Feeds

DVLA, Tiscali, Barclays rake in phoneline cash

Which? inducts 30 into hall of call shame

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Which? magazine has produced a list of 30 companies and organisations it found to be using high-rate numbers such as 0870 and 0845, including the DVLA which apparently made £3.4 million last year from punters calling in.

The list includes Tiscali, Barclays Bank, British Gas and the TV Licensing authority as well as the DVLA. They are all using 0871, 0870, 0844 and 0845 numbers and taking a percentage of the termination fee callers have to pay, which can add up to a nice little earner over time.

These numbers were introduced to create non-geographical codes so everyone could call at a local rate, but since their introduction the world has moved on and standard tariffs include bundles of free calls. Non-geographical numbers aren't generally included in these bundles, so can cost up to ten pence a minute (the BBC has a full breakdown). Which? found that one call, to AOL broadband, cost them 75 pence after they had been on hold for 15 minutes.

Last year Ofcom introduced "03" numbers to address this problem, and Which? is trying to shame the companies involved into changing their numbers to 03, or normal geographic codes. The DVLA told Which? it's planning to fall in line like really soon or right after it's had its tea, but when the existing number is bringing in several mill a year, it must be hard to make that a priority.

Companies claim it's up to customers if they want to call them, though it's hard to imagine anyone deciding to phone the DVLA on a whim, and many will assume the calls are included in the bundles. Services like SayNoTo0870 try to provide geographical numbers for companies, but as the amount taken from each individual is small, not a lot of people bother.

It is an underhand way to make money, though, and we can only applaud Which? and wish them luck. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.