Jump to content


antone

Government depts warned about 0845 numbers

style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 2113 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you

Recommended Posts

From the BBC yesterday:

 

Government departments have been ordered to stop using higher-rate phone lines as the contact for key services.

Cabinet Office guidance states it is "inappropriate" to pay high charges for such services - "particularly for vulnerable and low-income groups".

A recent National Audit Office report found the numbers, often starting 0845 or 0870, cost callers £56m in 2012.

Departments will have to explain themselves to Cabinet ministers if they fail to follow the rules.


PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING. EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, I can't see the DWP explaining themselves to anyone, anytime soon.


 

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

 

Being poor is like being a Pelican. No matter where you look, all you see is a large bill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About time too. All 'public' services should have an 0800 number to call. Recently I had need to call the Inland Revenue and had to call no less than 6 different 0845 numbers to get the particular department I wanted to contact, I should have only been required to call a single number and be connected to the correct department.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best thing is never to phone any government department as what ever is said quite often will be denied as being said later on..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its disgraceful that they use 0845 numbers tbh, especially given that the average waiting time for someone to actually answer seems to be around 20 mins+. And even then you are transferred between about 5 different people as noone knows how to sort your problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmm, I can't see the DWP explaining themselves to anyone, anytime soon.

DWP issued a press release on 27 January 2014 stating they will adopt 0345 numbers beginning March 2014. This makes good on the commitment they gave to the Public Accounts Committee enquiry on 2 September 2013.

 

All 'public' services should have an 0800 number to call.

Calls to 0800 numbers are expensive from mobile phones (except for the 0800 numbers used by DWP and helplines beginning 0808 80). More than 55% of calls are made from mobile phones.

 

It will be 26 June 2015 before calls to 080 numbers are free from all mobile phones.

 

Recently I had need to call the Inland Revenue and had to call no less than 6 different 0845 numbers to get the particular department I wanted to contact.

HMRC changed all of their 0845 and 0870 lines over to cheaper 0300 and 0345 numbers in several batches between April and September 2013.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interestingly, my current local authority (West Lothian) uses geographic numbers for its general benefits and council tax helplines. So if I ever need to call them, it's included in my minutes allowance from my mobile provider.

 

I know that when I worked at the DWP, I was very reluctant to give out my desk telephone number, because if I had I'd have spent all day answering the phone to irate claimants and wouldn't ever have time to process any claims, but I don't see why there couldn't be a geographic number to contact the customer service staff.


PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING. EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HMRC changed all of their 0845 and 0870 lines over to cheaper 0300 and 0345 numbers in several batches between April and September 2013.

 

0870 and 0845 numbers cost me 10.22p per minute (plus 11.24p connection charge) whilst 0300 and 0345 numbers are 10.6p (plus 15.94p connection) - So no saving there.:rant:


PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

Quote
No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
0870 and 0845 numbers cost me 10.22p per minute (plus 11.24p connection charge) whilst 0300 and 0345 numbers are 10.6p (plus 15.94p connection) - So no saving there.:rant:

For the vast majority of people, calls to 03 numbers count towards their inclusive minutes on their landline or their mobile. For the remainder, the call never costs any more than a call to an 01 or 02 number.

 

Since 1 August 2009 there has been no revenue sharing on 0870 numbers and no Service Charge. These calls are inclusive on many landlines but remain very expensive when called from mobile phones.

 

Everything changes on 26 June 2015. This is when 0870 calls will once again return to revenue sharing and have a Service Charge around 10p/min. This will confirm all 084, 087 and 09 numbers as being more expensive than calling standard 01, 02 and 03 numbers.

 

Before all that, another major change will occur. From 13 June 2014, new legislation bans 084, 087 and 09 numbers for use as customer service lines in many business sectors. The Cabinet Office has also published guidance effectively banning these numbers from government departments and public services. The Financial Conduct Authority is also expected to produce similar regulation for the financial sector. In order to comply, users must move to new 01, 02, 03 or 080 numbers. Users of 084 and 087 numbers can move to the matching 034 or 037 number.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My local Citizens Advice Burea uses an 0844 telephone number for anyone wanting to get advice. That's pretty shocking......

 

Local council did change from 0844 to 0344 numbers some time ago now

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My local Citizens Advice Burea uses an 0844 telephone number for anyone wanting to get advice. That's pretty shocking......

It seems everyone is on the bandwagon. My landlords, a housing association (charitable trust) employs 0845 numbers exclusively.


 

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

 

Being poor is like being a Pelican. No matter where you look, all you see is a large bill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

0844 appears the newest number which is shocking. I tend to avoid the phone to government departments as much as I can and send an email to get an answer that can confirm any misunderstandings..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add, that of course that there is no legal obligation to telephone anyone up any more there is to use the internet..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have my land line masked with an 0843 prefix, and my mobile number masked with a 50p per minute number for annoying twerps.


 

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

 

Being poor is like being a Pelican. No matter where you look, all you see is a large bill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My local Citizens Advice Burea uses an 0844 telephone number for anyone wanting to get advice. That's pretty shocking......

