I’ve had a bee in my bonnet about the widespread misuse of 084 and 087 numbers for quite a few years now.
It all started out so promising as they were decreed as being charged at “local” and “national” call rates. This, on the face of it, allowed organisations to have geographic anonymity, whilst meaning that callers would pay geographic rate.
In the first half of the Noughties I was outraged to see that the evolving market in telephone services didn’t follow this plan. These numbers had been brought in on the basis that they were charged the same as calls to ordinary landlines, but were now premium. To cap this, the users of the numbers get benefit from the calls they receive without having to make this clear!
This stuck in the craw, so I joined the SAYNOTO0870.COM Forum in 2004. I was asked to be a moderator in the forum and I also help out with administration of the alternative numbers database.
The “Say No” movement takes credit for the introduction of 03-prefixed non-geographic “UK-wide numbers” in 2007. They are the clean alternative, where a geographic number is not suitable, but where callers only pay their normal rate. This means that bundled minutes apply as well and all these rules apply for landlines, mobiles and payphones.
The popularity of the Say No website indicates the strength of feeling consumers have on this matter. It is hovering around the top 600 position of most accessed websites in the country which is quite an achievement!