Before you phone
have you thought
how much your call is going to cost?
You could get a heart attack if you knew!
Last year the Dept. of Health supposedly rapped knuckles of PCTs, Surgeries, etc. who had started to use 084 telephone numbers. Some even use the more expensive 087 prefix.
Do you know how much a call costs?
Most people today have a package deal on their phones.
This gives them unlimited access to numbers that begin in 01, 02 or 03.
Call any number that begins with these two digits, and the call is free under the terms of most packages.
But – BT, who started the free call packages, suddenly had a ‘good idea;. They went to companies and organisations (who had no idea what telephone packages their customers/patients had) and offered them “a national number people can call from anywhere in UK and it costs the same as a ‘local’ call”.
Sounds good – until you check actual costs.
Costs vary according to time of day you call; cheapest calls are usually after 7pm and before 6 – 8 am
Most expensive are during daytime – approx. 9 am – 7 pm – just when we use the phone for hospital appointments etc.
Cost of calling 0843 – 0844 – 0845 – 0870 – 0871 – 0872 – 0873 (and watch out for similar ones)
Calls can cost 1p per minute if phoning late at night
Can cost up to 13 p per minute during day (so holding on for those automated voice mail announcements can cost a lot)
Mobile phone calls cost between 20p – 41p per minute, with calls during day on the 41p tariff
Charities’ Helplines to an 0800 number are FREE from landlines – depends on provider with mobiles
And if faced with an 084 or 0870 number, look up the website www.saynoto0870.com .
This website provides an invaluable service by giving you the 01 or 02 number. EVERY company or organisation with an 084 etc. number HAS to have one of these, known as a hidden number. But they don’t want you to know this, as often they are making money out of your phone call. Depending on charges, BT will refund the company a percentage of the call costs that you make.
Not very helpful of NHS etc.
Of course, challenge a switchboard operator with this, and they won’t know. But you could ask a Financial Director to explain.
Because with the majority of customers of whatever phone company on a package, these so-called ‘National numbers’ are no use to us – so who’se making the money? !!