand format:

http://www.placesforpeople.co.uk/Contact_us.aspx

This is all that I would encourage 0800 users to do. How to encourage them to do this, if of course you are in agreement, I don't yet know and I was hoping for a suggestion Smiley
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« Last Edit: Jan 29th, 2010 at 4:35pm by floella2 »  
 
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Barbara
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Re: Freephone - please publish geographic alternat
Reply #4 - Jan 29th, 2010 at 5:00pm
 
floella2, I must confess that I remember you raising the issue about the DV helpline but, until then, I had been woefully ignorant about the cost of 0800 nos from mobiles, I had assumed they were literally "free to phone" from any source, indeed I'd wondered why our breakdown people gave a geo no to call from a mobile & thought they were trying to cheat me!  I think it is a very valuable point you have raised and will become more of an issue as more and more people rely on mobiles, for example students - my middle son did arrange the installation of shared landline at uni but had terrible problems with getting housemates to pay their dues, my youngest son didn't bother & just relied on his mobile (he said it was too cold to stand in a phone box while I rang him back!).   Have you any ideas on how we can increase awareness of the problems with "freephone" nos from mobiles?   It is a point I now include when pointing out why organisations should not use 084X/087X nos, eg "and don't think going to an 0800 is any good either" etc.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Freephone - please publish geographic alternat
Reply #5 - Jan 29th, 2010 at 6:27pm
 
Trying to be helpful.

I suggest that each of the cases listed is worth tackling on its own.

The DV helpline sounds as though it should be part of the THA scheme - i.e. probably on a 080880 number so that it is more widely supported as free, but a 0800 number would be free from some mobiles.

I know of at least one stalwart member who would be delighted to take a part in an attack on the motoring organisations, possibly through the car manufacturers, banks etc. who are their direct clients.

Forthright views would doubtless be expressed by many callers to 606 on their way home from a match. I am not a regular listener, but I recall most calls being from mobiles and I would be surprised if the issue had not come up.

The possibility of coming to an arrangement similar to that done by the DWP is perhaps worthy of consideration in both of these cases.

British Transport Police need their heads examining, unless they have an arrangement with the mobile companies already. Are they really expecting people to wait until they get home to make a free call! Apart from the obvious charity numbers that fall within the THA scheme, arrangements to waive the charge (without extra payment) have been made in other cases, e.g. the National Pandemic Flu Service.

The situation with the Mobile Telcos themselves seems very odd. One would assume that a renewal would be done on a free service number (e.g. 150). Getting one to incur a premium imposed by an existing operator when thinking of switching to them seems a rather bizarre idea, especially when they also pay for the call.

It would perhaps be useful if other members could come up with suggestions of groups of companies that would get reasonable volumes of calls from mobiles to 0800 numbers. If one could be persuaded to pick up on the idea of offering a geo alternative, then competitors would perhaps follow.

There is another suggestion that may be worth considering - this was apparently considered by the DWP but rejected on the grounds of cost - automated call back. Think of yourself at home with a caller display device - you get an incoming call from a poor friend on their mobile - you note their number and disconnect the call, then you ring them back. You pay the full cost of the call. This can be done automatically.
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sherbert
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Re: Freephone - please publish geographic alternat
Reply #6 - Jan 29th, 2010 at 7:14pm
 
When calling a 'free phone' number, from your mobile, you can always use the dial through numbers,  which  are often mentioned on this site, to avoid the cost.
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CJT-80
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Re: Freephone - please publish geographic alternat
Reply #7 - Feb 26th, 2010 at 9:08pm
 
As advised by SCV here: [url]http://www.saynoto0870.com/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1208350214/45[/url] I am letting you know BT now have a direct support number for Mobiles in the form of 03 numbers, they are:

0330 123 4150 (used instead of 0800 800 150) BT Landline Customer Services

and

0330 123 4567 (used instead of 0800 111 4567)

I hope this helps. Sorry about the link..

:)
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Regards,

CJT-80

Any comments made are my own and are not those of SayNoTo0870.com
 
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