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BT is set to embrace 0800 and 0808 numbers for its technical support
Thursday 21 February 2008 17:42:23 by Andrew Ferguson

BT telephone service customers should have received or are about to receive a letter detailing changes to the naming and pricing of the BT residential line rental and calls packages. This sees the basic line rental increase by 75p to £11.75 but the rebate for paperless billing increases from 50p to £1.25 offsetting the increase from 1st April 2008. For details on the paperfree billing option visit www.bt.com/paperfree.

The changes don't stop there, BT is set to reduce the cost of calling its support lines drastically. The six most commonly called chargeable numbers (mainly 0845/0870 numbers) will be switched to 0800 and 0808 numbers which are free to call as of 1st April 2008. The upshot of this is that from 1st April calls to BT Broadband technical support will be free, an 0845 number currently costs 0.5p per minute for an evening call plus a 6p set up fee, 0870 numbers cost 1.5p per minute at BT rates in the evening. These changes will mean the number of calls made to BT free of charge will increase from the current 92% to 99% in April.

“BT has been setting the pace with its pricing and today we’ve decided to go a step further. We’ve always had some of the lowest prices for such calls and now we’ve decided to make them free. We call on the rest of the industry to follow our lead. There really is no excuse for companies whose prices are either sky-high or verging on the ridiculous. We believe that customers are out of pocket to the tune of £70 million a year.”

Gavin Patterson, BT managing director consumer

The question is what will other broadband providers do in response, some providers already offer their support line via 0800 numbers or encourage people to use online resources like ticketing systems (though if your broadband is down this is hard). Hopefully the days of support calls charged at anything ranging from 5p to £1 a minute are now over. The press release gave some figures for BT's competitors (evening rates are listed):

  • Virgin Media, 25p per minute with a 10p set up fee
  • Sky Broadband, 1.5p per minutes and 6p set up fee
  • Orange, 50p per minute and no set up fee
  • Tiscali, 10p per minute (5p if on a Tiscali phone line), 6p set up fee
  • Talk Talk, 1.5p per minute, 6p set up fee (free from a Talk Talk telephone line)

When you add up the costs a single 17 minute call to support could set you back anything between 96p and £30 for those that currently charge, so it is good to see a large provider such as BT moving to 0800/0808 numbers to reduce the costs to consumers.

Factoring in the cost of calling support is always a difficult one as you may go a whole year without needing to call, and then spend an hour over the course of a week sorting out a fault. Certainly people should factor in the potential costs when calling a provider, a 50p per month subscription saving is soon destroyed by a short call to many support lines. Our broadband provider listings do list both the sales and support telephone numbers and highlight whether it is a premium rate call, non-geographic call (e.g. 0870) or a free call. For those with landline call bundles finding a geographic number they can call can reduce the costs significantly and www.saynotto0870.com is a useful site for this.

While 0800 and 0808 calls are free from landlines people should check on the costs of using these numbers from their mobile phone and whether they are included in the bundle of free minutes if on a contract.

Update 22nd February 2008: Talk Talk support calls while an 0870 number are free from a TalkTalk landline.

Comments

Posted by jrawle over 9 years ago
What 084/087 numbers do BT telephone customers have to use? As far as I know they've always been free.

Virgin Media should really take a leaf out of BT's book and scrap their rip-off premium rate technical support number.
Posted by kingbaz over 9 years ago
Say no to 0870 I have been using this site from the early days.
A very useful Site
Barry King
Posted by Somerset over 9 years ago
Broadband support - 0845 600 7030.
Posted by tiggerrmummy over 9 years ago
Pipex are charging 19p p/m on their 0871 numbers. Today we were on hold for 30 minutes to be told their server was down.Had I been able to get online to say no to 0870 I probably wouldnt have needed to call.This expensive mistake means we will be changing asap.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I normally tear BT and BT news a new proverbial but in this case i think they should be congratulated IF THEY are not gonna try and claw the money back by increasing things like the monthly price of its broadband.
Either way makes no odds to me..... Still happy with part LLU for my broadband, still happy with over 16Mb in speed, still happy the provider offers freephone support and fixes most issues then and there on the phone rather than fobbing you off and promising ringbacks and other nonsense.
Posted by ETEE over 9 years ago
The article is wrong. TalkTalk broadband support uses 0870 numbers but call charges are free from a TT registered line.

Looks like BT are following in TT's footsteps!
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
I would take up paperless billing if internet copies of bills were as useful problem is they isnt. They still not accepted as proof for legal purposes and for that reason I require paper billing.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Agreed chrysalis, also old fashioned ways of shredding or ripping up the paper bill are far more confidential
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
The Talk Talk free from their own lines has been added to the item.
Posted by keith_thfc over 9 years ago
Virgin Media, 25p per minute with a 10p set up fee
Orange, 50p per minute and no set up fee

Hence the financial incentive for these ISP's to tinker with your service as much as poss.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"Talk Talk support calls while an 0870 number are free from a TalkTalk landline." that rather depends which 0870 number, I know someone who spent £70 talking to TT broadband support on a TT calls package. YMMV.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
you need to buy a thing called a printer Chrysalis. Or get some decent advice.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"you need to buy a thing called a printer Chrysalis. Or get some decent advice."

