In a remarkable reading of Ofcom's new rules on 0870 numbers, T-Mobile has decided to double the price of such calls for most of its customers, rather than cutting them as Ofcom intended. Ofcom decided that 0870, 0871, 0844 and 0845 numbers should be considered "normal" calls, and charged at the "normal" rate, but the regulator …
Ofcom rules or not Ofcom rules, at the end of the day, TMobile have chosen to double the price of the calls to those numbers, it's plain old fashioned profiteering and they're just using Ofcom as an excuse to justify it.
Way to go mobile operators
The "Watch the dogs" or Watchdog is powerless... ha! Nice to see the quango is looking after the mobile operators.
O2 recently dropped 0845 numbers from my call allowance. It has been there for nearly 20 years and "poof", just like magic, it is now gone.
Thankfully, I didn't kill my call package with O2 and move to T-Mobile this year and I won't be in a rush now. T-Mobile customers need to think about moving onto one of the other networks to show them how unacceptable these new "business models" are to the folks buying their services.
Off we go
Well at over 100% increase in the cost of the calls (depending on the call plan), this presumably means customers can get out of their 12, 18, or 24 month contracts early?
Do we get to keep our phones too to use with the operator we change to, as well?
Might be a good deal, though perhaps not the one Ofcom was intending...
Just as my contract comes up for renewal...
I don't ring 08xxx numbers all that often, 2 or 3 times a month is normal though, and usually for 20 minutes or so per call. I begrudge paying extra anyway, but trebling the cost isn't exactly going to keep my business unless there are lots of other freebies put in place. Free Web n' Walk may swing it, but only if they allow me enough that I don't have to bother about me connecting the lappy up.
T-Mobile customer services told me yesterday that the price increase was 'nothing to do with them' and that 'Independent Companies' were responsible for the increase and not T-Mobile. When I asked to be released from my contract, give this 100% increase in a charge for a service, I was told my T&C's allowed them to do that and I couldn't leave. When I asked for a copy to be sent to me, I was told they couldn't send me them and I'd have to approach Carphone Warehouse, as that's where I'd bought the phone! A total joke. I'll be complaining in writing and when that's met with the same 'play dumb' attitude, trying to go via CISAS. They need to be made to feel the pain for abusing their position.
Yet Another UK rip off...
I really do despair. I mean, no one denies a company the right to make a profit, but it should be expected to do this in a reasonably fair way (no really, I haven't been smoking anything...).
But this is just another way to squeeze the punter's already flaccid spheres completely dry. Ever since we realised that the actual cost of a phone call -to anywhere - was negligible, we've been able to beat up the telcos for better prices, especially on so-called 'long distance' calls.
Now with 0870 etc they can hide behind the fact that these are 'special' numbers even though to the call routers there's absolutely no difference in the type of call from ordinary numbers.
It's getting really difficult to avoid these money-generators - err - non geographic numbers, but it's still worth checking No to 0870.
There are other networks
Vote with your feet its as simple as that.
Not quite right
The question I'm asking is since they've changed the terms and conditions why are they being so awkward when I ask them for my contract to be terminated.
A rip off and nothing else
T-Mobile must be kidding. That's just exploitation at it's finest. I think that's sealed the deal for me, I was happy with T-Mobile, but I shall be off on principle even though I don't call those numbers from my mobile.
Taking the P***
Looks T-Mobile has come up with an interesting interpretation. Will other network operators follow?
Finding the landlines
Here's a very helpful website which helps you find landlines corresponding to these 0870 numbers:
Time to say goodbye to 0870
If, given the choice of using one company with an 0870 number - and another with a traditional geographic number (even if they're at the other side of the country), the geographic number always wins. I think that on the basis of 0870 being more expensive than the problem it was supposed to solve, it should be axed.
I actually wonder how many businesses who run non-geographical numbers realise that foreign customers (or ex-pats) can't contact them? (This includes certain freephone numbers, by the way - such as 0500!) The trouble is, the lost business is impossible to calculate - since you never ever get to know about it.
Change in contract == Early contract getout?
Not so according to their craftily, and rather cunningly obfuscated T&C's. More info here:
Though some have reported success. Some Jedi mind tricks over the blower appears to be the key here...
T-mobile customer here
Just read this piece, am shocked! Not had a dicky of word from them about it, and my latest bill arrived a few days ago. I worked out this morning that the £45/mth iPhone tariff on o2 will work out as better value for me (in terms of minutes, texts and fact you get unlimited data/wifi), and I get the (8gb) Jesus phone for free :) My t-mobile contract is up for renewal by end of July so looks like I won't be renewing now.
Just leave T-mobile en-masse (boycott) and they will see sense. It still intrigues me these days when most providers' national calls are free (included) where's the logic of non-geographical numbers being seen as a "savings" or "local rate" feature.
