We have been encouraged that as consumers we have a choice of where we spend our money, that competition is healthy as companies fight for the opportunity of our custom so quality will be driven up as a result.
What happens in reality is that organisations, who strive to offer the best possible price for goods and services, in order to compete successfully in today’s market, have to try to recoup this money from somewhere else. So it came as no surprise to find that a lot of financial organisations are coining in the money through charging consumers a high rate when calling their complaints lines or customer service department.
Consumer watchdog tracks down finance companies using premium rate lines
Consumer Which? has just released details of a study that found that around three quarters of customer service or complaints lines of financial firms are in fact, the expensive 087 or 084 numbers. Out of the 242 lines it surveyed, 177 were 087 or 084 numbers. No wonder many of them want us to call, it may be good to talk but whilst they’re listening, they are coining it in at the same time. When surveyed, many people prefer to speak to someone over the telephone, so Which? are now calling on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to urge them to act now and stop the use of these high cost telephone complaints lines in the banking and finance industry.
Banks and finance firms set to ring the changes with cheaper telephone calls
So far, Barclays and Barclaycard have said they will change and offer a basic rate or a Freephone number, closely followed by the Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest who are going to ensure their customer inquiries call will be on the cheaper rate by the end of the month. It is not just the banking world that needs to make a change to their call rate system, there are many more organisations out there that charge a small fortune when you ring up with an enquiry. By the time they have explained their call charges, it seems as though you have racked up a telephone bill that could cover the cost of a meal for two and a night out in London’s West End. The pauses and the music on hold does nothing to calm when all you can envisage is the ringing up of the cash register as you wait to be connected to the right department.
Whilst the FCA do have a certain amount of clout over the banking and financial world, they do not when it comes to the commercial companies who use premium rate telephone lines. However, this is where we at iRateiSlate can help out, as you can register your complaint about goods and services to us completely free of charge, and we can put your grievances to the company involved. So if you have a genuine criticism, grumble, moan, objection or complaint then get in touch, if you have been charged excessive amounts to register a complaint about a faulty product or service, email and let us know. We’re listening!