0870 numbers

I have never purchased any product or service where people use 0870 numbers for sales. As you are probably aware, 0870 numbers cost in the region of 7p-8p a minute from a land-line (independent operators and mobiles are a lot more expensive).

I have always liked the latest of any item I own and am forever buying the latest. So all in all, since 0870 numbers began, many companies have lost quite a large amount of my business.

When purchasing from the Internet, I check their sales department’s phone number and, if it is an 0870 number I move on to their competitor.

The exception is if a support department uses an 0870 number. Whereas I resent paying extra for my calls for the dubious privilege of buying something; I think it is reasonable if someone is providing a service and the 0870 number is the only charge they make.

There is an organisation on the web called Say No to 0870 numbers which will give you a landline number for an 0870 number. This is maintained by members of the general public who, once they learn of an alternative, then publish it on the website. I never use this as the whole point of my stand isn’t so much paying the extra money for the phone call, rather it is not wanting to deal with a company determined to fleece its potential customers twice.

There are arguments for 0870 numbers. The major one being that when a customer phones this number, they are put in touch with the nearest store to where the customer lives. My answer to that is: Bollox! If that is why they are using the number, then why not the cheaper 0845 number which does exactly the same, or better still, copy the Americans. You will never see an advert for a product or service without a freephone number! 0845 numbers and 0870 numbers would be the death of a business in the USA.

My home phone is with a company who charge me £5 a year and allows me to forward it to any number via a web interface. Normally it is pointing at my home phone number but if I need to go out and am expecting an important call, I re-point it to my mobile number. Naturally I have to pay extra if I point it to any number other than a geographical number (01, 02 or 03). If people phone my home number it is just a normal 020-8xxx xxxx call charge, whether I take the call at home or on my mobile!

I was reading in my paper this morning that more and more people are beginning to object to 0870 numbers. Perhaps, now that times are hard, food prices are rising, as are gas, electricity fuel, and soon water, to astronomical heights, people are beginning to look for smaller ways of saving money.

Which brings me to my main point. Many of you know I have a long-winded way of getting to my main point, so here it is. Many people look for large percent mark-downs before they are tempted to move. However, a lot of little savings really do mount up. There is a lot of truth in the saying: Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves. Or let me put it another way to make sure you remember it. My father used to say: Take care of the pennies and you can have fun spending the pounds! Needless to say, the latter version has stuck in my mind sharply for over sixty years!

If you are reading this then the odds that you have your diary on your computer is high. Look at all your regular bills you pay. Telephone, broadband, television, gas, electricity etc. And put a repeat task, if your email program doesn’t allow for repeat tasks, put it in your actual diary section. For example, for gas and electricity I have a repeat item to check all suppliers prices every six months. Telephone and broadband every 12 months. But you decide. The important part is to keep checking the competition on a regular basis. Hang it all, you do it with your car insurance, don’t you?


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