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
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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.

Comments (11)

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7:00pm Tue 28 Jan 14

grandmab says...

HMM, I heard the government had recommended that these premium rate lines to access services be abolished. I'm sure I heard that on the news. Did they change their minds? Not that I will be using it. I do not see the point of sitting in a queue on a premium rate line. Go into the desk or use online. Feel sorry for elderly and infirm who have no internet, they will suffer most.
HMM, I heard the government had recommended that these premium rate lines to access services be abolished. I'm sure I heard that on the news. Did they change their minds? Not that I will be using it. I do not see the point of sitting in a queue on a premium rate line. Go into the desk or use online. Feel sorry for elderly and infirm who have no internet, they will suffer most. grandmab
  • Score: 9

7:10pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Mistake says...

grandmab wrote:
HMM, I heard the government had recommended that these premium rate lines to access services be abolished. I'm sure I heard that on the news. Did they change their minds? Not that I will be using it. I do not see the point of sitting in a queue on a premium rate line. Go into the desk or use online. Feel sorry for elderly and infirm who have no internet, they will suffer most.
When did DBC ever listen to recommendations from central government?
[quote][p][bold]grandmab[/bold] wrote: HMM, I heard the government had recommended that these premium rate lines to access services be abolished. I'm sure I heard that on the news. Did they change their minds? Not that I will be using it. I do not see the point of sitting in a queue on a premium rate line. Go into the desk or use online. Feel sorry for elderly and infirm who have no internet, they will suffer most.[/p][/quote]When did DBC ever listen to recommendations from central government? Mistake
  • Score: 9

8:35pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Ian_SE says...

Most people will see this as a change from a number that was an "inclusive" call within their call plan allowance - either when using their landline or their mobile - to a call that they always have to pay for.

0845 numbers are rarely inclusive in landline call plans and never inclusive in mobile call plans. Rather than the call being effectively "free" for many callers, they will instead be paying up to 11p/min from a landline and up to 41p/min from a mobile with every call further increasing their bill.

Calls to 0845 numbers incur a 2p/min Service Charge to the benefit of the called party. This Service Charge will shortly have to be declared by users of these numbers. It is in appropriate for any public service already funded by taxation to be imposing this additional charge on callers using their service. The Fair Telecoms Campaign dubbed this "The Telephone Tax".

After complaints about government usage of expensive 0845 numbers stretching back many years, eventually a Public Accounts Committee enquiry held in September 2013 recommended that public services should be adopting 03 numbers in place of 084 and 087 numbers. At the end of December 2013, the Cabinet Office published guidance to all government departments and public services. This guidance recommends 03 numbers be used. Calls to 03 numbers cost the same as calling 01 and 02 numbers and count towards inclusive allowances on landlines and mobile phones.

In central government, DVLA, HMRC and others already use 03 numbers. Just yesterday, DWP announced they will be adopting 03 numbers beginning March 2013. Much, if not all, of central government and their agencies is expected to follow over the next few months.

In local government, Shropshire, Fife, Cambridgeshire and others have already adopted 03 numbers. In Autumn 2013, Carlisle abandoned their plans to adopt 0845 numbers just days before the proposed changeover date and instead opted for 0300 numbers. Lancashire has just started their programme of work to move from 0845 to 0300 numbers, with completion expected by the end of March 2014.

The proposed use of 0845 numbers by Darlington is going in the exact opposite direction to the rest of government and directly flies in the face of current Cabinet Office guidance.

Recent legislation published by BIS means that on 13 June 2014, it becomes illegal for traders to use 084, 087 and 09 numbers for post contract customer service lines. It is already inappropriate for callers to be paying a Service Charge when accessing public services. After the BIS legislation comes into force it will be completely inappropriate for government departments to be seen to be using the type of telephone numbers that it has banned businesses from using.
Most people will see this as a change from a number that was an "inclusive" call within their call plan allowance - either when using their landline or their mobile - to a call that they always have to pay for. 0845 numbers are rarely inclusive in landline call plans and never inclusive in mobile call plans. Rather than the call being effectively "free" for many callers, they will instead be paying up to 11p/min from a landline and up to 41p/min from a mobile with every call further increasing their bill. Calls to 0845 numbers incur a 2p/min Service Charge to the benefit of the called party. This Service Charge will shortly have to be declared by users of these numbers. It is in appropriate for any public service already funded by taxation to be imposing this additional charge on callers using their service. The Fair Telecoms Campaign dubbed this "The Telephone Tax". After complaints about government usage of expensive 0845 numbers stretching back many years, eventually a Public Accounts Committee enquiry held in September 2013 recommended that public services should be adopting 03 numbers in place of 084 and 087 numbers. At the end of December 2013, the Cabinet Office published guidance to all government departments and public services. This guidance recommends 03 numbers be used. Calls to 03 numbers cost the same as calling 01 and 02 numbers and count towards inclusive allowances on landlines and mobile phones. In central government, DVLA, HMRC and others already use 03 numbers. Just yesterday, DWP announced they will be adopting 03 numbers beginning March 2013. Much, if not all, of central government and their agencies is expected to follow over the next few months. In local government, Shropshire, Fife, Cambridgeshire and others have already adopted 03 numbers. In Autumn 2013, Carlisle abandoned their plans to adopt 0845 numbers just days before the proposed changeover date and instead opted for 0300 numbers. Lancashire has just started their programme of work to move from 0845 to 0300 numbers, with completion expected by the end of March 2014. The proposed use of 0845 numbers by Darlington is going in the exact opposite direction to the rest of government and directly flies in the face of current Cabinet Office guidance. Recent legislation published by BIS means that on 13 June 2014, it becomes illegal for traders to use 084, 087 and 09 numbers for post contract customer service lines. It is already inappropriate for callers to be paying a Service Charge when accessing public services. After the BIS legislation comes into force it will be completely inappropriate for government departments to be seen to be using the type of telephone numbers that it has banned businesses from using. Ian_SE
  • Score: 19

