Just about every business, council, banking or insurance company these day seems to have an 0845 or other number that clocks up profit at your expense, while on hold. If your organisation runs a customer service centre with a non geographic number, you need to be aware of some of the changes ahead, just over a month away.
Most housing organisations that I work with have already (or are) moving to an '03' style number. Residents are under enough pressure without having to waste money while on hold to their landlord. Many supplier helpdesks seem to have them these days too. Many of those might need to take note too.
During the winter storms, the Environment Agency justifiably came under fire for charging flood victims up to 41p per minute (via an 0845 number) to get through to the designated helpline service, and have since changed to a standard-rate 0345 number. They have also changed their general enquiries number from 0870 to 0370.
Shortly, it will be illegal to provide an 0845 number for a customer service line. From Friday the 13th June 2014, it will be a legal requirement that businesses provide a standard rate number for their customer service lines. That's one that starts 01, 02 or 03. This law has been passed to ensure that no customer is forced to pay an additional charge, frequently incurred with 0845 and similar numbers. This law was passed as part of “The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013″ on 13th December 2013 (Part 4, section 41). More info here - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/... regulations-2013.pdf
Your customers & tenants may be within their rights to take such companies to court and successfully reclaim the excessive charges made to them. Trading Standards are also at liberty to get involved in bringing non-complying companies to justice. So check on your current arrangements, to put any telecoms changes into effect and communicate with your customers as soon as possible. Don't get caught out!
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Read on to getting your IT in motion:
David Lee Roth - Last Call.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854655009
PS As usual, if there are subjects you might like me to tackle on this blog, please get in touch and let me know!
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