Now it won’t cost you a fortune to phone TSB

3 February 2014

If you’re a TSB customer, you might still be fuming about the IT debacle that left thousands unable to use ATMs and make debit card purchases the other week. But the good news is it won’t cost you the equivalent of the gross national debt of The Congo to phone and shout at them anymore – after pressure from Which! they’re changing their premium rate 0845 numbers to the much cheaper local rate number, 0345.

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Meanwhile, Barclays, RBS and Barclaycard have already agreed to ditch high rate numbers after good ole Which! found that 177 out of 242 customer service/complaint lines were raking in the cash by using premium numbers. But other banks have still to address the problem, leaving customers unwilling to call and wary of them. According to a Which! survey, 80% of us believe that businesses and banks that use premium numbers don’t have our best interests at heart. (no s***!)

Anyway, TSB are introducing 0345 numbers for customer service, retail and business banking, and local branches. They’re keeping 0800 if you’ve got a complaint or have been a victim of fraud, but the say they won’t make any money from their 0345 numbers and the calls will cost the same for landlines and mobiles.

Other banks are keeping characteristically quiet about their premium rate lines, but soon everyone might have to get rid of them. The government has already made a move to stop public sector businesses using steep 084 and 087 numbers, and it’ll soon extend to airlines, train companies and high street and online stores.

So if you’re a TSB, RBS or Barclaycard customer, go forth and call the bank. Hell, stay on the line all day if you want, playing musak at them and asking them to hold the line. Then call them again at 3am, crying about how things aren’t really working out for you since you lost your job and the wife left.

They love that kind of thing.

TOPICS:   Mobile   Banking   Consumer Advice


  • Ian
    03 numbers do not "cost the same for landlines and mobiles". Calling an 03 number can still be more expensive from a mobile than from a landline. 03 numbers cost the same to call as 01 and 02 numbers and count towards inclusive allowances on landlines and mobiles.
  • Ian
    There's a problem with 0800 numbers. These are not free calls from a mobile phone and won't be until 26 June 2015. Where an 0800 number is offered it is prudent to also offer an 01, 02 or 03 number for mobile and overseas users to call.
  • barry f.
    Fuck off trolley
  • meh
    With this crackdown on mis-selling PPI, bank charges and now premium rate numbers, banks are going to have to start making money from shrewd investment rather than simply fleecing customers. How rare.
  • Fucker
    0845 is local rate...
  • Ian
    0845 hasn't been "local rate" since 2003. Calls to 01 and 02 numbers are no longer charged by distance. If the call is charged for then it is at "geographic rate". However, most people call 01 and 02 numbers as part of an inclusive allowance on their landline or mobile. Calls to 0845 numbers are rarely inclusive from landlines and never inclusive from mobiles. Every call to an 0845 number pushes up the bill. Included in the 0845 call price is a 2p/min Service Charge to the benefit of the called party. They use this to pay for call handling on the final leg of the call. Callers are subsidising costs that should be borne by the called party. Ofcom will shortly require all users of 084, 087 and 09 numbers to declare the Service Charge, thereby making this extra payment transparent. BT's call prices for 084 and 087 numbers are capped by the "NTS Retail Condition" and are not typical.
  • Dr T.
    I just called them on Skype.
  • Samantha
    I'm with Nationwide and they have an 0845 number but on the back of my card there's also a geographic number for if you're calling from outside the country, and that number works just fine from my mobile, goes to the same place, reps don't know the difference.

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