Archive | March, 2016

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).

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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, 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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