10:35am Wed 29 Jan 14

miketually says...

This is a step backwards.

I wonder if it's to do with sharing services with Stockton?
This is a step backwards. I wonder if it's to do with sharing services with Stockton? miketually
  • Score: 1

11:26am Wed 29 Jan 14

Homshaw1 says...

Charging people to call you is downright rude but lots of organisations do it.

It should be made illegal.
Charging people to call you is downright rude but lots of organisations do it. It should be made illegal. Homshaw1
  • Score: 4

11:48am Wed 29 Jan 14

100%Darlington says...

Homshaw1 wrote:
Charging people to call you is downright rude but lots of organisations do it. It should be made illegal.
Am I missing something here, to make a call to anyone unless it is a 0800 (calling from a landline) number will cost you! The difference may be as part of your call plan which you pay for you will be able to ring certain numbers 'free' as part of the plan subject to T&C's.

It would cost me to ring the 01325 during the day, but 'free' after 7pm, same applies to 0845.

I pay my Council Tax and Rent by Direct Debit and that is free!!
[quote][p][bold]Homshaw1[/bold] wrote: Charging people to call you is downright rude but lots of organisations do it. It should be made illegal.[/p][/quote]Am I missing something here, to make a call to anyone unless it is a 0800 (calling from a landline) number will cost you! The difference may be as part of your call plan which you pay for you will be able to ring certain numbers 'free' as part of the plan subject to T&C's. It would cost me to ring the 01325 during the day, but 'free' after 7pm, same applies to 0845. I pay my Council Tax and Rent by Direct Debit and that is free!! 100%Darlington
  • Score: -4

12:22pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Ian_SE says...

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.
[quote]Charging people to call you is downright rude but lots of organisations do it. It should be made illegal.[/quote] 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. Ian_SE
  • Score: 8

12:55pm Wed 29 Jan 14

judygone says...

Yet again more proof this council work against ,not for the public. They all need voting out at the next election. We need a whole new council !
Yet again more proof this council work against ,not for the public. They all need voting out at the next election. We need a whole new council ! judygone
  • Score: 4

1:34pm Thu 30 Jan 14

youcantdenythetruth says...

This lying bunch of thieves will stop at nothing to bleed another few quid out of the people who pay their wages.

There is an easy solution to this. Anyone making a payment from now on should not ring the thieves in the council. Pop a cheque in the post on the last day of the month instead. That'll make them reconsider and if if doesn't, then they will pay the price, not us the public.
This lying bunch of thieves will stop at nothing to bleed another few quid out of the people who pay their wages. There is an easy solution to this. Anyone making a payment from now on should not ring the thieves in the council. Pop a cheque in the post on the last day of the month instead. That'll make them reconsider and if if doesn't, then they will pay the price, not us the public. youcantdenythetruth
  • Score: 3

2:00pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Ian_SE says...

Jenny Chapman MP is reporting (on Twitter) a "change of mind" on the introduction of the expensive 0845 number for council payments, crediting Bill Bixon for "sorting it out so quickly".

Glad that they saw sense.
Jenny Chapman MP is reporting (on Twitter) a "change of mind" on the introduction of the expensive 0845 number for council payments, crediting Bill Bixon for "sorting it out so quickly". Glad that they saw sense. Ian_SE
  • Score: -5

2:05pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Ian_SE says...

Jenny Chapman MP is reporting (on Twitter) a "change of mind" on the introduction of the expensive 0845 number for council payments, crediting Bill Dixon for "sorting it out so quickly".

Glad that they saw sense.
Jenny Chapman MP is reporting (on Twitter) a "change of mind" on the introduction of the expensive 0845 number for council payments, crediting Bill Dixon for "sorting it out so quickly". Glad that they saw sense. Ian_SE
  • Score: 12

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