Tag Archives | ComReg

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  • Calor Gas
    • 1850812450 Call Instead – 014505000
  • Campus Oil
    • 1850839839 – Call Instead 012735599
  • Cover in a Click insurance
    • 0818911111 – Call Instead 016606900 and ask to be put through
  • CarHireExcess.com
    • 0818286523 Call Instead – 014053790
    • 1890444447 – Call Instead 012478900
  • CarTell.ie
    • 1890252331 – Call Instead 045892496
  • CateringEquipment.ie
    • 1850928999 – Call Instead 051372375
  • Central Statistics Office
    • 1890313414 Call Instead – 0214535000 Ext 5028 or 5029
  • Certus (Halifax)
    • 1890866886 Call Instead – 012674000, or try old Halifax number 0429310600
  • The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Ireland
    • 1890252599 – Call Instead 016763188
  • Chill.ie (Customer Service)
    • 0818302626  or 1890302020 – Call Instead – 014003400
  • Chorus / NTL – UPC (customer Care)
    • 1908 Call Instead – 012458000
  • Christmas2u
    • 0818365222 – Call Instead 0851579866
  • Churchfield Home Services
    • 1890911922 – Call Instead 014105854
  • Citizens Information
    • 1890777121 Call Instead – 0214521600
  • Cruise Paradise
    • 0818333901 – Call Instead 0567770900
  • Citylink
    • 1890280808 Call Instead – 091564163
  • Colgate Dental Offer helpline
    • 0818444849 Call Instead – 014039700
  • Collector General Limerick
    • 1890203070 Call Instead – 061488000
  • Care Visions Fostering
    • 1890555000 – Call Instead 045866066
  • Certus (Bank of Scotland)
    • 1890818181 – Call Instead 012674000
  • The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Ireland
    • 1890252599 – Call Instead 016763188
  • Client Identity Services, Carrick-on-Shannon
    • 1890927999 – Call Instead 0719672616
  • Comhar Linn Credit Union
    • 1850277377 Call Instead – 018731101
  • Commission for Energy Regulation
    • 1890404404 Call Instead – 014000800
  • Commission for Taxi Regulation
    • Consumers 1890606090 Call Instead – 016593800
    • Industry 1890347347 Call Instead – 016593800
  • Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
    • 1890432432 – Call Instead 014025555
  • ComReg
    • 1890229668 Call Instead – 018049600
  • Coverme.ie Insurance
    • 1890904994 – Call Instead 051841766
  • CPL Healthcare
    • 0818365100 – Call Instead 014825491
  • Curran Oil
    • 0818279900 Call Instead – 0498541175
  • CoverU.ie (Credit Union Insurance)
    • 1890410410 – Call Instead (FreePhone) 1800344455 (but might not be free on all phone packages)
  • Cassidy Travel
    • 0818332800 and 0818332535 – Call Instead 018735000 (or 018725000, the Golf Department)
  • Computershare Investor Services (Ireland)
    • 0818300999 – Call Instead 014475566
  • Central Statistics Office
    • PIAAC Section 1890252293 – Call instead 0214535374
  • CCTVIreland.ie
    • 1890866900 – Call Instead 045885694
  • CityPost
    • 1890240240 – Call Instead 014500398
  • Carphone Warehouse Customer Services
    • 1850424800 – Call Instead 018624800
  • closedforbusiness.ie
    • 1890256733 – Call Instead 0419843397
  • Company Registration Office
    • 1890220226 – Call Instead 018045200
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Thoughts on the ComReg Consultation paper regarding 1890/1850/0818 numbers

ComReg LogoI’ve written on Monday and Tuesday about the new ComReg consultation paper that is looking to deal with the reason behind this site – the increased cost of calling 1890/1850/0818 numbers from mobile phones and landline users using bundles of minutes.

Firstly, let me apologise for inviting you to read the consultation paper itself. Having read through it myself, it’s a nightmare to try to understand. Whether that’s done on purpose, or not, it’s hard to know.

However, the heart of the matter resides on page 40 out of 42 where the paper reviews “Impact assessment and preferred option”.

According to the paper, this is the preferred option:

9.6.1 Preferred option – Bundling
ComReg considers that the most appropriate and consumer-friendly way to address all of the issues associated with more transparent consumer call charges is to include calls to 1850, 1890, 0818 and 076 in tariff bundles offered by fixed and mobile operators.

This move would greatly enhance transparency as customers could then be able to call these numbers with confidence knowing that the cost would be deducted from their remaining minutes. ComReg considers that the issue of bundling lies within the realm of the operator‟s commercial freedom and it therefore limits itself, for the moment, to encouraging operators to implement this option without delay.

Are people in agreement? In what seems like the simplest solution in the document, a change is made that requires operators to include calls made to these numbers in bundled minutes rather than separately charge.

At least when it comes to 1850 and 1890 numbers? The fact that these were originally excluded from bundles was the key reason for setting up this website in the first place.

From my perspective, I would personally call for abolishing the 0818 numbers – these are basically a “poor mans” premium rate number. Consumers calling these numbers are paying money directly into the pocket of the company they’re calling, as well as paying for the cost of the call as well. Do away with it, prevent businesses from providing customer care lines on premium rate lines, and be done with the 0818 completed.

The impact analysis in the document doesn’t see any “down side” to this proposal for 1890 and 1850 numbers.

In fact, it highlights what could be a marketing opportunity for telecoms operators – “Consumers may opt to switch to those operators offering enhanced inclusive minutes bundles.”

Let me know your thoughts. If people are in agreement, I’ll submit a response on behalf of the users of this website in favour of their preferred option – with the extra suggestion that 0818 numbers be done away with completely.