I think it purely exist as a money making machine for such companies.
Talkalk has a plan that also includes free 36 international destinations (incl OZ & NZ - 8000 miles away) as free. Why would anyone want to pay such stupid rates?
And Ofcom ? Worse still.
Seems about par for the course.
Why use 08**?
I remeber seeing a txt from T-Mobile last night but hadn't looked into it until now.
For the past couple of weeks I've been using numbers from the 'saynoto0870' (www.saynoto0870.com) website, not used it much but has local numbers for DVLA which have been put to good use.
At least now I know not to dial 08xx numbers from my mobile. Well played T-Mobile.
Here's a better idea...
Why the fuck don't OFCOM ban the use of these stupid "non geographic" numbers altogether?
Then the rip-off's being carried out by companies, call centres and even some GP's surgeries will stop!
Or is that just too fucking SIMPLE for the half-wits at OFCOM?
(Rant over, pills kicking in nicely now, ah.......)
Typical toothless OFCOM
There's no reason for 0870 numbers, other than revenue generation for the company that owns them.
In some cases (Carphone Whorehouse, I'm looking at you) all local branches are given 0870 numbers, the better to fleece their customers.
About time that local rate numbers were charged at local rates and included in price plans, 0870 and premium rate numbers were withdrawn and any phone company that charged for calling a freephone number fined.
"...If we are excluding them from allowances then we are required to make it explicit to customers."
As a Flext customer, I received the following Text from T-Mobile yesterday:
"From 28 July we're increasng the charges for some numbers beginning with 08. For full details please visit our website at t-mobile.co.uk/08"
What a laugh... Thanks for increasing my bill T-Mobile - Having been a loyal customer since 2005, I thought I'd get a better deal... Not a shafting!
Welcome to T-Mobshaft!
I'm with T-Mobile
They sent me a text the other day that says.
"From 28 July we're increasing the charges for calling some numbers beginning with 08. For full details please visit the website.
I am stuck in an 18 month contract and this stinks. They were a very good provider but this brings them down to being as much good as O2.
...It highlights how useless Ofcom is, that they can't stop T mobile doing it and can't regulate it.
Calling 08xx numbers for less
Just in case there is anyone who doesn't realise that a large proportion of 08xx numbers have a fixed line equivalent, there's a website called www.saynoto0870.com that tells you what they are. Using this means it is possible to wipe most inclusive-minute-busting-calls off your mobile bill.
"why it is that our regulator is prevented from regulating"
Because Ofcom is a pile of rubbish and never does sod all to help consumers out, which is the reason why operators such as t-mobile take the piss...
... Why doesnt t-mobile simply stand in front of the Ofcom office and stick their 2 fingers up at all who work there.
OFCOM ARE POINTLESS!!!!!!
Simple, use Skype Out...
...isn't it less or free that way when you call one of those 08XX numbers?
Cue mass contract cancellation
Recently got a nice new smartphone on a T-Mobile contract?
Want to keep the phone and exit the contract penalty free?
Ts and Cs have changed not to your benefit.
Here's your opportunity......
I received an SMS yesterday stating 'From 28 July we're increasing the charges for calling some numbers beginning with 08.'
I always knew 08 numbers were outside of my Flext allowance but come on, doubling the price!? Every company I deal with have an 08 number.
So I pay a stupid amount to call 08 from my mobile, and I'm with Virgin Media at home. I'd better sell the car to call the bank on 0845....
Ofcom, have as many teeth as a gummy bear!
Mines the one with 'saynoto0870.com' printed on the back.
"To make things clearer for our customers"
According to T-Mobile's "08" website (http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/services/uk/08/) this was a move to make things clearer for T-Mobile customers like me.
Well, thatnks T-Mobile, I've got the message loud and clear, I can stay here and get ripped off or move to O2 and get a new 3G iPhone for free, hmm...
What a great business plan - No wonder there is no customer loyalty in the Mobile service provider market any more.
I'm a long time T-Mobile customer (it was One2One when I signed up!!) and they have just lost my business.
I don't appreciate profiteering at my expense.
"Ofcom cannot mandate that these calls be included in allowances, however, if we are excluding them from allowances then we are required to make it explicit to customers.”
So if the regulating body can't tell them what to do who the bloody hell can?0
Everyone should have this in their bookmarks...
Used it tons.
Got the SMS about it yesterday...
which told me to go to t-mobile.co.uk/08 - which neatly explained: "To make things clearer for our customers, we have aligned our 08 number charges with local and national calls to follow the latest Ofcom guidelines. These calls aren't included as part of your allowance in any of our price plans."
So, rather than the current flat rate for these numbers (0870 / 0871 / 0844 / 0845) of 10p minute, we're now charged variable rates up to 30p per minute. Hardly "clearer".
And I suspect the Ofcom guidelines weren't intended to increase charges, but to make them fairer.
