I’ve never seen the point in national rate numbers. If you want to have a free phone service, you use an 0800 or local rate number. If you want to charge for a phone service, you use a premium rate number. Yes I know, apparently national rate numbers are shared cost, but what’s the point in that?
More than that, it bugs me why customer service lines are always 0870 or 0871 numbers. My webhosting company has one, many enquiry lines have them, and it just drives me mad.
I use Skype for most of my paid calls, mainly because it is easier for me as I already have a broadband connection supplied where I live, and Skype calls are much cheaper (in most cases) than BT calls. I have my own online number with Skype (which costs about £8 every quarter) and the unlimited country package which gives me unlimited UK calls to landlines (costing me about £3.50 per month). But that, of course, does not include 0870 numbers or any national rate numbers.
Believe it or not, it costs almost as much on Skype to call a national rate number than it does to call a mobile in the UK. What a pain in the backside. At the time of writing, mobile calls cost 16.6p per minute and calls to 0871 cost 14.8p per minute!
But that’s going off the point. What really gets to me is when business put in big bold letters “FREE 24/7 PHONE SUPPORT” or similar, when they are lying! They give you an 0871 number that costs me nearly 15p per minute to call! What a joke! It’s really frustrating!
And yes, I know we have sites like “saynoto0870” which might be brilliant for some people, but they don’t have all the numbers in the book and I’ve never managed to find a local number that corresponds to a national rate one.
In real honesty, I wish Ofcom would ban 0871 numbers and the likes, because I find them really annoying and I waste so much money every year calling them. They should make it simpler – we already have 0845 numbers and stuff like that, why do we need more?
We just need one band of numbers for freephone, one for shared cost, and one for premium. The end.