Two thirds of firms are open to being fined!

Chain Cards

New rules were announced in July 2015 require companies using 084, 087, 09 or 118 numbers to display the cost of the call wherever they are promoted. Did you notice?

We carried out a study in the first week of August and surveyed 100 companies that use these numbers. We found 65% had no information on the cost of these calls on their websites.

It is quite clear that the majority of companies, particularly smaller ones, have not made the necessary changes and as such are leaving themselves open to fines. It could be argued that Ofcom could have done a better job in promoting the scope of the changes as could have the telecom providers of the numbers themselves.

In addition web site designers should be advising their clients of the risks they run by not amending the site. Other companies in the broader marketing community such as printers, advertising display providers and signage for vehicles need to help their clients avoid the potential penalties when producing materials.

The consequences of not abiding by these rules means that your company can be fined or customers can ask for the money back from the call charges. Your customers will also be within their rights to take your company to court to successfully reclaim the excessive charges made to them.

If you are a company using 084, 087, 09 or 118 number you need to display the cost of the call wherever they are promoted or you can change your number to something more suitable such as an 0345 number. To find out how the costs of certain numbers click here: http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/phone/how-much-does-a-phone-call-really-cost/

If you want to change your number before it’s too late we are happy to help.

 

We are also going to retake this survey in the New Year to see how it’s changed.

Our favourite dirty tricks of 2015

card trick 750With Ofcom fining Unicom £200,000 for misleading sales techniques we thought it would be good time to share the best or worst, depending on your point of view, of the dirty tricks we observed this year.

Third – an old favourite: the minimum charge for calls. This was for an outbound call centre where 70% of calls last less than 30 seconds. It wasn’t a PPI company otherwise it might have been justified – but it wasn’t and the supplier had not declared it in any of their materials and it inflated the call bill by 50%

Second – having already caught out a company on a long term lease hire which meant £3k of equipment was going to cost £14k, the supplier suggested extending the lease for another 7 years when they wanted to add a couple of handsets. This would have added another £10k to the bill.

First – a supplier who uses what looks like a landline number for its broadband support desk. But if you call it from one of their own lines it costs 50p a minute. We tried calling it from our lines and the cost was as per a normal landline – so they must have programmed their billing to charge it differently. Maybe they also engineer faults on their broadband to drive up profits!

If you know people who are worried about their contracts, ask them to give us a call. We want to expose the tricksters to protect others, so the more evidence we have, the better.