This could be a good thing...
I use T-mob, and I am pissed off about this. However, hopefully this move and associated bad press will encourage other providers to specifically include 08 numbers in their tariffs as a PR exercise, eventually forcing T-Mob to follow suite.
Unless, of course, this isn't a perfect world we're living in...
so what is the position with the other networks? Which should we switch to?
Even large business to business companies are not above 0845 - ITV moved all of their staff to non-geographic numbers last year. Then of course their ad-sales people had to be given 0203 numbers because international clients couldn't contact them. Then they had to deal with the continual complaints from UK customers (some of whom found the premium rate numbers blocked by their office switchboards.
They've now moved back to a proper local number.
It's time Ofcom started actually regulating. Premium rate revenue generating numbers should be forced to be called just that.
All 084/7 numbers should have to carry a warning wherever they are printed
"This is a premium rate number which generates revenue for the company you are calling. This number will not be included in any inclusive plan you have with your phone company".
The dead bird. Because Ofcom are obviously a lame duck.
My local police force, (West Midlands) refuse to provide me with a geographical phone number, insisting that 0845 is "the same price" as a local call - for the number on which they would like me to help them by reporting suspicious activity or non-emergency crimes in progress.
How exactly are they getting out of people ending there contract? I got a nice new phone from o2 and a reduction on my line rental when they decided to charge for 0870 numbers. Phoned to cancel my contract 3 months in but I got such a good deal I decided to stay.
Charging for 0870 is a change in T&C's to your detriment = get out clause.
Wow - something the USA got right that the UK didn't
I'm surprised, in the US, an 800 number is free from landlines (the owner of the number pays for the calls) and an outgoing call to an 800 from a mobile is just counted as regular minutes...
This is a total screw job for UK consumers...as the owners of the 087 numbers of course will keep them around for their call centre/customer service lines...since it will probably keep their call volume lower.
The solution is get a landline and only call the 08xx numbers from that. Do they even have landlines these days? :)
My response to T-Mobile (sent yesterday)
I have received a text message today stating that as of July 28th 2008 T-Mobile will be increasing its call charges to numbers beginning with 08.
As a user of these numbers I do not believe it to be acceptable to increase call charges to numbers which were introduced to be either free of charge or charged at a "local rate".
Having briefly reviewed the T&C's (V55) on your website and believe that under clause 2.11.2 and 126.96.36.199 I am entitled to cancel my service without penalty. I have this morning spoken with one of your colleagues in the retention team who has confirm I'm on T&C's version 52 which I do not have a copy of at present to review further.
To quote -
7.2.5. A cancellation charge won’t apply if You are within Your Minimum Term and:
188.8.131.52. You are a Consumer and the change that We gave You
Written Notice of in point 2.11.2 or 7.1.4 above is of material detriment
to You and You give Us notice to immediately cancel this Agreement
before the change takes effect;
2.11.2. If You are a Consumer and the change is of material detriment
to You, We will send You Written Notice one calendar month before the
terms and conditions are due to change. The new terms and conditions
will apply to You once the calendar month’s notice has run out unless
You terminate Your Agreement with Us within that notice period. If
You do this You won’t have to pay any cancellation charge that would
otherwise apply, see point 184.108.40.206.
I take the view that an increase to these charges is indeed a material detriment to me and consider your text message notification as written notice.
To this end I would request you cancel my CTN* (x), without penalty in line with my rights under the T&C's and the raft of consumer legislation in this area.
I would be grateful if you could come back to me ASAP to confirm your position on this matter.
In order for you to access my records in line with the Data Protection Act I have included the information you will need below -
Account Holder: x
I can be contacted on the above number or by email at this address should you need further information.
*CTN is internal terminology for a mobile number (I worked for them many years ago).
"I actually wonder how many businesses who run non-geographical numbers realise that foreign customers (or ex-pats) can't contact them?"
Are you sure? Having worked in an office with an 0870 number, I've taken calls from America, France, Germany, Russia, South Africa etc. I believe companies using them do get paid, but the other advantage is that the 0870 just maps another another phone line (in the same way a domain name maps to an IP address), which means you can keep the same 0870 number and change your phone line as many times as you like. Not saying it's ok, but that's their POV! (A lot simpler for small businesses than reprinting all of their stationary and perhaps losing customers who don't hear of the change of number)
"I was happy with T-Mobile, but I shall be off on principle even though I don't call those numbers from my mobile."
I hate paying more just as much as anyone (particularly since I'm on T-Mobile), but how childish is that comment? Fck DA Man!!!!1
I've tried several times to give saynoto0870 a complete copy of our call plan, with geographic equivalents to nearly a thousand 0845 numbers - and they aren't interested. I'm not typing in a thousand numbers, but we agreed that I'd email a spreadsheet - which I did over a year ago and the numbers are still not up on their servers!
