We’ve found that current account and credit card providers are still using high-cost telephone numbers, despite a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposal to ban banks call charges.
Thankfully, the most pricey 087 numbers appear to have fallen out of use since we first investigated costly financial calls in December 2013. However, 32% of the current account providers and 36% of the credit card providers that we re-examined in December 2014 were still using high-cost 084 numbers for customer service.
These can cost up to 41p a minute, whereas 03 numbers never cost more to call than a landline number and are often included in call packages.
Switching to basic rate numbers
TSB outlined for us last year why it switched to basic rate 0345 numbers to ensure fairness and transparency with their customers. And the FCA took your feedback on board by consulting on the need to cut the cost of calls to financial firms. As Alfa said previously:
‘Let’s face it, most of the time we contact customer services is because of a problem caused by the company …..and they expect us to pay for the privilege?’
Banks call charges for dedicated complaint lines
Current account providers have cleaned up their act on dedicated complaint lines – none of the 19 we looked at offered an 084 number for this purpose. But six providers – Clydesdale, Lloyds, the Post Office, Santander, Smile and Yorkshire Bank – use them for customer service (although Lloyds do have a landline alternative).
We found 8 out of 22 credit card providers using 084 numbers for customer service, including two – American Express and Tesco – using them for complaints.
Do you feel your bank is doing enough to communicate their cost saving numbers? Are there current account or credit card providers you feel are still charging more than they should?