/ Technology

Are all companies abiding by new costly call rules?

Red phone

Today the new Consumer Contracts Regulations come into effect. This includes a new law that prohibits most companies from using pricey phone numbers for customer lines. But is everyone sticking to the rules?

When I’m not at home, there are few things that annoy me more than being charged as much as 41p a minute to call an 0845 number from my mobile phone, simply to complain to a company about something I’d bought – and then to be put on hold for 20 minutes.

Back in 2013, we launched a campaign to put an end to companies charging customers excessively for calling customer services. Loads of you told us that you were fed up with receiving shockingly high phone bills because you’d been charged a small fortune for calling an 084 or 087 number.

Thanks to the 89,000 people who supported the campaign, last December the Government announced how it would implement a new law – the Consumer Rights Directive – that would ban companies from using numbers that charged more than the basic rate for their customer service or complaints lines. Today is a day we should recognise, because today that law comes into force as part of the Consumer Contracts Regulations.

So what’s changed?

Since we started our campaign against expensive phone numbers, plenty of companies have listened. We lobbied hard for travel companies to be included under the new legislation, and even before the Government had responded, Jet2 had changed from using a pricey 09 number to a mixture of 0800 and 03 numbers.

Most companies now aren’t allowed to use 084 or 087 numbers like they were before, and lots have already changed to comply with the new law. But there could be some firms who haven’t yet. If you’ve spotted any, please let us know below.

Are all companies going to stop using 0845 numbers?

It’s worth pointing out that this new legislation doesn’t cover public bodies or financial services. Although the financial regulator is planning to bring those firms into line thanks to our campaign, many banks have already set a good example. Barclays (and Barclaycard), RBS, TSB and now First Direct have all announced that they’re dropping 0845 numbers. Most Government departments have also switched to cheaper 03 numbers.

There’s no doubt that your support for our Costly Calls campaign has helped bring about significant change, and although today is a landmark day, there’s probably quite a few companies still using 084 numbers when they shouldn’t be.

So if you spot a company that’s still using an 084 or 087 number when you don’t think they should be, name check them in the comments below. If they’re not complying with the new law, we’ll let them know about it.

Comments
Guest
David Mann says:
12 February 2017

It’s 2017 and Admiral Insurance are still using 0844 numbers:
If any of the following details are incorrect especially the start date of your future vehicles(s), please call us on 0844 334 5257.

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Guest

I had a quick look a the website and did not see any of these numbers, David. Some organisations still have printed information and downloadable forms containing the old numbers. It has been suggested replacing 08 with 03 will avoid high charges.

Guest
Thelma Pound says:
13 February 2017

Van Meuwen still use these numbers.

Guest
Thelma Pound says:
13 February 2017

I have reported Van Meuwen for using 0844 numbers still and have been told that Thompson& Morgan are the same company. I have checked their website and sure enough they are also still using 0844 numbers.

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Guest

Thelma try- : http://www.saynoto0870.com/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1296072841 for this company and alternative telephone numbers . More info on company as well but dated from -2011.

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Guest

Van Meuwen have the number Tel: 0333 400 0022 on their Contact Us page and an 084 number on the website homepage. Thompson & Morgan give 0333 400 0033 but also have an 084 number on their homepage. I hope you manage to wake them up, Thelma.

Guest
Thelma Pound says:
15 February 2017

I have tried. After a lot of messages they basically said that they can choose to use whatever number they like! Citizen’s advice have just come back to me to say that as I was using the number for a new enquiry then they are allowed to use 0844. Van Meuwen assured me that they do not make any money from that number so I asked them why they were using it. They did not reply to that. They said that any query about the charges should be directed at my service provider!

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Guest

Thelma they have a private company running their answering services thats why they use a chargeable telephone number and why they say that without impunity . Their last statement is complete rubbish in a sales commercial sense , thats like me saying -call me it costs £5/minute -don’t like it ? tell your telephone company to pay it.

Guest

Please note that vestiairecollective is still using 0844 numbers.

Guest
Farzana says:
17 February 2017

Please note that VIking/Office Depot are still using the 0844 numbers. I pointed it out to them on their chat but they said it’s not charged at a premium rate – its 7p per minute. That’s still quite high. I said to them that that’s still too high as if it was an 03xxx number then it can be included under inclusive packages on mobiles. They provide goods so this is terrible.

Guest
Gilian says:
19 February 2017

Audi Southampton still has 0844 numbers for sales and service – recently charged over £2 for a 4 minute call.
Useful numbers
Main Telephone: 023 8046 0700
Main Fax: 023 8046 0750
Sales Telephone: 0844 247 3085
Sales Fax: 023 8046 0750
Parts Telephone: 023 8046 0700
Parts Fax: 023 8046 0707
Service Telephone: 0844 247 3098
Service Fax: 023 8046 0750

Guest
rukshu says:
7 March 2017

[Sorry, your comment has been removed as it duplicates information provided in your post below. Thanks, mods.]

Guest
rukshu says:
7 March 2017

network4 home delivery 08454590095 Unit 7, New Cheshire Business Park, Wincham Lane, Northwich, CW9 6GG
http://www.network4.co.uk

Guest
Jenny says:
16 March 2017

Wyevale Garden Centres use 0844 numbers – I have just been stung for trying to find out about their restaurant opening hours. Very frustrated!

