MSE News: Government launches premium rate number ban

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"The cost of calling some customer service lines will fall next summer but the crackdown is not market-wide..."
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Government launches premium rate number ban

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  • Atidi
    Atidi Posts: 943 Forumite
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  • poppasmurf_bewdley
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    Will this come about by all 084 and 087 numbers transferring to 01, 02 or 03?

    Or will they keep their present numbers?

    Interestingly, I'm just wondering if they will keep their present numbers, and then all the phone companies reduce the prices to the equivalent of basic landline calls but not include them in the present call bundles, thereby ensuring they still make money from them.

    Nothing will surprise me, and until I hear that this particular loophole has been blocked, I'll take all the government's posturing with a large pinch of salt.
    "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
  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 32,009 Forumite
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    edited 13 December 2013 at 12:41PM
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    The government should start a bit closer to home with premium rate regulation, my local police, NHS doctor and NHS dentist are all non geographic the worst being the dentist which is 0844. They should have got their own house in order long ago.
  • Butterfly_Brain
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    Maybe the government should stop using them as well
    Blessed are the cracked for they are the ones that let in the light
    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. Member #35 Butterfly Brain + OH - Foraging Fixers
    Not Buying it 2015!
  • nomoneytoday
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    Where given a choice, i'll use a vendor with a free or geographic phone number. The business with an 0844 number loses out where there is competition IMHO.
  • Heinz
    Heinz Posts: 11,191 Forumite
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    edited 13 December 2013 at 5:25PM
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    molerat wrote: »
    The government should start a bit closer to home with premium rate regulation, my local police, NHS doctor and NHS dentist are all non geographic the worst being the dentist which is 0844. They should have got their own house in order long ago.
    Emergency calls to the police are free from any phone via 999 and non-emergency calls cost a fixed 15p from any phone via 101.

    However, I can forsee weasel words being used to overcome any new rules.

    For example: For a BT residential landline subscriber not on an inclusive calls package, the CURRENT cost of calling an 0845 number is a maximum of 2.042p/minute - about a fifth of the cost of calling an 01, 02 or 03 number. Will such an interpretation of the charges satisfy the new regulations so that use of an 0845 number can continue?

    Worse, For a BT residential landline subscriber, the CURRENT cost of calling a particular range of 0844 numbers (like those still, outrageously, being used by some GP surgeries) is about 5.105p/minute - about ½ the cost of calling an 01, 02 or 03 number for those not on an inclusive calls package. Will that interpretation of the charges satisfy the new regulations so that use of those 0844 numbers can continue?

    Unless I have forgotten the prices, I think the same thing could even be said of 0871 number - some of which are 10.211p/minute to call.
    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.
  • TurnUpForTheBooks_2
    TurnUpForTheBooks_2 Posts: 436 Forumite
    edited 13 December 2013 at 5:02PM
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    I vote that not only do they end premium rates but they now use their massive databases to refund all the premium rate charges levied for the last 20 years.

    0870 numbers were launched originally with a completely mealy-mouthed promotion that suggested that the cost was limited to that of a "national rate" call (most readers are too young to remember what a "national rate" call was compared to a "local rate" call and I shan't bore you with it). Suffice to say that 0870 was then probably ten years never referred to as a "Premium Rate" number.

    That title was for years reserved in common usage only for sex-lines and competition-prizelines (0898 and 090 I recall). 0870 was actually the total reverse of the suggestion in the original promotion i.e. that it somehow saved a customer money - it allowed companies to increase the cost of a call for the customers most likely to call them - those making local calls!

    Then of course the 0845 "local rate" number system was totally corrupted and effectively became "premium rate". 0345 was used to muddy the water for a period and if I recall correctly, it became a kind of "definitely low rate" number for a while where 0845 had become decidedly dodgy for callers in terms of cost.

    0871 was also used to muddy the water further with cost differences for a while between it and 0870.

    This was a conscious ploy by telephone cartels to shake-up the pricing system so customers completely lost track of it.

    Why do we tolerate so many rip offs in the UK and then also tolerate it when the government finally gets around to doing something about it but does not backdate their judgement on the rip-off?

    We just lurch from one rip-off to the next.

    Meantime I already call 08 numbers free - from my mobile - but only when I am abroad :mad:

    When I am in the UK I have to use saynoto0870.com to avoid being charged by my mobile company.

    We, the UK general public must be bonkers to let cartel interests monopolise our markets the way we do, and then on days like today simply comment or think "Oh that's good" when a rip off ceases :rotfl:
    From the late great Tommy Cooper: "He said 'I'm going to chop off the bottom of one of your trouser legs and put it in a library.' I thought 'That's a turn-up for the books.' "
  • CKhalvashi
    CKhalvashi Posts: 12,064 Forumite
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    I'm all for extra charging from mobiles, but at a reasonable rate.

    If 080 numbers were free, 084 were 5p/min, and 087 were 10p/min, as it is from a landline, I feel this would be far more reasonable.

    We do a lot of work in music events, and we provide an 0208 phone number as a support line, and an 0203 number for press. It just makes life easier all round!
    💙💛 💔
  • poppasmurf_bewdley
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    CKhalvashi wrote: »
    I'm all for extra charging from mobiles, but at a reasonable rate.

    If 080 numbers were free, 084 were 5p/min, and 087 were 10p/min, as it is from a landline, I feel this would be far more reasonable.

    We do a lot of work in music events, and we provide an 0208 phone number as a support line, and an 0203 number for press. It just makes life easier all round!

    Why should any company get more money just because they set up a special number specifically for ripping off customers?

    Better to totally boycott any company who does not provide a geographic number.
    "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
  • NFH
    NFH Posts: 4,373 Forumite
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    edited 16 December 2013 at 8:29PM
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    Heinz wrote: »
    However, I can forsee weasel words being used to overcome any new rules.

    For example: For a BT residential landline subscriber not on an inclusive calls package, the CURRENT cost of calling an 0845 number is a maximum of 2.042p/minute - about a fifth of the cost of calling an 01, 02 or 03 number. Will such an interpretation of the charges satisfy the new regulations so that use of an 0845 number can continue?

    Worse, For a BT residential landline subscriber, the CURRENT cost of calling a particular range of 0844 numbers (like those still, outrageously, being used by some GP surgeries) is about 5.105p/minute - about ½ the cost of calling an 01, 02 or 03 number for those not on an inclusive calls package. Will that interpretation of the charges satisfy the new regulations so that use of those 0844 numbers can continue?
    The draft legislation has been published as Regulation 41 of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, where an additional clause has been added which was not in the original wording of Article 21 of Directive 2011/83/EU on Consumer Rights:
    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.
    Based on this wording, you can claim back any unlawful surcharge, if necessary via the Small Claims track of the County Court. If you have a fixed-price package of unlimited calls to basic rate (01/02/03) numbers, this means that you can claim back from the trader the full cost of calls made after 13th June 2014. The basic rate would be the basic rate of the caller's provider, not of a specific provider such as BT.
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