Friday, 3 April 2009

OverRated: 08** Numbers

Is it me, or does anyone else get really irritated when they want to purchase something but the telephone number to call the seller begins with an 08 number but it isn't the freephone 0800?

I really resent the idea that I am going to be paying to call them about their product when I would be getting it as part of my free calls if they had a proper landline and it makes me even madder knowing that they are actually going to be earning money as a result of my enquiry.

It seems still worse when the after sales and servicing departments are also on 08 numbers. You just know that you're going to be hanging on those for ages in the future with some irritating music that may or may not be attempting to keep you calm. I prefer the ones that tell you where you are in the queue. At least you feel as if you are actually getting somewhere. Those that just leave you to twiddle your thumbs and scream in silent frustration are the worst. Thank goodness for speaker phones. At least you can get on with something else rather than wasting valuable time just sitting there until they get around to you.

So many utility companies seem to have 0870 numbers for their complaints or faults services, where is the Watchdog who is supposed to protect us from this blatant profiteering when products go wrong? A lot of these companies say you can run your account online. Well, yes you can if you want to add things to your package, but if you want to remove them you have to call the 08** number and join the queue for 15 minutes, so it costs you to reduce the services you take from the Company in question. I am quite sure that this is a deliberate decision and they trade on the fact that people can't be bothered, so remain with their higher costing package.

The lovely people at Say No to 0870 have produced a list of proper landlines to circumvent the proliferation of 0870/0845 numbers being forced upon us by the people who are supposed to provide us with a service. They have researched the large majority of the bigger culprits - banks, building societies, power companies and the like - and produced a list of alternative landlines to try.


Between me writing this piece and posting, both BT and Talk Talk will now be offering free calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers on selected plans. Clearly they do listen to customer dissatisfaction. However, the business miscreants are a step ahead of them because they have begun a new scam - the 0844 (LOCOST) dialling code. Suddenly everyone is at it! Car showrooms, estate agents, any business that has some vague link to customer service.

Instead of their usual landline number, this has been replaced in the internet/phonebook listing with a new number beginning 0844. To add salt to the wound, the add the term (LOCOST) beside it as if they're doing me some sort of favour. I'm still having to pay because you haven't got a proper landline with one of the National numbers that would have been included FREE within my phone package!

As a result, three businesses this week lost the chance to get me as a customer because there was no way to contact them without having to dial an 08 number. I gave one a second chance and emailed them on their customer request form a few days ago with the opportunity to come back to me on my landline, but almost three days then passed with no response.

Crisis, what crisis? are the words that spring to mind...



Anonymous said...

You go Ms. Cake, irritating as hell!

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Drives me nuts...but don't start me on bloomin BT and their appalling customer service or non functioning wireless routers. Pah! Hope you're ok, BG x

CHEF TROLL said...

Amen sister.

Dark Side said...

It's stinks, to be honest it is the only reason I have a landline phone because my internet is now on a dongle and I make most calls from my mobile.

But 08 numbers are expensive on a mobile and don't include in free calls....xx

having my cake said...

SG/Troll :)

BG - I had to go wired for mine in the end cos we just couldnt get the third one to function properly.

Dark Side - I have no idea what a dongle is :P I know some mobiles now offer free landline calls. I wonder if they will start including 0870 and 0845. Watch for these numbers to become obsolete as they are replaced unilaterally by 0844 numbers :(

Dark Side said...

Cake - A dongle is a remote connection via a usb port with a sim card in it, for payment, its with Orange and as long as you don't download a lot it's ok, you only get a 3gb download limit a month..xx