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Calling Customer Services - the Consumer Rights Directive

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Greetings all!

 

I could trawl around the net for the answer to this for a few hrs. However, as you guys are usually clued up on this stuff. I though somebody may like to offer some wisdom for the rest of us.

 

It was my understanding that the the Consumer Rights Directive made using Premium rate numbers a no no for calling "Customer Services" and that these call's should be at no more than "local rate".

 

I can't find the legislation though. Was this just a proposal, or a proper 'unfair business practice' and has anybody got the reference/Act etc.

 

The reason I ask, is that I notice that a number of car hire companies only offer "customer Services" via their reservations numbers which are often premium or service rated e.b. 0870 or 0844.

 

Thanks for your help

 

Dave

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Thanks,

 

I know there are sometimes alternatives, but I'm interested in knowing/confirming that there is legislation so your second link is much more valuable.

 

Companies sometimes 'hide' their Customer Services behind something else such that they make a revenue out of you calling to request your consumer rights. So they win even if/when they loose. Company give bad service, then profits from your complaint.... Doesn't seem quite fair. Probably why those who proposed that part of CRD or Consumer Contracts Regulations thought it was a good idea to make companies offer Customer Services at no more than local rate. I feel a letter to one or two CEOs is required to politely ask them to conform. (and ask for my 7p/min extra back :lol:)

 

Thanks again!

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Sorry to answer my own thread as it were, but this may be useful to others who, after complaining about something, find that they have 'lost' out via phone charges. This is a prohibited business practice. Always check the number your calling and bypass the Service and Premium rate numbers where possible.

 

The legislation is:

 

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (SI:2013/3134)

 

Section 41

 

Help-line charges over basic rate

41. (1) Where a trader operates a telephone line for the purpose of consumers contacting the trader by telephone in relation to contracts entered into with the trader, a consumer contacting the trader must not be bound to pay more than the basic rate.

 

(2) If in those circumstances a consumer who contacts a trader in relation to a contract is bound to pay more than the basic rate, the contract is to be treated as providing for the trader to pay to the consumer any amount by which the charge paid by the consumer for the call is more than the basic rate.

 

Complaints about this 'practice' can also be directed via Citizens Advice.

 

There are a few business sectors, e.g. gambling, purchases from vending machines, which are exempt (No idea why??), but I think it's worth proper complaints if anyone finds themselves having to 'pay' to report bad service.

 

There are a few organisations who offer Customer Services via 0800 numbers and wouldn't it great if all had to!

 

Hope this helps

 

Dave

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