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  • "
    Charging people to call you is downright rude but lots of organisations do it. It should be made illegal.

    From 13 June 2014 it will be illegal to use 084, 087 and 09 numbers for customer service lines in many business sectors. The new law applies to retailers, travel companies and many others.

    It is not appropriate for government departments to be using these expensive numbers, hence the recent Cabinet Office guidance effectively banning 084, 087 and 09 numbers from public services.

    All calls have to be paid for by someone. Where a non-geographic number is involved there are extra call handling and call routing costs incurred. With an 03 number, the called party pays for these facilities. With an 084, 087 or 09 number the cost is shifted onto the caller through the imposition of a Service Charge. This also opens up an opportunity for the caller's provider to add a bit extra on the call price to make extra profit for themselves.

    Ofcom will shortly require users of 084, 087 and 09 numbers to declare their Service Charge. These numbers should only be used by organisations that are offering a chargeable service paid for as the call is made. These include call-conferencing and call-gateway services, "dial a...." type recorded information lines, quizzes and entertainment voting lines, chat-lines and phone lines for charity donations where the call price includes the donation.

    Using 084, 087 and 09 numbers for customer enquiries, complaints, renewals and refunds or for contacting healthcare services and various government departments and public services must come to an end. The relevant legislation and guidance has been published. It now needs to be followed."
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Darlington Borough Council customer phone line will see slight rise in costs

NEW NUMBER: Darlington Borough Council is introducing a new 0845 number for people wanting to make bill payments

NEW NUMBER: Darlington Borough Council is introducing a new 0845 number for people wanting to make bill payments

First published in News
Last updated
Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter (Darlington)

PEOPLE calling Darlington Borough Council to make payments will soon need to use a different number, with some customers set to see a small increase in charges.

An 0845 number will be in use from Wednesday (February 5), following a system upgrade.

The 24-hour automated line will replace the outgoing local number.

It will be used for people wanting to pay council tax, housing rents, business rates and other council charges.

Local rate numbers are charged at between 2p and 10p per minute from a landline, and from 10p to 41p per minute from a mobile.

0845 numbers cost between 1p and 11p per minute from a landline and between 14p and 41p per minute from a mobile.

The new number, which will be in use from Wednesday (February 5), is 0845-023-2599.

In the meantime, payments can be made by using the old number, 01325-389898.

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