‘A list of companies and government agencies using costly phone helplines to make money at customers’ expense has been published by a consumer group.’
The regulator Ofcom plans to stop organisations making money from 0870 numbers and introduced 03 numbers last year. These cost the same as calling a geographic (01 or 02) number. But consumer group Which? reports that none of the organisations it checked with had switched to 03.
Many people calling these numbers are doing so to complain about goods or services and are being charged a premium for the privilege.
Some of the culprits won’t come as much of a surprise. However others are government departments:
0871: Admiral Insurance, Bell Insurance, Elephant Insurance, Diamond Insurance, Nikon, Tiscali
0870: Apple (tech support), Carphone Warehouse/Talk Talk, DVLA, Gladiator Insurance, Lexmark, Philips, Sony, Zanussi-Electrolux
0844: AOL, Orange, Panasonic, Sky, TV Licensing
0845: Barclays, British Gas, Consumer Direct, Direct Line, Eon, Green Flag, Halifax, Lloyds TSB, Miele, Npower, Philips, Scottish and Southern Energy, Scottish Power, TV Licensing, Virgin Media
If you need to call a company that uses one of these costly numbers, check this page first and you may find a standard number to use instead.