You And Your Money
September 25th, 2007
This was published recently in the You and Your Money print magazine, and it’s available here online also. This is only a subsection of the whole article – just the bits relevant to this website.
Beat the rip-off merchants! Brenda McNally rounds up the top ten rip-offs to watch out for.
From banking errors and dodgy billing practices to straightforward overcharging, big business has little hesitation about squeezing Irish consumers. Fortunately, industry watchdogs and consumer groups are flexing their muscles on our behalf.
But if you really don’t want to be ripped off in 2008, don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.
Take a look at our list of the top 10 ways consumers were ripped off in 2007 and, if you think you’ve been overcharged, don’t just pay whatever price you’re asked: exercise your vocal chords, query the bill and complain.
Locall and Callsave
Locall (1890) and Callsave (1850) telephone numbers look like a cost-saving option on paper, but that’s not the case for all of us. Irish consumers who are signed up to special telephone and mobile packages are needlessly paying up to €5 a time to ring ‘low cost’ telephone numbers.
This is because these numbers are excluded from the popular mobile and landline phone deals with exclusive minutes. The Consumers’ Association of Ireland (CAI) has highlighted the issue, calling on phone companies to include 1890 or 1850 numbers in their deals.
It has also said that firms with 1850, 1890 and 0818 numbers should do more to make their customers aware of how to make their calls cheaper.
If you’re on a special telephone package, make sure to check how much Locall and Callsave will cost you – if they cost more, try to find out the ordinary number for whatever company you’re looking to call. Why hold…
Alternative LandLine Numbers
You can beat the trap if you dial the ordinary landline numbers of companies: these should be listed on their websites or in telephone books alongside their 1890, 1850 and 0818 numbers. You can take down these numbers for a start:
AIB Phone Banking: 1890 242424 – use 01 6670024
Bank Of Ireland Phone Banking: 1890 365 365 – use 01 4044470
Bord Gais Energy Supply: 1850 632 632 – use 01 8190395
ESB Customer Supply: 1850 372 372 – use 01 8529534
VHI: 1850 44 44 44 – use 056 7753200
Hibernian Health: 1850 71 77 17 – use 056 7753200
Ticketmaster Ireland: 0818 719300 – use 01 4569569.