Call Connection Services

Would anyone choose to pay £3.60 to be connected to a phone number that is well-known and free of charge?

The answer to that is that they wouldn’t do it deliberately.

However, imagine for example, your car breaks down and you’re stopped in a difficult place and in a hurry somewhere and it’s dark. A quick check on Google on your phone gives you a number for the RAC breakdown service and you call it.

Only afterwards do you realise that you called a call connect service rather than calling the RAC directly.

They advertise on Google and elsewhere to catch out people who are in a hurry or just inattentive to what’s actually on screen.

Your call will have cost about £10 more than it needed to.

Call connect services offer simply to put your call through to whoever you wanted – in this case the RAC breakdown line but they charge a lot for doing so. The RAC has free numbers but in the rush you missed that and the penalty for lack of attention is a bill you didn’t need.

Some of the call connection companies that place these adverts on Google etc. are up front about the fact you can dial directly and save money but some hide this fact.

Always call direct to save money and beware of ads on Google etc. designed to catch you out.

Do Share this post on social media – click on the post title then scroll down to the social media share buttons.

Fightback Ninja Signature

11 comments

  1. Ian says:

    Most of the telephone numbers starting 084, 087 or 09 currently found in Google search results and information panels are not genuine. Avoid calling those numbers.

    Most genuine helplines use ordinary numbers starting 03, or free numbers starting 080. Always look for official websites and for numbers starting 03 or 080.

  2. Ian says:

    ICSS operating on premium rate numbers starting 084 currently escapes the Controlled Premium Rate Services definition and thereby evades being regulated by the Phone-paid Services Authority. The PSA has strict rules covering provision of ICSS on premium rate numbers starting 087 and 09.

    Ofcom has today (26 July 2018) published a consultation proposing to extend the CPRS regulations to cover all ICSS irrespective of telephone number or price point used. This will therefore cover ICSS operating on numbers starting 084 or on other numbers. See https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-2/review-premium-rate-services-condition

    This exactly matches the suggestions previously made by the Fair Telecoms Campaign: http://www.fairtelecoms.org/ICSS

  3. Ian says:

    Ofcom proceeded with their consultation and published their decision on 19 December 2018.

    The result is that all ICSS, irrespective of prefix or price, are now defined as Controlled Premium Rate Services (CPRS), effective 16 January 2019. All such services operating on premium rate numbers starting 084, 087 or 09 are covered, as are services that might operate on other expensive numbers such as those starting 055, 056, 070 or 076, or on mobile shortcodes. This change in Ofcom regulation means that all ICSS providers have to comply with the PSA general Code of Practice.

    PSA also has a set of “Special Conditions for ICSS” which specify additional provisions which ICSS providers have to comply with. At present, these apply only to services operating on numbers starting 087 or 09.

  4. Ian says:

    On 19 April 2019, PSA published proposals to update their Special Conditions for ICSS and extend them to cover all such services irrespective of call price or number range used. The main aim is to ensure that services operating on numbers starting 084 would also be subject to the same conditions as those operating on numbers starting 087 or 09.

    https://psauthority.org.uk/news/news/2019/april/psa-proposes-extension-of-regulatory-requirements-to-all-call-connection-services

    https://psauthority.org.uk/research-and-consultations/consultations/2019/april/consultation-on-changes-to-regulatory-framework-for-icss

    The detailed consultation ran until 10 June 2019 and PSA is expected to publish their decision later in 2019.

  5. Ian says:

    On 9 October 2019, PSA published their consultation statement and the revised and updated Special Conditions for ICSS which will take effect on 20 December 2019.

    https://psauthority.org.uk/news/news/2019/october/iccs-statement

    https://psauthority.org.uk/research-and-consultations/consultations/2019/april/consultation-on-changes-to-regulatory-framework-for-icss

    The document also included a further consultation on one specific point, with a closing date of 26 November 2019 for responses.

  6. Ian says:

    On 9 October 2019, PSA published their consultation statement and the revised and updated Special Conditions for ICSS which will take effect on 20 December 2019.

    https://psauthority.org.uk/news/news/2019/october/iccs-statement

    https://psauthority.org.uk/research-and-consultations/consultations/2019/april/consultation-on-changes-to-regulatory-framework-for-icss

    The document also includes a further consultation on one specific point, with a closing date of 26 November 2019 for responses.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.