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New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline (Read 25,708 times)
samwsmith1
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New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Dec 31st, 2011 at 10:06pm
 
Just noticed this on a press release from the Department for Transport:
Quote:
The number for the new national helpline in England is 0844 463 0213


http://www.dft.gov.uk/news/press-releases/dft-press-20111230

Do the Government never learn?
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CJT-80
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Re: New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Reply #1 - Jan 1st, 2012 at 12:16pm
 
It would appear not!

I wonder if you can provide feedback on that?

(Goes and looks)

Edit: It seems you can here - https://www.dft.gov.uk/about/contact/form/ - time to write a complaint!
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« Last Edit: Jan 1st, 2012 at 12:20pm by CJT-80 »  

Regards,

CJT-80

Any comments made are my own and are not those of SayNoTo0870.com
 
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bazzerfewi
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Re: New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Reply #2 - Jan 1st, 2012 at 4:05pm
 
Is it possible to source the company that provides this number. In the past I have sourced the telecom company and on a number of occassions they have given me the  alternative number

I have used my usual link but I could not locate the telco, I will have another attempt on Tuesday when the offices are open again
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Reply #3 - Jan 1st, 2012 at 5:47pm
 
0844 463 0213 is the most extraordinary choice for a telephone number.

It is of type "g9" which yields a revenue share of around 2p per minute, slightly more than that provided by 0845 numbers. All BT customers pay 2.041p per minute at all times, in addition to the call setup-fee of 13.1p. This is just slightly more than they pay to call a 0845 number during the daytime if they do not subscribe to Unlimited Anytime.

Had a 0845 number been selected, then BT and some other landline callers would have been able to benefit from calls being inclusive. As it is they are all paying a sizeable premium for the sake of a tiny subsidy to the provider of the helpline service. Most callers pay a sizeable premium.

My strong suspicion is that this service is provided under contract by an outside agency, rather than by DfT itself. They probably chose this number and believe that all callers are paying "a low rate" of 2p per minute, which is less than what they will claim to be the normal cost of a call to a geographic number. I may be wrong, but I cannot see any other reason for this odd decision. I suspect that DfT officials failed to spot the fact that this is nonsense.

The 0844 463 block of numbers is allocated to Talk Talk Business (formally Opal Telecom), who also provide the g6 (5p) and g11 (4p) numbers used by NEG. I have no reason to suspect that this is anything more than co-incidence.

I too will be writing to Ms Greening and Mr Baker. The message is slowly making its way around Whitehall. The main contact number for DfT is 0300 330 3000 and all of its agencies (including the DVLA) now have 0300 numbers.
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Dave
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Re: New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Reply #4 - Jan 1st, 2012 at 6:10pm
 
This is a disgraceful decision for the DfT to allow this.

The message played on the 0844 number gives an e-mail address at the northgate-is.com domain. This belongs to Northgate Information Solutions.

A search reveals some pages on Northgate IS being the company behind the Blue Badge Improvement Scheme (BBIS):
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« Last Edit: Jan 1st, 2012 at 6:12pm by Dave »  
 
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Heinz
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Re: New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Reply #5 - Jan 1st, 2012 at 7:32pm
 
CJT-80 wrote on Jan 1st, 2012 at 12:16pm:
It would appear not!

I wonder if you can provide feedback on that?

(Goes and looks)

Edit: It seems you can here - https://www.dft.gov.uk/about/contact/form/ - time to write a complaint!

Don't hold your breath for a reply though - they state it'll take 'em 20 days!
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After years of ignoring govt. guidelines & RIPPING OFF Council Tax payers using 0845 numbers, Essex County Council changed to 0345 numbers on 2 November 2015
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Heinz
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Re: New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Reply #6 - Jan 11th, 2012 at 2:48pm
 
Ten days and counting ...........
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After years of ignoring govt. guidelines & RIPPING OFF Council Tax payers using 0845 numbers, Essex County Council changed to 0345 numbers on 2 November 2015
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CJT-80
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Re: New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Reply #7 - Jan 11th, 2012 at 9:53pm
 
Heinz wrote on Jan 11th, 2012 at 2:48pm:
Ten days and counting ...........


Indeed

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CJT-80

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CJT-80
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Re: New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Reply #8 - Jan 24th, 2012 at 10:22pm
 
Heinz wrote on Jan 11th, 2012 at 2:48pm:
Ten days and counting ...........


I got a reply today.... and boy was it NOT worth it...

"Dear Mr xxxx,

The new Blue Badge Helpline number

Thank you for your email of 1 January. This has been passed to me for reply.

The National Advice Line is being provided by Northgate Information Solutions as part of the Blue Badge Improvement Service Contract. The Service is also providing a national database of badge holders to help prevent fraud and improve enforcement, a new Blue Badge design and an on-line application form.† Northgate has made the capital investment needed to establish this Service in return for a charge per badge issued that will be payable by local authorities.† The Department for Transport is not providing or paying for the Advice Line and so any Departmental standards do not apply in this case.