 

I can only talk from past work I’ve done with CAB that they tend to use a remote call filtering service to help deal with the volume of calls.

 

One that was used widely was a virtual call centre (VCC) system that allowed us to route calls into one number (incidentally also an 0844 number at the time) to any other numbers as well as to IP phones and mobiles in case of emergency. By being able to publish a single number we could do our best to ensure people could reach us and not have to call several numbers / offices to try to reach someone.

 

The cost of buying such a system for each of the offices was prohibitive and so a ‘virtual’ set up was among the only ways of reliably dealing with the sheer volume of calls that came in.

 

It enabled us to also queue the calls in times of excess demand meaning that rather than having to re-dial continually, people could – if they wanted to – wait and speak with someone.

 

We did, after being awarded a significant lump of funding, replace the 0844 number with a free-phone number and brought the call distribution and management in-house.

 

The basic call centre system and associated equipment we installed cost the equivalent of around 40% of our normal annual funding with a significant annual service charge. There was no way that we could have done it prior to the extra funding and maintained a level of service to the people who needed it most.

 

Never once did the money derived from the calls pay for anything other than the charges associated with running the system.

 

The alternatives were explored at great depth, we knew from experience that having a ‘desk phone’ direct dial number get into the public domain meant losing that line due to the number of people trying to call it after one of them got onto saynoto0870. I understand that using an 0844 number can be costly however this cost us one of our eleven lines meaning that only 10 of them were available for use until we were able to change the number. This phone never stopped ringing, the moment once call ended another began - you cannot expect anyone to manage that number of incoming calls on one telephone whilst doing anything other than simply picking it up and putting it down again, no making case notes / no calling social services or the DWP on behalf of a client / no contacting creditors to ask for time to pay etc etc.

 

BT only had a finite number of lines coming into the building, we weren’t able to add lines without significant extra cost, something which again the funding wouldn’t cover without impacting on service. The VCC helped us address this and helped us help more people.

 

I don’t necessarily agree with the use of 0844 type numbers but they were, for a time at least until the extra funding was secured, a solution to deal with the massive numbers of calls we received.

 

To provide a bit of ‘scale’, we regularly received over six thousand calls a month – our office dealt with around 200 individual cases / clients every day predominantly through the hard work of almost 100 fantastic volunteer staff who gave freely of their time.

 

The CAB service when I left almost 2 years ago was at a real crossroads, people expected fast access to a joined up, professional service (and rightly so). The funding authorities (local and central governments / big lottery fund etc) were progressively removing / cutting funding and expecting more and more.

 

There is two ways it could go, centralise and use economies of scale or consign itself to the history books. Thankfully, there’s a lot of work still going on to do what it can, in the face of the constraints it faces to continue even when it means massively re-configuring the service.


My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is important to realise that all 03, 08 and 09 numbers offer the exact same call-handling, call-queueing and call-routing features. What differs with each number range is who pays for those features.

 

On an 084, 087 or 09 number, the additional call-handling and call-routing costs are usually borne by the caller. They are collected through the Service Charge hidden within the overall advertised call price. Where the Service Charge collected from the caller exceeds the call-handling costs incurred by the called party they may also receive a revenue share payout. In using a number with a Service Charge, organisations also open up the possibility for the caller's provider to add a bit (or a lot) more to the call price and also make some extra profit. Ofcom is bringing transparency to these aspects by shortly requiring all users of these numbers to declare the Service Charge and requiring each phone provider to set a single Access Charge for each of their tariffs. The Access Charge will cover all 084, 087, and 09 numbers equally.

 

On an 03 number, the user of the number pays the non-geographic running costs and for final-leg call-routing. This is often around 1p/min. The caller pays whatever they would normally pay to call an ordinary 01 or 02 number. If the caller has inclusive minutes to 01 and 02 numbers on their landline or mobile then calls to 03 numbers will also count towards that allowance. 03 numbers are "cost neutral". Each party pays for the costs incurred at their end of the call. 0870 numbers currently also work a bit like this, but remain expensive and non-inclusive from mobile phones. On 26 June 2015, 0870 numbers change back to being revenue share numbers with a Service Charge much like they were before revunue sharing was suspended in August 2009. Only 03 numbers will retain price parity with 01 and 02 numbers on landlines and on mobiles.

 

On an 080 number, the user of the number pays the non-geographic running costs and for call-routing as well as an additional "call origination fee". This extra fee is meant to compensate the caller's provider for the fact that the caller is not paying for the call. For landline providers the payment is adequate. The same fee is paid to mobile providers when one of their customers makes a call to an 080 number. However, most mobile providers deem the level of payment to not be enough to cover their costs. In those cases, they also charge the caller for the call. However, this is not the expected 2p to 5p/min. Instead, most mobile providers charge anything up to 41p/min for calls to "freephone" numbers. This is changing. On 26 June 2015 the fees that 080 number users must pay for running their number will increase by a couple of pence per minute and calls to 080 numbers will become free from all mobile phones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MPs are on the case...

 

Live link added by Antone on edit:

 

Story here.

Edited by antone
Added live link - sorry for editing Ian, just wanted to make this a clickable link

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...