The Say No To 0870/0845 NHS Petition
When 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.