This news release has been distributed to selected media organisations and relevant parties.
We are aware that many helplines have significant funding issues, but we cannot accept the idea that funding be provided by service users, unless this is clearly declared. It is however unlikely that it would be deemed acceptable to declare a charge for most, if not all, of the 55 services we have listed (there are more!). We are therefore surprised that so many cases remain where declaration of the telephone Service Charge is now imminent.
After some consideration, we feel that this matter must now be brought to public attention, so that efforts in pursuit of an acceptable solution may be maximised.
We will continue to attack delinquent businesses, public bodies and NHS providers for their “rip off”, but we can no longer exclude third sector helplines.
We are reluctant to draw too much attention to specific examples; however a quick read through the list will doubtless cause the eyebrows to be raised on finding certain cases.