Feeds

DVLA, Tiscali, Barclays rake in phoneline cash

Which? inducts 30 into hall of call shame

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.