Which! strike again, outing freephone abuse from sly, duplicitous companies

'Hello? How much? Thanks dickheads...'

If you’re a new customer of a company, you’re far more likely to be able to make free phone calls to them than you are if you’re an existing customer or have a complaint or grievance.

That is the finding that has been found by our good friends over at Which! who have been sniffing around and snaffling out the truth, as is their wont. They’ve found that 27 out of 34 energy providers, banks and insurers have 0800 numbers for new customers, while only six of them offer the free-to-call numbers for their existing customers.

They also found that 20 of the companies that they examined with their microscope of truth and justice only offered pricy 0845 numbers for customers with complaints. They found that if you use an Orange pay-monthly phone to make a 20-minute call to a helpline, it’ll cost you anything from £2.50 to £8.00, depending on which telephone number prefix you have to use.

Which! executive director Richard ‘Richard Lloyd’ Lloyd proclaimed that : “It is unbelievable that companies would add insult to injury by charging their customers a premium to make a complaint. It's even worse when they offer new customers access to 0800 numbers while leaving loyal customers to pay more.

“We want to see providers being fairer to their existing customers and being more transparent on their call charges so that people are clear what it will cost before they pick up the phone.”

And so say all of us. We’ll also be shortly setting up an 0871 number where you can ring up and listen to our Mof reading out this story for only £2.50 a minute. We’re pretty sure that you’ll love it.


  • Seymour
    Good joke! ahaha! That was very funny! I'm still laughing andi!
  • Tesco u.
    Just think what is like for the many that have to keep chasing Tesco for our orders or delayed refunds when a miss price has been exploited.
  • Haggis
  • Big G.
    You are aware that an 0845 number is charged at the local call rate unless you phone from a mobile aren't you. And if you do ring it from a mobile you are an idiot. Companies are under no obligation to provide subsidized rates to anyone.
  • Inspector G.
    WOW! What next, Which?!?? I heard that some companies offer a discount to attract new customers whilst existing customers have to pay the NORMAL PRICE. Fucking scumbags.
  • Nathan
    Big Graeme> They are charged at "local rate (4p)" by BT. Other phone companies can charge what they like. And many do. If I ring a normal landline number on either my landline or mobile I have the cost included in my monthly tariff. Not if I call an 0845 number. I don't need a freephone number but an 01/02/03 would be good. And why shoud I only call my utility provider when I'm at home?

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