Archive | 2016

Tip of the Week (The Sunday Tribune)

The Sunday Tribune

Sunday August 18th, 2008

Eddie Lennon

Tip of the Week

Phone users are being ripped off when they make calls to government departments and large companies via 1850, 1890 and 0818 numbers. While mobile users who pay by bill have a block of “free” minutes credited to their phone each month, these minutes include standard land line and mobile numbers, but usually not other numbers.

Dialling these numbers can cost up to 49c per minute when calling from a mobile, and up to 8c a minute from a land line. Last week, the consumer awareness website ValueIreland.com published a useful list of land line numbers which you can contact as a cheaper alternative to the more expensive numbers. The list is available at www.SayNoTo1890.com.

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September 2016 – 45 Numbers updated on SayNoTo1890.com

This evening I have made updates to the website whereby upwards on 45 numbers have been updated. There are about 20 new numbers added, while 25 number updates / clarifications have been made.

Please note that there are about another 50 updates pending, and once I confirm the numbers involved, I’ll get those numbers up on the site also.

To everyone who has contacted the site providing updates, feedback, corrections and new geographic alternative numbers, many many thanks. Without your help and assistance, the website wouldn’t be the great resource that it is.

Please feel free to contact me any time if you have any suggestions for the website.

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Government organisations refusing to provide geographic alternative numbers

Since February, I’ve been waiting for responses from 5 different government sponsored organisations to provide geographic alternative numbers for the 1890 and 076 numbers provided as contact information on their websites.

In a recent blog post, Revenue Commissioners – 1890 Numbers, I commended that organisation and a couple of government departments on their provision of alternatives very clearly on their website.

Unfortunately, not all government organisations that we fund will give us alternative numbers to allow us save money whenever we need to call them. The irony being that 2 of the organisations are supposed to assist people in financial difficulties already.

Stonewalled by organisations not providing geographic alternative numbersGeographic Alternative Rogues Gallery

So, step forward the following organisations who I contacted back in early February, and whom I’ve again contacted as of last night, requesting alternatives for numbers published on their websites:

  • Insolvency Service of Ireland
    • Information and General Enquiries 0761064200
    • Case Management Division 0761064200
    • Bankruptcy Division 0761064232
    • Regulation Division 0761064234
  • Citizens Information
    • Citizens Information Phone Service 0761074000
    • Citizens Information Website Team 0761079000

Next Steps

If I ever do get any useful responses from any of the organisations above, I’ll let you know. Don’t hold your breath, though.

Update 29/03/2016

Below are the responses received so far from the organisations contacted above. Well, 2 organisations actually responded (MABS and Citizens Information) and I only have 2 automated responses from SUSI. The RSA and PRTB didn’t respond to me at all. I guess it’ll be FOI requests for them now (my 2nd for PRTB seeking geographic alternative contact numbers).

Continue Reading →

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Revenue Commissioners – 1890 Numbers and Geographic Alternatives

Revenue Commissioners website does have a page dedicated to 1890 numbersA user of this website very kindly drew my attention to a special “Lo-Call” page on the Revenue website (Low Cost Phone Numbers).

According to the website:

Revenue provides low cost (‘LoCall’) phone numbers for some of our most popular services.

Please note that the rates charged for the use of 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers. It is recommended that you only ring these numbers using a landline as calls made using mobiles may be expensive.)

The page, however, while somewhat useful in explaining the potential cost to people of calling these 1890 numbers from mobiles is of limited benefit in that while it lists the main 1890 numbers (18 of them), it only provides geographic alternatives for 10 of them.

Of course, here on SayNoTo1890.com, there are actually alternatives for 17 out of the 18 numbers.

You will actually see this message on many government websites these days – informing users of the cost implications of calling 1890 numbers from mobiles. This contact page from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, for example, has the following text:

Note: Rates charged for 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary among different service providers

And interestingly, they provide geographic alternatives for 4 out of 4 of the 1890 numbers listed on that main contact page.

Similarly, this contact page from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation provides the following text, and gives geographic alternatives for 3 out of 3 of the 1890 numbers listed.

*Note that the rates charged for the use of 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers

Interestingly, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources – the one government department that could have some influence over how 1850, 1890 and 0818 numbers are treated by mobile telecoms providers – has a contact page that doesn’t provide any 1890 numbers at all. It only provides geographic alternative numbers for all sections linked on that page.

 

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Help, please! Does your mobile provider block you calling 1800 numbers?

getting help finding numbers on this websiteAs I mentioned previously in this February 2016 – noting all the Geographic Alternative Numbers Updated Across the SayNoTo1890.com website, I will be starting to provide geographic alternatives on the site from here on out for FreePhone 1800 numbers.

There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, some companies who may provide 1800 numbers may indicate to their service providers that they don’t want to facilitate people calling on that number from mobile phones because of the additional cost incurred.

Secondly, and of specific interest for this blog post, I’ve been told that certain mobile phone companies (potentially only on certain packages or contracts) are blocking their customers from calling 1800 numbers completely.

