/ Technology, Travel & Leisure

Premier Inn stops using 0871 number for customers

premier inn

It might be one of the nation’s favourite hotel chains, but Premier Inn was charging customers too much for phone calls, until we stepped in. Have you spotted a travel firm promoting pricey numbers to customers?

Premier Inn was pushing customers who already had a booking to a high-rate number.

In a win for our Costly Calls campaign, high-rate phone numbers for customer service were made illegal in June 2014 by the Consumer Rights Directive. This states that calls to firms about existing contracts shouldn’t cost more than the basic rate.

When we made a test booking with Premier Inn, we found that the only numbers given in our confirmation email were all 0871 – costing 10p per minute plus network extras – rather than cheaper alternatives.

Its website displays an 0871 number for new bookings, and a cheaper basic-rate number for calls about existing reservations. But the email confirmation only lists the high-rate number.

Premium Inn changes number

After our intervention, Premier Inn said it would be removing the 0871 number from emails and adding a basic-rate 03 number instead. It also plans to add 03 numbers for hotels to the emails.

If you’re looking for a basic-rate number to call a company on, try saynoto0870.com. And if you see a travel firm advertising costly numbers to those who already have bookings, tell us below.

Pat London says:
24 September 2017

And 3 years later, still using 0871 at 13p per minute

Susan Bell says:
10 July 2019

2019 and still using 0871, 13p a minute, for individual hotels

Angela Stock says:
26 August 2018

Sat waiting to be connected for almost 3 mins – then told to call back or go online. I wanted to speak to a person. Not impressed

Charles says:
10 September 2018

As of 10 September 2018, the Premier Inn, specifically, Harrogate Town Centre, Springfield Avenue, Harrogate, HG1 2HY are STILL publishing
“Hotel Contact Information Phone: 0871 527 9432,… Calls cost 13p a minute plus any additional charges from your phone operator.”
This is iniquitous as I wanted to contact them reference a Booking I have made for 2019.
Hopefully, saynoto0871 will be of help.
Ha, got an alternative 01423 396770 and “ringing” but NO ANSWER.
Now gonna try email.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Peter Williams says:
18 September 2018

Yes – the only obvious means of contact is a Premier – sorry Premium – rate # at 10p a minute. It is really so annoying when I pay for an all inclusive phone service (so as I understand regular numbers are FREE). It seems just a pure scam !

I have tried SayNoto0870 and got the following number 01582 424200 (switchboard) but got no answer will try again.

They don’t appear to have any email point of contact which again seems like very poor attitude to customers

Premier Inn are still charging premium rate 0871 numbers. I Googled our local Premier Inn on my phone then clicked on call. It didn’t connect but I’ve still been charged by ee for a premium rate call.

I can only see 03 numbers on this page: https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/contact-us.html

Alison Kempster says:
22 September 2018

As at 22 September 2018, Premier Inn are STILL using 0871 number for their hotel in Aberdeen city centre. The obvious ripoff of this, combined with the fact that the hotel chain does not take NatWest Visa debit cards for online bookings (on its Whitbread company site) meant that this evening, I simply abandoned the booking of this hotel and booked elsewhere. I phoned the hotel direct – using SAYNOTO0870.COM’s number for them 01224 624080, which was answered after perhaps 10 rings – to ask if it was some mistake that the website was not allowing me to use a perfectly common debit card; the man I spoke to said that he had never seen an online booking for that hotel using NatWest debit so I assume this was not a one-off and felt if the hotel chain couldn’t be bothered to inconvenience itself to the extent of accepting my card, and a cheap rate call, I couldn’t be bothered to book a room there. My husband is now staying in the Residence Inn by Marriott (tel 01224 061190) instead!

Companies can use costly numbers for general enquiries and bookings, though they must provide standard rate (01/02/03) or free numbers for existing customers and for complains. Companies don’t have to accept all forms of payment either.

And still using the 0871 number, 14th January 2019

According to this contact page, Premier are now using 03 numbers: https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/contact-us.html

Under individual hotel listings it states: “Calls to 0871 numbers cost 13p a minute plus any additional charges from your phone operator. Calls to 0333 numbers are charged at the national rate.” Presumably you can make a booking by calling the 03 number.

As I said above, it’s permissible to use expensive numbers for enquires and bookings, though it does not seem a good way of attracting customers.

stephen Cuthbertson says:
13 June 2019

just tried three premier inns im staying at and all three were 0871 and cut me off after two minutes saying they were busy and to call back!!! outrageous.

J.Waddell says:
20 July 2019

This is Premier Inn’s Reservations non 0871 number – 0333 003 8101. I’ve just used it and it works.

Carole Budgen says:
14 February 2020

Holiday Inn charging 13p per minute for calls to reservations. Appalled.

My husband phoned Premier Inn as he was due to attend a course at Fosse Park Leicester on 19 & 20 Feb – a Maths teaching course run by TSST SKE Maths with Colin Isham (a CIMT course).
He made 2 very short calls to P Inn on 18 Feb to confirm it was running. However, despite finishing the call (pressing the red button with the telephone symbol) both times, somehow, it continued billing him. Surely Premier Inn has a way of making sure billing does not continue after the end of a call?
Once we had identified the call which had cost us so much, (£100!!!) we were reluctant to phone the number again to report the incident. My husband did, however, speak to EE and after a long discussion, they agreed it was a scam incident and awarded us £50 but said they were not responsible. This of course, was not the full cost. EE said it was likely a fault via Premier Inn. It seems that the number had been somehow intercepted and hijacked by someone hacking into Premier Inn’s line.
He got in touch Messenger on 15 March and Lauren responded. He filled in the recommended feedback form around the same time but has not heard anything. After another month, we got in touch again and reinstated the complaint. They ‘checked with their telephony people’ and the clerk said the fault was not their’s. So that was it.
I have screenshot details of our EE bill- it shows calls to 08456449392 and the costs/minutes.

Luigi Possamai says:
29 June 2020

As at 29 June 2020, Premier Inn are STILL using 0871 number for their hotel in Penrith Cumbria.

Hi Luigi – Companies must provide existing customers with standard rate (01, 02 or 03) phone number or a free number, but they can use a 0871 for enquiries and bookings. Premier provide these expensive numbers for each of their hotels but you might be able to make a booking by calling the 03 number on their website. I’ve not tried and this is just what I was told.

I see that I have posted a comment about Premier Inns further up the page. 🙂 Looking at the website it says that they are not answering phones at the moment due to coronavirus.

I recently complained about the terrible service I received from Which? and nobody was interested. Perhaps you should get your own house in order before advising how other companies should behave.