The Say No To 0870/0845 NHS Petition

31 March 2009

http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/4201/08458663825.jpgWhen I was searching for Virgin's landline today to cancel my Liberty SIM card (there's never a signal), I stumbled upon a petition on SayNoto870, stating that today is the closing deadline for requesting The Department of Health to ban future use of 084 numbers in the NHS.

I'm not a big fan of 08 numbers. We've all probably made the mistake of calling 0870, 0845, 0844 and other non-geographic numbers only to find out that they cost up to 35p a minute to call. In fact, the growing public anger about 0870 prompted Ofcom to launch a consultation last year, resulting in a proposal to bring 0870 call charges in line with national rates.

But 0844 and 0845 numbers can still be charged up to 25p a minute from mobile phones, and companies are starting to migrate to make that little bit of extra dosh. Which? research showed that the DVLA raised almost £2.5m from 08 numbers in 2006 alone, so it's definitely a cunning money maker for the evil corporations.

So if you want to cut out the cunning money maker from evil corporations, check out this NHS consultation document (or easy read version here) which the petition in a bit more detail. Read it, and sign the petition if you like, but there's no rush. It looks like today is actually just the closing date for the consultation, while the petition has been extended until November this year. So there's still plenty of time to get your signature in.

[No.10 via SayNoto0870]

17 comments

  • Liam
    What pisses me off is that I sometimes need to ring up my local GPs to book an appointment. I get an 08 number so I ask the arsehole of a receptionist for the non-08 number. I get told "We can't give that out to the public". I gets me pissed off that I pay my tax and they can't have a normal number like everyone else instead of me paying extra for the privelege of contacting public services which I pay for several times over in my tax pounds.
  • Matt S.
    What bothers me the most is when I have to call an 0800 number from my mobile. I don't have a landline. and things like Jobseekers Direct is 0800, which is great, if you have a landline. Otherwise I just want a geographic number because not only am I charged for calling the 0800 number but it doesn't come out of my 500 inclusive minutes. Gah!!!
  • Rash
    @Matt S you should really dial a 0800 call through number - then you can dial 0800 numbers using your inclusive minutes.
  • Rash
    I used 02002220700
  • SimbaK2K
    ERm these are free on bt aren't they? Therefore switch to a better phone provider.
  • Matt S.
    @Rash You're right thanks for that I hadn't really thought about it, but I have a 18185 account that I made some time back for I think some international calls and cross net, but 0800 would probably be free through that they have an 02 london access number I could call.
  • Robert
    While 0870 and 084 numbers are a anoying, watch out for 0871 numbers which can cost 10p per minute from a BT landline, anytime of day and regardless of what call package you are on (the cost is also likely to be considraiby higher when calling from mobiles etc).
  • Callum
    SimbaK2K - Switching to BT would cost us a fortune extra, hardly worth it to save a couple of pounds on 0870 numbers (especially as its possible to find landline numbers for most of them).
  • Bazzaric
    The NHS use 0844 numbers at 1ppm... They are not making a profit out of you, and they are there to speed up the service of your local GP practice/hospital
  • Jack
    Arent 0870 numbers like 1.5p off peak and 5.5p peak, even on standard basic BT packages? And free on others?
  • NHS
    Problem is the NHS wastes so much money on useless systems it comes up with useless ideas to make executives look busy and inspired! Telephone systems is yet another idea to blow our hard earned cash Birmingham East and North NHS wasted zillions on a system from Telewest which didnt work from some of their own GP sites! Now they have multiple different systems which dont work together and they're desperately trying to cover it up! The new system at a cost of nearly a million pounds is up and down like a yoyo and you cant get through to the GP or health centres regularly! so maybe a 0845 one may be better as it can be taken out of the hands of incompetent chief execs who squander taxpayers moneys.
  • Paul G.
    There is so much nonesense talked about 08 numbers by uninformed journalists. Some of the comments are scandalous. We are a telecoms company and mirror BT charges to call 08 numbers ie 3.3p to 0845 and 6.5p to 0870. 08 numbers have a flexibility that Geographic numbers simply do not have. The focus should be on the telcos who overcharge for the calls, mobile operators etc. So, let's take an accurate view, it is not the 08 numbers that are the villains quite the reverse, in fact. With many of the new BT packages, calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers are free of charge.
  • tino
    The problem is what the hell can we do? NOTHING. That's why they are called 'government?' They govern us. Once I have enough I will move to Monaco. - maybe cleaning house for billionaires.
  • munrom
    i cannot beleive that these numbers are used so much what if you are omn a tight budget and you need to call for assist; say in benefits and you can spend 2 3 pound waiting on the phone do they not see that this is only making matters worse for people
  • munrom
    can we write to the government or something to get sometjhing done e mail me if you want to sigh a pen; and i will post it to you and you can pass it on to the next
  • Hans F.
    These 08 numbers are legal fraud !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! most people are unaware that these are premium rate numbers they assume that 0800 is free as it is on a land line , but do not realise how much it cost when dialed on a mobile , and as a resault people assume 08 numbers are either free !!!!!!!!!!!! or cheap numbers to call !!!!!!!!!!!!!! . So in a nut shell companies that have these numbers are dishonestly taking money from people !! its not far off stealing from a blind person !! is that any way to run an honest bussines ????????????????? its about time these numbers are stampped out once and for all !!!!!!!!!!!! kind regards Hans
  • sue w.
    I think its a disgrace that to call a GP it is an o845 number which is a charged number of up to £1.50 this ia an added stress on an elderley person or someone who is on a low income and should be scrapped or an altrernative cheap rate call given . Sue

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