070 rip-off

in Phones & TV
14 replies 1.8K views
We've just been charged over £23 for a 22 minute call which my wife made from our home phone to a friend who is in hospital. Our friend can't use her mobile, so my wife had to call via the hospital's patient phone system, whose numbers start with 070.

Ofcom say that calls from landlines to 070 numbers cost between 5p and 50 per minute. Our landline provider is O2, and they have charged us over £1 per minute!

Looks like O2 are ripping us off - or is the hospital? Or both.... :mad:


  • victor2victor2 Forumite
    5.6K Posts
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    Why can't the friend use her mobile? Hospitals generally allow that now.
    The bedside phone systems are a rip-off, but it does sound like you've been charged more than the published rate. Check what the O2 published rate for the number you called is and then check what you were billed.
  • DhmellorDhmellor Forumite
    24 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    The friend has a brain tumour and her mobile is too fiddly, but she can just about handle the hospital phone.

    O2 have charged us their published rate, but they claim this is set by the hospital and not by them.
  • StompaStompa Forumite
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    And of course every time you call you have to listen to a minute or two of recorded preamble, which cannot be skipped.
  • victor2victor2 Forumite
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    If the friend is going to be there some time, could it be worth her investing in a simple mobile with large buttons? They are available.

    As for the hospital setting the rates, I doubt it. It could be the company the hospital sub-contracts the operation of the patient phone system to though. It's still disgusting, but no short term solution to that.
  • HeinzHeinz Forumite
    11.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker Car Insurance Carver!
    Ofcom should not allow such operations to use an 070 number from the 'personal numbering' range but should insist on an 09 number (a range of the same charges is available) being used.

    But Of(chocolate teapot)com are not of any use to the 'citizen consumer' who they are supposed to work for.
    Time has moved on (much quicker than it used to - or so it seems at my age) and my previous advice on residential telephony has been or is now gradually being overtaken by changes in the retail market. Hence, I have now deleted links to my previous 'pearls of wisdom'. I sincerely hope they helped save some of you money.
  • BuzbyBuzby Forumite
    8.3K Posts
    I'm assuming this is an NHS hospital? Then the issue is with the hospital management for allowing service like Patientline to use a business model that makes it profitable for them, yet stiff the patient and relative/friend when using it's facilities.

    In Scotland, the service was bought out by the health trust after a few unsatisfactory years and now the inbound calls go to 0870 numbers, not Idel, I agree, but a heck of a lot better than 070x.

    O2 are simply charging what they state, so you have no complaint with them.
  • DhmellorDhmellor Forumite
    24 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I have complained to O2, on the grounds that they are charging at least twice what Ofcom say they should be charging. The fact that they own up to it on their rate sheet doesn't alter the fact that they are overcharging! But I still can't work out whether the hospital is making money out of us as well! :(
  • Was it one call, did you factor in the 50p set up charge?

    070 – personal numbers
    These are different from mobile numbers and calls to them are more expensive. They can be used as a “follow me” service where calls are diverted from another number. Small businesses and sole traders use them to make it easy to manage calls.
    Personal numbers are also sold on a one-off basis, for example when someone is buying or selling a used car and doesn’t want to advertise their private mobile or fixed line number on a website or magazine. How much do calls cost? 070 numbers can cost between 5p and 50p per minute if calling from a landline (and often include a call set-up fee, sometimes of up to 50p). From a mobile phone these numbers can cost up to £1.00 per minute.

  • Call charges are generally based on "from a BT landline" basis, and calls from other networks and mobile "may be considerably more".

    Basically it matters not what OFCOM state, other operators can charge more.
  • poppasmurf_bewdleypoppasmurf_bewdley Forumite
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    When my late Mother was in Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, they had these 07 phones/TV at each bed. But the ward staff told her and everybody else to give the ward number to friends and family if they needed to call them.

    I suggest you ask for the ward telephone number next time you visit.
    "There are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe a 'Princess Coronation' locomotive in full cry. We shall never see their like again". O S Nock
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