Another BT rip-off?

PaulR

PaulR

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#1
Just received my latest BT quarterly bill and, having some time to kill, actually read the "Update" leaflet that was with it.

Tucked away on the inside back cover, last item is the following:

Price introduction: Call Return (press 3) element of BT 1471

From 1st August 2004, BT will be introducing a 6p fixed fee to the Call Return element of BT 1471. This fee will apply when customers press '3' to return the call to the telephone number of the last caller and will be charged regardless of whether or not the call is connected. Dialing BT 1471 without using Call Return will remain a free service.


How many of us have got into the habit of just pressing the 3 instead of dialling the complete number? I'm going to have a tough time retraining myself and I think it'll be practically impossible to stop my daughters.

There's no mention of whether it'll be possible to opt out of the service so looks like more money will be winging its way to BT.

PaulR
 
rolfw

rolfw

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#2
Bought myself a little caller display unit some while ago, it does the same thing, but with no charge. Stopped using the mobile return call service some time ago when I found out the cost as well. :)
 
PaulR

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#3
Doesn't the caller display service unit need to be supplied with the CLI signal from the exchange? And isn't this a chargeable service from BT?

Or are you on cable?

PaulR
 
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#4
No, it is chargeable, but I think that it was on special when we ordered it, about £1.00 per month, is nice to see the number displayed when you look at the phone though.
 
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muttley4939

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#5
I couldn't live without my caller ID.
It's just one in an increasing list of money making changes from BT.

How many people are aware that when you make a call to someone who has the 1571 service installed you get charged the minimum rate even if you choose not to leave a message? Lets face it, you don't get any warning if the number is engaged, no option of whether to leave a message or not, just an instant charge from the moment you hear "Welcome to BT 1571".

And a further warning to anyone considering BT's broadband, the lowest £19.99 package doesn't included POP3 email, so you'll be restricted to Web Mail, it costs a further £1.50 per month to subsribe to Yahoo premium mail and BT Broadband now charges 3 months in advance! so new subscribers can expect nearly £60 to be deducted from thier bank accounts shortly after joining.

Regards.

Muttley
 
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#6
Didn't realise there was no pop3 as standard with that package, seems a bit off.
 
Channel Hopper

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#7
muttley4939 said:
How many people are aware that when you make a call to someone who has the 1571 service installed you get charged the minimum rate even if you choose not to leave a message? Lets face it, you don't get any warning if the number is engaged, no option of whether to leave a message or not, just an instant charge from the moment you hear "Welcome to BT 1571".
I cant see this particular charge being much different from a contact having an answer phone at the other end. Of course BT will pocket the money for it, but they are offereing the answerphone service.


Agree about the other charges though
 
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muttley4939

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#8
True, you would be charged for leaving a message on an answerphone but an answerphone doesn't kick in immediately. If I phone someone that has an anwerphone I can choose to wait for the recorded message if they don't answer or I can hang up after a few rings. You don't get the option with 1571, it's instant.

I'm not saying that 1571 isn't a good idea but I think a few engaged tones or even ann option to leave a message would be better at least we'd be able to hang up before incuring any cost. My last bill had 68 minimum charges for this service on it but I never leave a message, I prefer to call back later.
 
PaulR

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#9
muttley4939 said:
You don't get the option with 1571, it's instant.
Unless it's a user selectable option I was always under the impression that it's only instant if the other person is actually using the phone when you call.

At other times the phone rings 6 times before kicking in to the answer mode. Solution? Hang up at the 6th ring like I (normally) do and then ring back a few times, or leave it to another day.

If I do get caught out what really pi$$e$ me off is how few people retrieve their messages. I've lost count of the number of people who say "Oh I never bother getting my messages". If that's the case turn the bloody service OFF.

A prime example of something which is available free being treated as having no value. I find that if someone is serious about taking messages they have a proper answering machine.

The only people who win hands-down (again) are BT who snaffle my minimum charge of 5p (soon to go up to 5.5p).

I'd love someone to come in and offer a really competitive service against BT. I thought Tele2 might be the ones but they don't offer an unlimited evening and weekends option. The other problem with (I think) all these opportunistic telcos is that they don't offer the range of call barring, and other, services. After a £254 bill last quarter I've put a near permanent bar on national, international and (especially) mobiles from the land line.

OK, rambling rant over.

PaulR
 
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muttley4939

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#10
Hi Paul,

I was referering to when the person you call is engaged (though perhaps I didn't make it as clear as I should have). It's normally 7.5 rings before the service kicks in but if you've got caller ID you normally only hear 6 rings.

If you're looking for a reasonable alternative to paying BT for your calls you could try Argos Telecom. I pay £9.99 line rental to BT and £4.99 to Argos, for this I get free calls to anywhere in the UK after 6pm and weekends (redial after 70mins), daytime calls are also cheaper than BT. The best part is you pay no more than 1 month in advance to Argos as opposed to 3 months to BT, you'll get monthly itemised statements and you can go online to the website at anytime to see a fully itemised breakdown of all your calls. The first month is also FREE! BT will also have to refund you any advance service charges you've made above the basic line rental. There's also an unlimited option that's the same as BT's option 3 at a cost of £13.99.

Only drawback was having to dial a 4 digit number for the first 10 days of the service untill BT do the required changes but appart from that it's no different to paying BT.

Don't know about call barring though!

Regards.

Muttley
 
PaulR

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#11
Thanks Muttley

I'll do some reasearch but I have a horrible feeling that they won't be able to offer call barring.

With 2 teenage daughters this has now become as essential as food and water.

PaulR
 
Channel Hopper

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#12
PaulR said:
call barring. With 2 teenage daughters this has now become as essential as food and water.

Solution - put two sets of differing connectors in line with the phone socket before its got to the first Rel point. When you are not there, set up the call return and remove the important bit of cable
 
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