/ Money

Are you still spotting costly 0845 numbers?

Tired man with phone

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

Comments

Not exactly a company, and maybe because it’s a foreign entity they’re under different rules, but I found that if you need to renew your Italian ID card you can’t talk to just any number in London. Instead, you have to call 09067530251 , which is 75 pence a minute. It’s also worth mentioning that I’ve tried calling the other offices which have a “normal” fee, but they all told me I could only call that one. To add insult to injury, you can’t even go to an office to resolve that sort of problem, if it’s regarding an ID card rather than a passport it has to be done through that phone number or a mail address that often ends up not issuing replies.

In short, to solve my problem, I had to spend £20 in phone calls.

Ian says:
17 June 2016

In addition to the 75p per minute Service Charge you also pay an Access Charge of up to 45p per minute.

Rob S says:
17 June 2016

Ideal World TV and Create And Craft TV are still using 087 numbers for customer service. We had problems recently with some of their orders and had to pay those costly phone charges to get their mistakes resolved.

Hobbycraft still using 0845 to phone the local store .Tried replacing it with 0345 that usually works but not on this occasion. Would be cheaper for me to get in my car and drive into Staines and ask them.

phillip stockburn says:
17 June 2016

Holidaygems still use 0871 as the main customer service helpline when changing or amending holiday details including paying for the holiday.

I have noticed that Job Centres are using 0345 instead of the banned expensive 0845 numbers. I have noticed that some parts of the DWP are still using the banned expensive 0845 numbers.

I concur, and local authorities too.
BT provides a cheap or free line to the company in return for a slice of the ill gotten gains!!! Evil BT always trying get more. WE seemed to be finally getting cheaper services and rates similar to the USA but devious BT has managed to introduce call fees that foil this. eg None Geos. and Higher Connection charges.
Still, the shareholders are happy – bless.

Ian says:
17 June 2016

DWP changed their premium rate 0845 numbers over to the matching 0345 numbers on 17 March 2014.

Calls to 03 numbers are inclusive from landlines and mobiles, else charged at ‘geographic rate’ – the same as calling 01 and 02 numbers.

If you call any of the old 0845 numbers you hear a free-to-caller announcement that tells you to hang up and re-dial the new 0345 number.

Create and craft tv! See their Facebook page

I recently called Very customer services about a faulty laptop, and because the service was so bad,I had to call 3 times to obtain the correct information and ended up with an extra £30 on my phone bill. When I wrote a letter of complaint I did not even receive a reply .Awful service

Nat West mortgages. Cost me £5.39 for a 13 minute call to their 0845 number from my O2 mobile. 45p PER MINUTE service charge! Scandalous.

Ian says:
17 June 2016

7p per minute Service Charge plus 45p per minute Access Charge.

meirion pryce-jones says:
17 June 2016

The Royal Mint. Each and every time that I order a coin from them I always get a email telling me that the card details are wrong. I do not like “Chat” as i do not type very fast and as i have dyslexia spell most words wrong.
I feel there should be at least a local number for the customer service a free phone would be even better.

Mike Williams says:
17 June 2016

Interval International using 0844 for all their contact numbers

Stephen Wright says:
17 June 2016

Marbles credit card still uses 0845 to contact customer services.

Create and Craft contact details!
Create and Craft
Ideal Home House,
Newark Road,
Peterborough,
PE1 5WG

Create and Craft is a trading name of Ideal Shopping Direct Limited Registered
in England: No. 1534758 VAT No. GB 738164028

Telephone:

Customer Service – Open 9am-6pm Monday to Friday
If you are calling to track your order
Tel: 08717 123455 (Calls will cost 13p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge)

If you are calling to change your address or payment details
Tel: 08717 123455 (Calls will cost 13p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge)

If you are calling to check a refund or returns
Tel: 08717 123455 (Calls will cost 13p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge)

If you have a query regarding the timing of your delivery
Tel: 08717 123455 (Calls will cost 13p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge)

If you have a problem with your product or wish to cancel your order
Tel: 0330 3321301.
For all other queries please call
08717 123455(Calls will cost 13p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge)

Orderline – Open 6am-12.30am daily
Tel: 09056 480 480* (Calls will cost 20p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge)

*For complaints about this 090 service call 0330 3321301.

Pitney Bowes still use these numbers, i have been charged over £45.00 whilst sorting out problems caused by Pitney Bowes incompetence

Scottish Power gave a 0845 number for meter readings to be submitted. Also their website doesn’t work so you gave no other way to contact them,

Ian says:
18 June 2016

Their website gives an 0800 number for meter readings.

Presumably, the people who shove the cards through the letterbox are using old stock?

PPI Fast Track are still using premium call backs on 08452864855. They phone for a few seconds and when you phone back, put you on hold for 10 minutes (£10 charge). I had dealings with the company so recognised the number. It was only when I received my phone bill that I saw the charges.

Tom Misselbrook says:
17 June 2016

BA Executive club use an 0844 number at 7p per minute to book flights and holidays

Ian says:
17 June 2016

In addition to the 7p per minute Service Charge you also pay an Access Charge of up to 45p per minute.

Judy says:
17 June 2016

Midland Heart they have for their customers they have to ring 0845 and this costs the clients who are classed as vunrable adults

Chris Owens says:
17 June 2016

Office Depot, Viking Direct to name but two use 0844 numbers for all enquiries and e-helpdesk

Sandra says:
17 June 2016

Very.uk are expensive to call, also Sky I’ve recently had to phone both and my phone bill was larger than it should be

Alan says:
17 June 2016

EE offer a ‘service’ to jump to the front of their complaints line for 50 pence… what a rip off! You ring to complain about a faulty phone, spend at least 25 minutes holding (three times in our case) and then automatically offered this service… how is this even moral??