Customer service shouldn’t cost you a fortune, but some businesses are taking too long to phase out pricey numbers on their customer helplines. Have you spotted any culprits?
It’s two years since the Consumer Contracts Regulations came into effect. On 13 June 2014 companies were prohibited from using pricey phone numbers for customer lines – so why are we still seeing them advertised?
While plenty of companies have been receptive and made the appropriate changes, we continue to spot numbers starting 084 or 087 for customer service lines on posters and websites – calls to these business rate numbers can cost as much as 18p per minute from a landline, and 51p per minute from mobiles.
If you’re contacting a company’s customer service phone line because you have a complaint to make about the level of service you’ve received, or an issue with a product, then having to shell out more of your cash just to resolve an issue is nothing but rubbing salt into the wound.
Are companies aware of the changes?
Are companies doing enough to live up to the change in consumer regulations? It would seem that in some cases, businesses just don’t appear to be aware of the changes.
Just a few months ago a friend got in contact with me after reading our Which? conversation on travel firms flouting costly call rules. He explained how his phone charger had developed a dangerous fire-related fault, so he sought advice via the manufacturer’s Twitter account.
He was advised to ring a premium 0845 number, despite the Twitter page specifically stating that this method of contact was for customer support. After pressing for an alternative, he was only given the option to live chat on their website, or e-mail them instead.
Why so slow?
Going back to travel firms, I’ve frequently spotted premium numbers being displayed on trains on my commute to and from Which? headquarters. Not only are these numbers being listed for customer service, but also for reporting faults with toilets and even security camera systems.
When we pressed on these issues back in August last year, we were told that alternative numbers had been established and that posters would be updated ‘over the coming months’. But this was nearly a year ago – so are some firms taking this seriously enough?
So tell us, have you spotted any premium rate numbers for customer service and support?
Thank you for all of your comments, we’re working our way through the numbers you’ve reported to us. Please do keep them coming. Thank you