The revenue we get from 0845 is negligible, but having non-geo numbers is really handy as they can be easily moved to a different line when BT have disconnected one of our offices again. Geographic numbers can't be switched outside their geographical area (that's an Ofcom regulation).
Sounds like a joke, but tells us who can't be TRUSTED
T probably thinks its being clever by doing this, but if I was looking for a mobile provider at the moment, one that wouldn't be on my short list is T.
It does at least give the other providers an excuse for competitive advantage if they choose to comply with the spirit of Ofcom's intention and include 0870 etc within their own bundles.
But really, its Ofcom that's at fault, going completely the wrong way about solving the problem. Ofcom should be making it harder for companies to hide between 0870 in the first place, by imposing strict rules -- such as no call queuing or IVR systems except on freephone numbers.
The 0845 retatrds strike again.
OK can the retard who whinge about 0845's shut the fuck up, you have NO idea what you are talking about.
The vast majority of business I know that use 0845's (I exclude 0870's in this because they are often rip offs), use them for very good reason.
For example we have multiple redunancy on all 300 of our 0845's.
Now what you you pricks prefer?
1 x 0845
or to half a dozen different numbers depending on if a fault is occuring, there is heavy traffic, your calling out of hours, you want to speak to a non english speaking agent, work is being perform on that circuit, the place is on fire, etc etc.
Nope, I think the good old days are best. You have a geographic number and if it goes down because some chimp has put a spade through a line, you wait a couple of days for it to be fixed and try again....then you moan that you haven't been able to get through.
For most companies the 0845 are the equivilant of DNS entries, there mearly point calls to where you need them.
0890's cost money, yes businesses get revenue from them, but shock horrors, see how much money it costs to run a 500 seat call centre and you may see why they don't give you the service for free, especially when you paying very little for a service in the first place.
PR contacts for T-Mobile UK
I seem to have found some good T-mobile PR contacts here:
Sophia Parviez, T-Mobile PR Manager +44 (0) 7908 208 417
Brands2life +44 (0) 207 592 1200 - more here: http://www.brands2life.co.uk/
I think these numbers are included in most cross-network tariffs.
The local police here have an 0870 number - I guess phone calls make for more paperwork, and, with literacy standards falling, they really struggle with that.
(Paris - because she appreciates the value of good PR.)
@Ofcom making it even more confusing.
Really I don't see a problem with the way it worked before why did they start to mess with it. 084X 087x numbers allow services to be provided free of charge to end users things like dial up, conference calling, messaging services etc. People have only just got their head around this and now Ofcom want to change the playing field again.
Please just leave it, there was nothing wrong with the old method everyone I know knew they had to pay for 084x 087x numbers outside their plans.
Cancelled Web 'n' Walk
I've cancelled the web 'n' walk on my handset in response to this. I still have a web 'n' walk modem from them but I liked the convenience of having it on my phone as well for checking emails whilst at boring restaurant meals. This isn't just a "stick it to da man" response. I feel they have shown a complete lack of respect for the customer and I don't want to be tied to a contract with a network that changes things in a devious manner. 3 did it to me on my last contract but in the end I ended up getting sent a cheque with no apologies or explanation that covered how much I lost out by.
RE: My response to T-Mobile (sent yesterday)
Thanks - I will be copy-pasting that into an email soon enough and waiting on pay-as-you-go for the release of the jesus phone. I used 08** numbers all the time because I won't risk my job using company lines. It's costly as it is - now they are doubling the cost I will be ending my contract and going with somebody else, like o2 perhaps.
Are Ofcom on drugs ?
Seriously, they must be !
Didn't Ofcom introduce the 03xx range a while back, and stipulate that they are to be used to give companies etc a "National presence" (i.e. what the 08xx range was originally designed for), but that the 03xx range was to be charged in EXACTLY the same way as calling a National 01xx or 02xx number ??
AFAIK, they also said that the 08xx range would be redefined as lower-premium rate, in order to 'protect' those companies that simply use these numbers for revenue generating services, e.g. international calling cards, etc.
I'm baffled as to why they would now essentially say that 08xx is to be charged in the same way as 03xx.... like, WTF is the point in 03xx now ?
BTW, most, if not all operators, include 03xx numbers in their bundles. Only problem is that nobody actually uses these numbers yet, as of course if would confuse the fuck out of the great British public !
Alien, because clearly Ofcom bods have been fraternising with them lately....
@Are Ofcom on drugs ?
"Didn't Ofcom introduce the 03xx range a while back, and stipulate that they are to be used to give companies etc a "National presence" (i.e. what the 08xx range was originally designed for), but that the 03xx range was to be charged in EXACTLY the same way as calling a National 01xx or 02xx number ??"
Wasn't 0345 the predecessor of 0845 ?