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Great News – ComReg to take action on 1890/1850/0818 Issue

ComReg LogoOver on SayNoTo1890.com this morning, I’ve published an update that gave me a little buzz when I was writing it. After 3 years of providing geographical alternative numbers to 1890, 1850 and 0818 numbers to save mobile and landline (with bundles of minutes) users money on their phone calls, it looks like ComReg might be about to do something.

ComReg have recently published a Consultation paper for review and response by interested parties before close of business, Friday September 17th. This consultation paper is extremely relevant to this particular site as it relates to the usage, advertising and charging related to 1890, 1850 and 0818 numbers.

As part of this, ComRegs “Sixth Review of the National Numbering Conventions”, the main issues on which views are sought in this current consultation includes:

Changes addressing tariff ceilings associated with the non-geographic number ranges 1850, 1890, 0818, 0700 and 076, in particular by being more specific about the tariffs affecting mobile callers;

In fact, the SayNoTo1890.com website gets a specific mention in the paper:

ComReg has received a continuous flow of complaints from service providers and consumers about the cost of 1850 and 1890 numbers in recent years and has engaged with industry to attempt to improve the situation, with very limited results. Eircom, which is one of the main hosts for 1850/1890, has adjusted its charges and this has brought some improvements that help service providers but the main problems remain.

Whilst service providers are dissatisfied with the cost burden associated with terminating 1850 calls, the apparent dissatisfaction amongst end-users is mainly with the origination9 charges associated with calling 1890 numbers when calls are made using a mobile phone. This dissatisfaction is exemplified by the rise over some years of a web-based campaign called “Say „No‟ to 1890”. This campaign identifies many major companies using 1890 and advises customers to ring alternative geographic numbers – which are provided on the web site – to reach those companies.

This is obviously a very welcome move if it addresses the issues that have necessitated the creation of the website in the first place. I’m still in the process of reviewing the documentation myself as it’s obviously of key importance to what the website was set up to address.

I’m not sure I fully appreciate, on first reading, what’s being proposed in this document, but more examination is necessary.

For users of this site, and anyone familiar with SayNoTo1890.com, I’d invite you to have a read through of the document also, and please contact me here and let me know your thoughts and feedback. I’ll compile a single response on behalf of the users of SayNoTo1890.com and ValueIreland.com readers.

The consultation paper can be downloaded from this link (pdf document).

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ComReg to probe lo-call mobile tariff (The Sunday Times)

the sunday times logoThe Sunday Times
Sunday September 28th, 2008
Sarah McInerney and Jan Battles

ASAI set to call on ComReg to investigate pricing anomoly
“LO-CALL” numbers, set up by state agencies and businesses to save callers money, cost up to 49c a minute when dialled from a mobile phone.

The cost of phoning 1890, 1850 and 0818 numbers is shared by businesses, but only if the caller is on a landline. Because mobile phone operators treat these numbers as “non-standard calls”, consumers are being charged at normal rates and don’t get to use their minute allowance. As a result, it is much cheaper to call a business’s normal landline instead of the supposedly low-cost alternative.

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) is to raise the anonmaly with ComReg, the telecommunications regulator. “There is definitely an issue here of consumer knowledge, and we will be having a discussion with ComReg about it,” said Orla Twomey, its assistant chief executive.

In a bid to help mobile phone users circumvent lo-call numbers, Diarmuid MacShane, a consumer watchdog, has established Saynoto1890.com. “The 1890 numbers were set up to allow consumers call national businesses at local rates,” he said. “This works fine if you call from a landline. For example, the Eircom lo-call rate is about 5c per minute. Yet mobile phone companies are charging much more for the same call. It defeats the purpose of having a lo-call number.”

MacShane has found alternative landline numbers for the Financial Regulator, the Data Protection Commissioner and ComReg. “I’ve just managed to get a normal landline number for e-Flow,” he said.

He has also posted a list of prices charged by different mobile companies for phoning to lo-call numbers. Vodafone is the most expensive — its pre-pay customers are charged 49c per minute during peak times for a call to an 1890 number. The cost for “pay monthly” customers ranges from 18-35c.

O2 customers are charged 35c per minute for lo-call numbers, while Meteor’s are levied at 15c per minute.

Dermott Jewell, chief executive of the Consumers’ Association of Ireland, has criticised mobile phone companies’ refusal to include lo-call numbers in minute bundles. “The onus needs to come heavily on mobile providers to change their package deals,” he said. “Now that ComReg is aware of this, I would be surprised if something was not done.”

In its defence Vodafone said that “mobile offers the mobility that landline customers do not benefit from. It is important when considering value to the customer to consider the overall pricing structure rather than one price in particular”.

O2 said it charges a flat rate of 35c per minute to “ensure transparency” and the exclusion of some non-standard calls from bundled minutes on price plans is “standard industry practice”.

Meanwhile the National Consumer Agency has begun an investigation after O2 customers discovered that account upgrades they had earned had been revoked. Dozens of users found that the upgrades had disappeared when they went to use them.

The customers have been told that the eligibility criteria had changed and they need to spend more money on calls if the upgrade is to be reinstated.

One user on Talk2O2, the company’s online forum, said: “If I had been told by the customer service agent who gave me the reference number that the upgrade was only going to be valid for two weeks, I would have upgraded immediately.”

O2 said: “It is standard industry practice to review and update criteria [for mobile phone upgrades] on an ongoing basis. Such reviews result in both increased and decreased entitlements to upgrading customers depending on the time of review.”

The company said anybody who rang customer care, or was called by customer care to advise them they were eligible for an upgrade in the last 90 days, is still entitled to it. Customers entitled to an upgrade but who did nothing about it have lost out.

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