Tag Archives: mobile

O2 Premium, Non-Geographic Number Muddle

In general I am happy enough with the price I pay for my mobile phone service through O2.

That said I think their website is too slow and the information could be easier to access.

They have a new Artificial Intelligence widget called “Ask Lucy”

I typed in “Cost of non geographic numbers”

Lucy responded
“I know you’re talking about costs but I’m not sure of your exact enquiry. Please rephrase your question or take a look at the FAQs to the left”

I typed in “Cost of premium rate numbers”

Lucy responded
“I know you’re talking about costs but I’m not sure of your exact enquiry. Please rephrase your question or take a look at the FAQs to the left”

I tried again and noticed when I clicked on “Ask”

Lucy started off with…

“Hi, it’s nice to see you again. How can I help you today?”

I thought she was a bit forward but it had been a slow day…

I typed

“What time do you get off?”

Lucy replied

“My watch says it’s 12:35 pm, but I don’t know if you are in the same time zone.”

I typed
“Do you fancy a drink later?”

Lucy replied

“I appreciate the offer, but I try to separate drinking from the workplace. That said, if you’re buying a quick round, I’ll have a glass of a decent shiraz please.”

So in summary she doesn’t seem to be very helpful but has the beginning of a sense of humour!

Obviously I wasn’t going to get a sensible answer to this question from a machine and the FAQ didn’t contain anything remotely useful so I rang O2 for help.

I helpful sounding guy answered

“Do you have a list of charges for non-geographic numbers?”, I asked.

He said, “What are those”

I said “You know Premium rate numbers…”

“Still not sure what you are asking me…”

“Lucy…..!!”

The eventual solution was that he offered to “Compose” an email with the cost of the number in(I suppose he want to get on the X-Factor and keep copyright??)

Carephone Warehouse/Onetel actually had a spreadsheet you can download because there are more than 80 different premium numbers.

Trying to be helpful I suggested that they should perhaps have a simple online tool where you could enter the first 5 digits and it could tell you the cost of calls to this number.

“That’s a good idea he said!”

Yes it is but you can bet it will take awhile for the telephone companies to have one on their websites because then it will be easier to spot the premium rate numbers and they won’t make so much money!

Premium Rate Advice for Free

I got a bit of a surprise last week when I investigated why my mobile phone bill was somewhat higher than normal.

I discovered that I had been charged for two calls to a number beginning 0701 and this raised a couple of questions.

1. 0700 numbers are free phone so what the heck is the telephone ombudsman doing allowing the use of 0701 as a Premium Rate prefix. If this is not spotted that extra digit can cost around 50p per minute.

2. Had I been deliberately scammed. My two calls cost more than £20 for about 50 minutes!

What made it more uncomfortable was that this had been described in the contact details of the individual I was talking to as a mobile number – because it was someone I knew I didn’t look at it properly. The guy is an independent sales consultant who I had worked whilst he was working with another company and I am gobsmacked that he set up both his contact numbers as premium rate. I will certainly be dropping him like a hot potato beecause if he did any work for me and anyone else got stung it would be my reputation at risk too!

One of the reasons for the popularity of these numbers is that they can be provided for no fee to the subscriber as they are paid for by the callers – ouch!

The guy concerned has a naff, error ridden, one page website that includes a standard mobile number (which fails to connect – of course). So I have emailed him to ring me back so I can get him to cough up the money for the calls and say sorry!

We’ll have to see how successful I am with that ;-).