Guest
Natasha says:
23 March 2017

Wyevale garden centres use 0844 numbers for all the centres. Phoning around for a specific plant cost me more in calls than the plant itself. Very unhappy and most definitely not made aware of high call charges. Shame on Wyevale, will not be calling them again or give them any more custom.

Guest
Louise says:
11 May 2017

BES Commercial Energy (already damned by Ofgem and under further investigation and possible high court action 2017) 0844 5678 427 costs about 30p per minute from a landline!! They make it really difficult to contact them other than by phone as they have a really inefficient email system.

Guest
Julie says:
31 May 2017

I just got charged over £11 extra on my landline phone bill because my son had called Yodel on 0844 7550117 to try to sort out why the mobile phone he bought on Ebay had not been delivered. Seems somebody else had signed the signature, and he never got his phone that cost about £70 or a refund. It is a month later and he is still waiting to see if Yodel refund the Ebay seller, so that the seller can refund him, they are being incredibly slow and it doesn’t look as if he will get a refund for a phone that was never delivered. Some of these Yodel charges on my landline bill were 84p for 6 minutes and £2.70 for 19 minutes. I pay £1.75 a month to BT to bar premium rate numbers so I don’t get nasty surprises like this.

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Guest

In my book Yodel=Hermes , as I have said before when I ring up a company the first question I ask is–WHO delivers it , if it is those two its “Goodnight Vienna ” . -0844 calls are now called “non-geographic” calls -aka -Service calls to stop you finding their location .Premium rate calls are classed as -09-118-0871-0872-0873, BT charge- 30p access charge /landline approx 10p ( July-1st-2015 -onward ) , under the new rules the called company can up the charges . I pay a set amount for all UK calls that are NOT Premium calls BUT mobile calls from my landline do cost a lot more . “real” Premium numbers ( very high charges -123- 118-09-0871-0872-0873 ) I have got BT to bar on my landline like you Julie . Its the shrewd way the new service has been named that catches people out calling them “service calls ” , good advertising “new speak ” , if you ask me. If you are going to call companies on their service numbers regularly check out BT,s set charge for all UK non -premium calls it might be worth if , if you, like me, do a bit of arguing on the phone to companies you think have “ripped you off ” .

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Guest

Julie – Your son’s rights for fulfilment of his order are against the seller, not the delivery company. The seller needs to take it up with the delivery company but in the meantime they should either provide a replacement or a full refund. I appreciate that e-Bay’s arrangements might make that difficult and that they like to turn it around so that the buyer is disadvantaged rather than their selling client, but the fact remains that your son has a right of action for breach of contract against the seller – who presumably decided which delivery company to use and whether or not to insure themselves against any failure of delivery.

I have posted a comment on recovering the telephone charges in my response to your related comment in a different Conversation. Click here to see it :
https://conversation.which.co.uk/money/costly-0845-087-numbers-customer-service/#comment-1487688

Guest
David Farr says:
1 June 2017

On their delivery slip, Long Tall Sally only have an 0844 number for UK Customer Services. Isn’t this blatantly illegal?
My wife has clocked up over £8 of calls requesting a return.

Guest
Samantha Reeve says:
21 June 2017

As of today, 21st June 2017 ADT are still using 08 numbers. If you are unaware of the ADT protocol and have an alarm system, every night ADT dial in through your phone number to check the alarm system, however, what they fail to advised you is that the number they use is 08448480809. I was wondering why my phone bills are higher that usual over the months, and discovered last night during contact with BT that the cost of ADT dialling into my alarm system every night has cost me £15 per month; which has left me perturbed.

I have am in the process of emailing a complaint letter ADT expressing my disdain and to cancel my contract, until such time the appropriate numbers have been implemented .

Guest
Ron says:
27 June 2017

I see that Viking Office Equipment are still using an 0844 number for customer service, i called there normal landline number and was told to call the 0844 number.

Guest
Bill A says:
12 July 2017

WorldPay POS provider still using 0870 # for customer support is that legal

Guest
Beth Williams says:
13 July 2017

Riu hotels group. I can’t find an alternative and am furious as won’t reply to my mails and need to clarify something urgently.

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Guest

I can see why you are unhappy about contacting them Beth , a Spanish travel company
as it isn’t very forthcoming with a direct group telephone number but Rui is actually owned by German travel giant -Hanover-Germany – TUI which is the “parent ” of it. It is a FTSE 100 (UK ) company . If you want direct contact with the chief execs. (thats if they are willing to speak to you ) click on : http://www.tuigroup.com/en/contact/journalists although its for journalists thats how you can end up getting put through to somebody who will help you just act firmly Germans understand that. And YES for those that dont believe me I found a website that verifies that RUI is OWNED by TUI.

Guest
BCW says:
15 July 2017

Secret Escapes are still using the same single revenue generating contact number for all their customer service. It’s 0843 22 77 777. I’ve been on at them for months and they mainly ignore me. However, when they responded yesterday that said that they are “compliant with current regulations”. They will use this number for as long as they can get away with it.

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Guest

This is going to upset you BCW in North America (USA ) – contact – Secret Escapes is —TOLL-FREE – US speak for a free phone call under US website -area code.org = area code -844 -country -North America -State- Non-Geographic – Major city – TOLL FREE SERVICE – Easy URL areacode.org/844 all North American Numbering Plan .

Guest
izikewax says:
12 August 2017

followers hack

Guest
Steve says:
9 October 2017

Cat Phones are still using an 0844 number for customer services

Guest
bishbut says:
9 October 2017

The so called watchdogs are useless ,toothless as well!