Err no in the manner he is talking he is perfectly correct..... a document you reproduce at home is not fit for legal purposes. If he went to court over a dispute in his billing there is a chance his own printouts would NOT be deemed evidence.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"If he went to court over a dispute in his billing there is a chance his own printouts would NOT be deemed evidence." I said *DECENT* advice.
Posted by Somerset over 9 years ago
Hopefully this will make others like the gas, electric and banks to start thinking about using 0800 numbers rather than charging callers hanging on waiting for an answer.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote""If he went to court over a dispute in his billing there is a chance his own printouts would NOT be deemed evidence." I said *DECENT* advice."

Whether you think my advice is decent or not doesnt matter thats the truth of the matter and a reason people like him as well as my self will stick to having an official paper hard copy, thankyou.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 9 years ago
I have to say BT are going the right with this there also reduceing some of there talk plans and to help encourage paperless billing a better discount for ebilling although there putting the rental charge up lol..it's a shame they can't focus on all the aluminuim still in the local loop fitted decades ago
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
herdwick if I print out a online bill and try and use it eg. as a proof of address it will be rejected on the basis its not an original copy. I also know courts reject printed out bills/statements etc.
Posted by NICK_ADSL_UK over 9 years ago
Well it's a step in the right direction but even better still the public should join a forum such as this or one that's applicable to there needs. As taking a small amount of time out each week and learning there would hardly ever be a need to call a so called contact ISP/ shop support in the first place as the main forums on the Internet cover any inquiry that you may have and for free
Posted by 2doorsbob over 9 years ago
Nick_adsl has a point here but thats is of cause if you can get online to research your problem or question ..but should isp's foot the bill if it's a ethernet card driver problem or wireless issue
Posted by Somerset over 9 years ago
How much of the helpdesk support is for the broadband itself and how much for the Microsoft part...
Posted by leshewitt over 9 years ago
Reply to tiggerrmummy
"Had I been able to get online to say no to 0870...."
I was with Pipex broadband until Aug 2007. Then, they had a dial-in service that you could use to get online in emergency or if you were away from home. Details were on their web site. Worth checking out if it's still there. My Pipex broadband occasionally went off but my phone line never did. Then again, I wasn't on LLU; I had phone via another provider.

FYI, I'm now with TalkTalk on LLU, their so-called "free" broadband with line rental and calls. Others have had problems but it's fast, cheap and reliable for me
Posted by AnthonyK over 9 years ago
Before you all get overexcited about BT, I recently received BTs new pricing and T&Cs notification. It all looks good until you turn to page 2 and see that they are removing the evening 4.5p cost of a UK call for up to an hour. They are replacing it with a 1.5p/min rate with 6p set up fee. Cost of a 59 min call to your mum has gone from 4.5p to over 90p.

Daytime UK call rates are also going up.

So those who still make calls with BT, particularly older people who don't use Skype or suchlike and may not even have broadband, are going to get shafted. Nice.

Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
For SIMPLE advice you can call 0845 454 1111 look under 'contact us'
http://contact.virginmedia.com/

They always warn you the Broadband TECHNICAL support will cost you, as above.. they do not want people with SIMPLE problems blocking the line time!!!

- soif your problem is "I cannot get connected", "my line is slow", etc, then phone the cheap line first!!!
Posted by comnut over 9 years ago
If you have virgin phone, 151 is free..

if you want to get info on line faults & service, use 0800 561 0061


Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"will stick to having an official paper hard copy"

talking out of your arse, as usual.

"official" ROFTLMAO, what a dickhead.
http://www.recordsmanagement.ed.ac.uk/infostaff/RMstaff/LegalAdmiss/ErecordsAdmissibilityv7.rtf
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote""will stick to having an official paper hard copy"
talking out of your arse, as usual.
"official" ROFTLMAO, what a dickhead.
http://www.recordsmanagement.ed.ac.uk/infostaff/RMstaff/LegalAdmiss/ErecordsAdmissibilityv7.rtf "
Suggest you re-read what i said...... i repeat for you as a simpleton...
quote"If he went to court over a dispute in his billing there is a CHANCE HIS OWN printouts would NOT be deemed evidence.
CONT....
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
From your link item 6...
"Why might the legal admissibility of electronic records be a problem?
6. Many key records are now held electronically. It is important that, should these records be required as evidence in a court of law, their authenticity can be proven. Electronic records are particularly vulnerable to tampering because it is possible to make additions or deletions that are not apparent to the viewer of the document. It can also be difficult to tell the difference between the original, authentic record and copies of it, which may have been altered." CONT...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
In OTHER WORDS jackass, (yep call me a dickhead you must be a jackass).

Unless he can prove HIS OWN printout has NOT been altered it COULD be refused as evidence... Even a photocopy of the original COULD technically be refused as evidence.

The day you have to go to court and prove something with documentation is the day you will have a damn big shock JACKASS!!!

Now back to your cupboard under the stairs... Jog on.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Oh and BTW that link JACKASS is for advice to universitys..... NOT the general public JACKASS (got it yet....... no didnt think so).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
NO doubt you or some other cry baby will run along to staff to whinge about my retaliation and name calling now, even though i once again was not the one that started and went down that road in frustration yet again about being proved wrong.
Too much of a do as i say not as i do attitude from some users on this site isnt there herdwick.
Posted by ronaldoronaldo over 8 years ago
Good news, prices are decreasing and if you consider the fact that 0800 numbers is a great marketing tool you will see that it's really helps to your business. Sales reports indicate that businesses with <a href="http://www.smart-numbers.net/">0800 numbers</a> and similar free phone numbers enjoy an increased customer response to their advertising. Reports have shown that this can range from an impressive 50% to a hefty 300%.
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