The reaction to our premium rate numbers post was pretty resounding – with more than 5,500 voters saying companies should scrap these pricey numbers for their helplines. Here’s a selection of your comments.
Commenter Pjaj summed up the mood:
‘High time this was banned. Unless absolutely necessary, I will only deal with companies who provide a geographical, 03, or 0800 number or for whom I can find one at saynoto0870.com. As for excluding financial institutions from the legislation – why?’
What about the rest?
The exclusion of financial institutions is something Which? Convo regular NFH raised – his comment received an impressive 24 ‘thumbs up’:
‘For some unknown reason, some industries (eg airlines and banks) are exempt from complying, but the UK government can remove these exemptions in the UK if it wishes. Let’s hope that it applies a blanket ban across all industries.’
‘No company should be immune from this, banks and government departments should be included too.’
Jon Shapiro also picked up on government departments not being included:
‘One of the biggest offenders is the government itself. All government departments should be forced to offer a standard “geographic” telephone number – one should not need to pay premium rates to contact people like HMRC!’
Paying for automated systems
Lilian’s Girl shares her recent experience of calling an 0845 number:
‘I’ve just finished complaining to Boots about a delivery and the number was an 0845. I wasn’t on long fortunately and my query was dealt with politely and quickly, but I have phoned some of our high street shops and been on for 30 minutes or more. It also annoys me when I ring that number I am listening to a spiel and given dozens of button options while paying the premium price. It can take minutes before you reach the section you are after.’
Having to pay premiums to use an automated system also annoys Richard Foinette:
‘What really infuriates me, having dialled 0845 or 0870, I then go through a computer menu, only to be told “all our operators are busy. Your call is important to us. Please hold” You bet the call is important to them – it’s earning them money!’
Going the extra mile for an alternative number
Finally, our Commenter of the Week Lee Beaumont always tries to find an alternative to premium rate numbers:
‘When I need to speak to a company, the first thing I will do is search for a 0800 freephone number and if I can’t find one, take to Twitter and get the company to phone me (on my 0871 number) or speak via DM instead… and it works as companies like to show they help people on social networks.’
Do you think all companies should stop using premium 084 or 087 numbers for their customer helplines? And if you haven’t voted in our poll yet, add your voice to more than 5,000 others.
Should companies scrap premium rate numbers for their helplines?
Yes (99%, 6,176 Votes)
No (1%, 46 Votes)
Total Voters: 6,222