I know this isn’t strictly internet marketing but it’s very relevant to customer service and I need to get this off my chest. I’m talking to anyone who charges me for the privilege of calling you.
I spend my live advising clients on the best ways to reduce friction within their sales and service channels, both online and offline. So it upsets me greatly to see friction being needlessly added in the form of charging people to talk to you. It’s just NUTS!
My credit card companies, Barclaycard and Capital One, both use a 0844 number for their customer services. I have suppliers of other services to me using 0871 numbers as well as 0844. Nowadays most of us have inclusive call deals on our land lines and mobiles. HOWEVER these inclusive deals on landlines don’t include 0844, or 0871, as well as all the other premium phone numbers.
On a mobile 0845, 0870 and 0800 (and derivatives) all cost money to call, even though they are free on most landlines, and 0844 and 0871 calls cost a lot depending on your network and package. Even from a landline 0844 and 0871 calls cost at least 5p per minute and up to 10p. The company you are calling receives a rebate of up to 7p per minute of this charge.
Here’s my gripe.
I SHOULDN’T HAVE to PAY to TALK to CUSTOMER SERVICES, SALES or ANYONE ELSE in YOUR COMPANY!
Do you think we don’t know this is making YOU money? It’s bad enough having to speak to someone who has English as their second language, but having to pay for it is just rude.
Thanks for listening, I feel better now I’ve got this out.
If you have to put these numbers on your web sites and advertising at least offer an alternative so we can use a number that’s included in our telephony package. On my site I have an 0800 number but I realise that from a mobile it’s expensive so I include a mobile number, that way everyone can call me for free. It’s not that hard!
If your business is using telephone numbers that charge people for talking to you I urge you to stop this practice. The revenue these numbers are delivering through rebates is peanuts compared to a negative impression and a phone bill for your callers to pay.
Here are some resources to bookmark, especially on your mobile phone, to find cheaper or free numbers to call the people you do business with, not that you should have to…
If they have a web site try and find a number for “Calling from abroad” as they can’t use premium numbers outside the UK.
Find an alternative landline number to the paid number advertised – http://www.dontpaytocall.com/
Here’s a useful guide to telephone number costs – http://www.uk2numbers.co.uk/?go=support&page=non-geographic-number-guide