July 21st, 2018 | Rebecca's Spotlight
Many years ago Marten and I spoke about stopping our Premium Rate lines. We hate that clients are charged so much to hear a line. For many years I have tried to change the way we provide the service. I feel it’s important to say that although I may not like Premium Rate lines they suit a number of people. Some people only follow racing on a Saturday or days when they are off work so paying a charge one day a week for a few minutes works out cheaper than buying publications or subscribing to a service.
We charge between 60p per minute to £1.50GBP per minute for the telephone lines we provide (Marten Julian and Ian Carnaby). This charge is called a service charge. In an ideal world this would be all callers pay but unfortunately, there may be an additional access charge from your telecom company. I think this is unfair but there is nothing I can do about it. I am frustrated by it because it means some companies get paid twice! Most large telecom companies offer hosting of premium rate lines. BT do. So it means that BT may charge companies like us a fee for hosting lines, then they take a cut of the revenue as income which I don’t mind but then they add on an access charge to their consumers so in theory they get paid twice by a caller.
The downside to operating lines for Marten is that he has to record a line every single day!! He has recorded lines since the 80s; imagine having to do that daily for so many years.
Last week I again had a phone conversation with the very large phone company who host our lines and I expressed my disappointment that they don’t do more to help companies like us. I explained how I would like to be able to put a Premium Rate Service on hold so consumers aren’t charged and our contributors can take breaks! I explained I appreciate they make money from them as well but they have to do more to protect consumers. I told them I contacted Ofcom about it but they felt it wasn’t their area to get involved. I disagree on this point. I am now going to try PSA to see if they will help. Anyway, I don’t think it’s a lot to ask large telecom suppliers to enhance their service to us which would enable me to put a holding message on saying “Thank you for calling Marten’s line. Marten is away this week but please call back from X date when he will return with his news and views”
Subscribers to our Telephone & Text Service also receive a text message to their mobile daily with selections in case they can’t listen to the line. I do however appreciate the majority of people want to listen as Marten is known for his analysis and that’s the way we like to be known. Soon we are going to offer the option to listen through our website which we cost nothing!
I would never recommend calling a premium rate line from a mobile as the charges are extortionate. Vodafone for example not only charge you the service charge they add on a 55p per minute access charge which means you are now paying over £1GBP for Ian Carnaby’s line and over £2GBP for Marten Julian’s line.
Not only are some lines expensive for clients they are expensive for us. We pay a monthly rental to have our lines plus we have to dial the same number as our clients to check it has recorded correctly. Even we don’t get access to a reduced rate line!
Premium rate charges apply. Our Service Charge is £1.50GBP per minute & your telecom provider will add their own Access Charge. Please contact your provider for exact charges.
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Premium rate charges apply. Our Service Charge is 60p per minute & your telecom provider will add their own Access Charge. Please contact your provider for exact charges.