BBC Watchdog backs up our move to phase out 0845 numbers

We offer 0800 and 01422 number - you choose the cheapest

The recent BBC Watchdog programme about ’08’ numbers and how they can be expensive for customers to call was music to our ears. We did a lot of research in to what numbers were cheapest for customers to call and found that offering two different numbers was the best way forward.

We have now pretty much phased out all 0845 numbers so that when you call us it will either be free, or as cheap as possible.

We now operate a policy whereby new literature is always printed with a standard 01422 (geographic number) and in most cases a 0800 number as well. This gives a best of both worlds scenario meaning you can call us for free from landlines, but because we also offer the standard 01422 number you can also call from a mobile and not get charged a fortune.

The programme even mentioned that 08 numbers cost a small fortune to call from mobiles, but that standard 01 and 02 numbers are very often included in free minute bundles offered with mobile phone packages. So it was nice to see that our move was in the right direction!

You can read more and watch a snippet of the programme here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/watchdog/2010/10/complaining_costs.html

If we can do it then so should the big boys!

2 comments on “BBC Watchdog backs up our move to phase out 0845 numbers

  1. Thanks for your comment Dave. In response to your query about http://www.caravanguard.co.uk still displaying an 0845 number – our new and improved Caravan Guard website goes live in November 2010, this will have an 0800 14 88 400 freephone number and 01 (mobile friendly number) displayed. This is one of the final stages of the plan to phase out 0845 numbers.

    The reason we historically published 0845 numbers as “local call rate from landlines” is that 0845 numbers used to be a genuine benefit to our customers. We actually paid to supplement the cost of the 0845 calls to make it cheaper for the customer than using the 01 number (historically charged at a national call rate). However, we identified that most landline providers no longer have different charges for “local” and “national” calls. So, we decided to further subsidise the cost of the calls by replacing the 0845 numbers we display with 0800s, making the calls completely free for our customers!

    It should be that simple but 30% of inbound calls to us are made from mobiles and mobile providers may charge a premium rate for using what should be a freephone 0800 number. This is why we have made it company policy to always display an alternative 01 mobile friendly number. This means our customers using a mobile can use included in free minute bundles on mobile contracts (or be charged at the lowest possible call rate on pay as you go contracts).

    We think this is the best possible service we can offer to our customers and would welcome further input.

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