The Advice Line is an 0844 number and you are correct that calls to it will cost the caller 2p per minute from a land line.† However, the service provider will only receive 0.6p per minute. Callers will pay the same rate from wherever they call in England. Calls made from mobile phones will be higher and prices will vary depending on the mobile package used by the caller.† People who call their local authority directly to enquire about the Blue Badge Scheme are also charged local rates"

Please comment on this as you see fit, I intend to reply to them so would be interested on any ones views!
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CJT-80

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speedy
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Re: New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Reply #9 - Jan 25th, 2012 at 3:31am
 
Now we have the Blue Badge feeding off the Disabled, Disgusting † Angry Shocked Roll Eyes
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bazzerfewi
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Re: New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Reply #10 - Jan 25th, 2012 at 6:17am
 
Correct me if I am wrong but there will also be a connection charge. So it will be a rip off 0.4p plus the connection charge  Angry
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Reply #11 - Jan 25th, 2012 at 8:50am
 
bazzerfewi wrote on Jan 25th, 2012 at 6:17am:
Correct me if I am wrong but there will also be a connection charge. So it will be a rip off 0.4p plus the connection charge† Angry

Under the present arrangements, one simply cannot give a meaningful indication of call cost, let alone of the cost relative to that of a geographic call, except in the case of a particular tariff from a particular provider.

All that can be said with confidence is that a call to a "business rate" (084/087, excluding 0870) or "premium rate" number will include a service charge to the benefit of the person called. In this case it is equivalent to 2p per minute. In addition to this, the telephone company originating the call will add an "Access Charge" of its own. There is no "Service Charge" on calls to "geographic rate" 01/02/03 numbers.

Call charges are presently "bundled" so the breakdown between the "Service Charge" and "Access Charge" is not apparent, unless the Service Charge is declared. Because BT is presently prohibited from adding an "Access Charge" to the pence per minute rate, the Service Charge can always be determined.


The Ofcom proposal, which we expect to see confirmed shortly, is for the two elements of the charge to be declared separately by the respective parties. The telephone company will have to declare its "Access Charge" and the "Service Provider" (person called) will be required to declare the "Service Charge".

This more transparent approach will mean that each party has to justify its charges, without getting involved in making misleading and false references to the position of the other (as in this case).

If a "Service Charge" of 2p per minute, not to mention the risk of incurring an additional "Access Charge", can be justified in cases such as this, then it will be for the Service Provider to do so. I personally cannot see any reason why Public Service providers could not choose, or be required by the government, to follow this approach ahead of the impostion of regulatory requirements by Ofcom.
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Dave
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Re: New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Reply #12 - Jan 25th, 2012 at 2:09pm
 
The 0.6 pence per minute that is quoted as being the amount that the service operator is paid by its telephone provider is largely irrelevant and used to paint a misleading picture of what is actually going on. It is certainly not at the centre of the issue concerning members of SayNoTo0870.

It is a common misconception that the amount the pops out the end of the chain, as it were, (in this case 0.6 pence per minute) is the sole benefit to the recipient at the expense of the caller. This may have been a valid representation in the days when their was only one telephone operator, but the decision to move to multi-operator telephony means that this no longer is the case.

The benefit (premium, subsidy or whatever you want to call it) is around 2 pence per minute on a 0845 number. This is passed to the receiver's telephone provider (that is the provider of the 0845 number) and comes from the caller's telephone provider.

Any payment directly (or increase in such payment) to the user of the number merely drives down the amount that it retains for provision of service to the user of the number. Where no payment is made directly, the telephone company operating the 0845 number on behalf of its customer (the call recipient) retains the full 2 pence per minute. That is a commercial matter for the user of the number (the receiving party of the call).

The issues of concern to members of this website are the premiums that they pay for the benefit of the receivers (i.e. the 2 pence per minute). Where receivers put it to use misses the point or is used to obfuscate the truth of what is happening.
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« Last Edit: Jan 25th, 2012 at 2:14pm by Dave »  
 
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CJT-80
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Re: New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Reply #13 - Jan 25th, 2012 at 9:42pm
 
Thanks to everyone who has commented.

I would like to point out I have not stated to DfT what the cost of calling the number was, I did point out it was more expensive to call from a landline, and questioned it usage and reasoning.

It's my intention to reply to this e-mail they have sent.

Can anyone come up with a few good responses to challenge their reply?

Would appreciate short and sweet reponses I can include as bullett points.

Smiley
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CJT-80

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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: New Disabled Blue Badge Helpline
Reply #14 - Jan 25th, 2012 at 10:29pm
 
CJT-80 wrote on Jan 25th, 2012 at 9:42pm:
Can anyone come up with a few good responses to challenge their reply?

I might consider making the following points:

This is a "Business rate" number, as defined by Ofcom, and only suitable for use when the "Service Charge" of 2p per minute can be justified.

Telephone service providers add their own "Access Charge", which can currently be up to 39p per minute over the cost of calling a geographic number.

One particular provider is currently prohibited by regulations from adding an "Access Charge" to the pence per minute element of the charge and therefore provides a very poor and misleading example.

The DfT may wish to consider voluntarily declaring its charges and referring to the "Access Charge" in advance of a mandatory requirement which will shortly be announced by Ofcom. There is no reason why a decision to sub-contract services should degrade its standards of service. There should be no shame in openly declaring a charge that is imposed for a service.

Please consult telephone tariffs before making any further false and misleading statements about telephone call costs. There has not been a distinct "local rate" since 2004; call charges from all landline and mobile call providers vary according to the provider and the tariff and often include fixed charges. It is strongly recommended to refer only to the constant element - the 2p per minute "Service Charge" that is added when calling this type of "Business Rate" number.

Lots of bullets there, with which to wound. It is never easy to condense the teaching of someone who does not understand the complexity of an issue into simple points, unless one holds acknowledged authority.
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