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Universal Credit Helpline - Will it be 0845? (Read 10,993 times)
Dave
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Universal Credit Helpline - Will it be 0845?
Apr 21st, 2012 at 12:29pm
 
UNISON is warning that the new Universal Credit helpline could be an 0845 number costing up to 40 pence per minute. It says that it will hit the hardest those who can least afford it. These are also the least likely to have access to the internet and therefore no option but to request the benefit over the telephone.

UNISON warning over botched roll out of Universal Credit - Press release 20/04/12

Outlets reporting this story:



The Universal Credit Helpline, along with other public services, should not be imposing Service Charges of 2 pence per minute. They should use neutrally-charged 03 numbers, or where there is a case for taxpayers to cover the full cost of calls, they should be free to call for all, including those ringing from mobiles.

If UNISON is right and this helpline is to be an 0845 number, then clearly the DWP has learned nothing. The sooner that the premium or "Service Charge" on a 0845 number must be declared, the better. This is Ofcom's proposal and it is one I fully support.
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« Last Edit: Apr 21st, 2012 at 12:33pm by Dave »  
 
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ihate0845
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Re: Universal Credit Helpline - Will it be 0845?
Reply #1 - Apr 22nd, 2012 at 7:10pm
 
I think unless there is a ton of bad publicity on tv or major papers or the law gets changed to protect the poor then its almsot certianly going to be 0845.

The problem as well is you can no longer just walk into a job centre to see someone, it has to be done over the phone.

Also even if over the internet the fact the DWP are so overworked and issues happen its inevitable people will still need to ring and they wont have a choice as its their livelyhood at stake.
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kasg
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Re: Universal Credit Helpline - Will it be 0845?
Reply #2 - Apr 22nd, 2012 at 9:58pm
 
Isn't this all speculation? Given that the Tax Credits help line has recently changed from 0845 to 0345, why is it assumed an 0845 number will be introduced for the Universal Credit?
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Universal Credit Helpline - Will it be 0845?
Reply #3 - Apr 22nd, 2012 at 10:39pm
 
kasg wrote on Apr 22nd, 2012 at 9:58pm:
Isn't this all speculation? Given that the Tax Credits help line has recently changed from 0845 to 0345, why is it assumed an 0845 number will be introduced for the Universal Credit?

It is indeed speculation. Probably intended to ensure that it does not happen!

The only point worthy of note is that it is HMRC which has changed the Tax Credit helpline number and indicated that similar moves will follow with other numbers. No such indication has been given by the DWP, which is responsible for the Universal Credit.
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ihate0845
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Re: Universal Credit Helpline - Will it be 0845?
Reply #4 - Apr 23rd, 2012 at 5:28pm
 
kasg wrote on Apr 22nd, 2012 at 9:58pm:
Isn't this all speculation? Given that the Tax Credits help line has recently changed from 0845 to 0345, why is it assumed an 0845 number will be introduced for the Universal Credit?


because from a public perception people using the DWP are scroungers whilst its a lot of taxpayers using the tax credits hotline? different departments.
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Re: Universal Credit Helpline - Will it be 0845?
Reply #5 - Feb 29th, 2016 at 1:47pm
 
Just an update: the published number is an 0345 number, costing I think the same as 0845; on the sayno site the same number with 0845 instead of 0345 is given as an unofficial equivalent, but there is no geographic or other cheaper equivalent. In March 2016 BT was accused of shameless profiteering by the use of this line. The DWP said that people could call briefly and request they be called back. This is simply what is reported, I have changed nothing.
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Ian01
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Re: Universal Credit Helpline - Will it be 0845?
Reply #6 - Feb 29th, 2016 at 3:42pm
 

DWP changed their 0845 lines over to cheaper 0345 numbers on 17 March 2014.

Calls to 03 numbers are inclusive from landlines and mobiles else charged at geographic rate, exactly the same as calls to 01 and 02 numbers.

These are not premium rate numbers. There is no revenue sharing. The call price is set by the caller's landline or mobile provider.

The only profiteering is where a caller chooses an incorrect call plan or tariff for their needs, e.g. has the choice of unlimited calls on their landline to 01, 02 and 03 numbers for £8 per month but chooses to go on a tariff charging more than £6.50 per hour.

It is 084, 087 and 09 numbers that are premium rate. These are generally non-inclusive and cost a lot more to call than calls to ordinary 01, 02 and 03 numbers. Public services, customer services and financial services no longer use 084 or 087 numbers.

See a comparison of 03 and 084/087 call costs
http://www.fairtelecoms.org.uk/uploads/1/1/4/5/11456053/current_call_costs.pdf

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« Last Edit: Feb 29th, 2016 at 6:59pm by Ian01 »  
 
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