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UK Visa's and Immigration - Oversea's Calling (Read 4,615 times)
CJT-80
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UK Visa's and Immigration - Oversea's Calling
Mar 27th, 2018 at 2:21pm
 
I spotted this little gem from UK Visa's on their site:
Quote:
By phone
Telephone: 00 44 203 481 1736
Monday to Friday, 24 hours
Calls cost 1.37 per minute on top of your standard network charges. (Bold added by me)


I used the feedback for to question their charges and was advised: Quote:
Hello xxxxx

Call charges information comes from Ofcom.

There is also a link at the bottom of the pages which allows the user to contact Ofcom if they have questions about call charges.


I cannot find the "link" she speaks of, and how on earth can they know the cost of every oversea's provider?

The UK contact page does have a link to call charges here but that does not include oversea's calls.

I have not e-mailed them back yet, but I am shocked.
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CJT-80

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Ian01
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Re: UK Visa's and Immigration - Oversea's Calling
Reply #1 - Mar 27th, 2018 at 2:36pm
 

The 1.37 per minute is billed to the caller's debit card as a chargeable service. It does not appear on their telephone bill.

Enquiries made by, for and on behalf of people who are overseas have been deemed to be chargeable. It applies when someone calls from overseas. It also applies when family members call from the UK to enquire on behalf of a family member who is still overseas. Likewise, it would apply if an MP called to discuss the case of a person overseas.

By billing direct, instead of using a premium rate number, this ensures that all of the charge goes to the service, there is no massive access charge paid to the benefit of the telephone companies.

It might be argued that applying an additional charge when people call from the UK breaches Cabinet Office guidance.

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« Last Edit: Mar 27th, 2018 at 2:52pm by Ian01 »  
 
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CJT-80
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Re: UK Visa's and Immigration - Oversea's Calling
Reply #2 - Mar 27th, 2018 at 3:17pm
 
Ian01 wrote on Mar 27th, 2018 at 2:36pm:
The 1.37 per minute is billed to the caller's debit card as a chargeable service. It does not appear on their telephone bill.

Enquiries made by, for and on behalf of people who are overseas have been deemed to be chargeable. It applies when someone calls from overseas. It also applies when family members call from the UK to enquire on behalf of a family member who is still overseas. Likewise, it would apply if an MP called to discuss the case of a person overseas.

By billing direct, instead of using a premium rate number, this ensures that all of the charge goes to the service, there is no massive access charge paid to the benefit of the telephone companies.

It might be argued that applying an additional charge when people call from the UK breaches Cabinet Office guidance.


Ian01

I have to admit I would never have realised that.

Do you have to input your debit card details to be charged? I admit I am somewhat confused by how that works.

I can understand why they would charge that way, and at least the "cost" of the service is paid correctly (not via an access charge to a company, with little return to the service).

I would have been helpful if the person who e-mailed me back explained it how you have. Huh
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CJT-80

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Ian01
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Re: UK Visa's and Immigration - Oversea's Calling
Reply #3 - Mar 27th, 2018 at 4:18pm
 

The clarity of wording here
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-international-enquiry-service-to-help-uk-...
isn't maybe as good as it could be.


This page gives greater clarity
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/important-announcement-from-uk-visas-immigrat...

"If you would prefer to dial a UK number direct please call:
00 44 1243 213 300
This is a paid service and there is a cost of 1.37 UK Sterling per minute in addition to your standard network charges. Please have a valid credit or debit card ready to process your payment. We can accept MasterCard credit and debit cards, and Visa credit and debit cards. You will not be charged until you are connected to an adviser. Calls may be recorded for training purposes. We are able to handle your calls in English."

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« Last Edit: Mar 27th, 2018 at 7:20pm by Ian01 »  
 
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CJT-80
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Re: UK Visa's and Immigration - Oversea's Calling
Reply #4 - Mar 27th, 2018 at 4:57pm
 
Ian01 you are amazing with that information.

The need to make the cost of the service clearer on the page I linked to.

I might work out how to suggest that!
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CJT-80

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Ian01
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Re: UK Visa's and Immigration - Oversea's Calling
Reply #5 - Mar 27th, 2018 at 6:17pm
 

A Google search for [1.37 VISA] will find many other pages, some worded better than others.

There have been questions in Parliament about these fees. One such example is
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-stateme...

Another is
http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-stateme...


The regulations are here
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/226/schedule/7/made
See section 18.5 towards the bottom of the page.

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« Last Edit: Mar 27th, 2018 at 11:45pm by Ian01 »  
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: UK Visa's and Immigration - Oversea's Calling
Reply #6 - Mar 27th, 2018 at 9:25pm
 
CJT-80 wrote on Mar 27th, 2018 at 2:21pm:
I used the feedback form to question their charges and was advised: Quote:
Hello xxxxx

Call charges information comes from Ofcom.

There is also a link at the bottom of the pages which allows the user to contact Ofcom if they have questions about call charges.


It appears that, like anyone else, the respondent was confused by what appears to be a statement of a premium rate telephone call charge, as collected through the telephone bill. The method of charging needs to be more clearly explained, if only for the benefit of those who respond to enquiries.

Whilst the propriety of a charge for this service, as with many other charges levied by UK Visas, may be open to question, at least it is collected openly and without the significant overhead that accompanies use of premium rate numbers.
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CJT-80
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Re: UK Visa's and Immigration - Oversea's Calling
Reply #7 - Mar 27th, 2018 at 10:54pm
 
Totally agree!

I was more shocked by their lack of knowledge on the situation (having had it clearly explained by you), and also the lack of clear information as to the charge on the website.

It's inclusion in it's current format makes it out to be a calling/service charge, not a charge to use the service which is collected by card payment.
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Regards,

CJT-80

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