So, are you on a mobile phone plan with any of the providers here in Ireland that is blocking you from calling 1800 numbers completely? If so, please let me know the company and the package you’re on – either in the comments below, or via the Contact Page here.

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Break through all the bullshit! with 48 Months

I love this page on the 48 Months website.

Break through all the bullshit! Here at 48 we are upfront about other call charges so you don’t have to worry about hidden extras creeping up behind you. Check out our rates for calling numbers like Directory Enquiries, 1890 or 1850. You could also save yourself money with handy sites like www.saynoto1890.com.

Now, it’s worth noting that 48 Months charges the most for calls to 1890 (50c per minute), 1850 (50c per call) and 0818 (50c per minute) numbers. However, if they’re not going to amend their call charge structure, then I guess next best thing is to help people avoid the costs completely.

Break through all the bullshit! with 48 Months

 

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Help, please! – Are you blocked from accessing SayNoTo1890.com from anywhere?

getting help finding numbers on this websiteI recently discovered this comment on the AskAboutMoney.com website, indicating that a customer of TescoMobile had for a time been blocked from accessing this website via their mobile phone.

Tesco Mobile blocking access to the SayNoTo1890 website

Have you had problems accessing the website through any of your internet connections – mobile phone, tablet, or home laptop or computer? If you’ve had any issues, please use the comments below to let me know, or contact me here.

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New parking signs from DCC still showing incorrect LoCall 0818 information

Dublin City Council STILL incorrectly advertising 0818 numbers as LoCallA couple of weeks ago, I started documenting organisations who had websites where 1890, 1850, & 0818 numbers are being falsely advertised. Separately, back in 2013, I highlighted how Dublin City Council were incorrectly advertising 0818 numbers as LoCall on their parking meters all around Dublin.

As I highlighted at the time, this is particularly egregious since I’m assuming pretty much everyone who would be calling that number would be calling from their mobile, and would therefore be whacked with the higher call charge.

Since then, Dublin City Council have been replacing and updating their parking meters, and unfortunately, even though they’ve been made aware of the error in their description of the 0818 number, it’s still wrong.

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LoCall numbers could cost you extra

It was this news article from Paul Kelly in the Irish Examiner that started my work on what eventually became the SayNoTo1890.com website. That’s 9 years ago now, and still nothing much has been done to alleviate the issue for Irish consumers (apart from this site obviously :-))

 

LoCall numbers could cost you extra - The Irish ExaminerLoCall numbers could cost you extra
By Paul Kelly, Consumer Correspondent
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
CONSUMERS are needlessly paying out up to €5 a time to ring “low cost” telephone numbers like those beginning 1890 — even though they could get the calls for next to nothing.

Banks, airlines, Iarnród Éireann and the Revenue encourage consumers to ring their LoCall 1890 telephone numbers at local call rates costing 4.9cent a minute in the daytime and 1.26c off-peak.

But dialling the numbers from a mobile phone could cost up to €4.90 for a 10-minute call while landline customers could similarly find themselves out of pocket. This is because popular landline phone deals like Eircom’s exclude LoCall 1890 numbers, Callsave 1850 and national 0818 calls from the offer of unlimited landline calls while mobiles have higher fees for “low cost” numbers.

Yet consumers can beat the trap if they dial the alternative numbers listed by many organisations on their websites or in phone books alongside their 1890, 1850 and 0818 numbers.

For instance, customers on Eircom’s Talktime Anytime package, would pay 49c for a 10-minute call to the AIB phone banking 1890 242424 hotline as such numbers are not part of the offer of unlimited calls.

But if customers dialled the hotline on AIB’s alternative number of 01 6670024 then the call would be included in their €39.99-a-month fee for unlimited calls.

Similarly, an Eircom customer on the Talktime 15c package pays €25.99 a month for line rental and then 15c per landline call no matter how long they talk for.

But if they have to make a 10-minute call to Ticketmaster’s 0818 719300 number for booking a concert ticket then they will pay 82c for a daytime call or 49c in the evenings.

Had they telephoned the ticket company’s alternative number 01 4569569, then they would pay a standard 15c flat fee.

By dialling the national 0818 number customers are paying up to 81% more for the call than they need to as the Talktime 15c package only covers standard phone numbers.

From a mobile a 10-minute call to a Ticketmaster 0818 line costs up to €4.90 with Vodafone, €2.50 with Meteor and €3.10 with O2.

Subscribers to landline phone firms’ deals pay 6.35c extra every time they call the 1850 Callsave numbers used by the likes of Bord Gáis, ESB and the VHI.

But if they have all-inclusive packages then they can save by dialling standard numbers and avoid paying out extra.

Yesterday, the Consumers’ Association of Ireland (CAI) said that firms with 1850, 1890 and 0818 numbers should do more to make their customers aware of how to make their calls cheaper.

“More organisations are using these numbers as a convenient way for customers to get in touch yet these numbers can cost a fortune,” said CAI chief executive Dermott Jewell.

“Phone companies should include 1890 or 1850 numbers in their deals and should not be charging consumers extra as these are still landline calls,” he said.

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