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I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

brightspark1
Grafter
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎19-05-2012

I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

and when I do they fall in the right time period, anytime. Also, they are virtually all freeespecially if I keep them shorter than 60 minutes) but I do on rare occasions have to phone a Dr's surgery that insists on using a recorded introduction and you have to press the appropriate number to reach the correct person. But its an 08444 and I cannot find such a number in the detailed tables to find out what such a number costs to phone. Can anyone help? It even seemed to cost quite a bit when I used my mobile but it would be great to be able work out such a call costs on an ordinary phone.
Thanks...
20 REPLIES 20
Oldjim
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Re: I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

it's a bit complicated
Go here http://www.bt.com/pricing/current/Call_Charges_boo/1632_d0e5.htm#1632-d0e5 and look for the number - note that there are a number of 08444 options.
Once you have the pricing band you can go http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/consumer/consumerProducts/pdf/SpecialisedNos.pdf page 7
BryanP
Grafter
Posts: 138
Registered: ‎21-11-2011

Re: I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

Why is a Doctors Phone an 0844 number, they are normally 0845 numbers which should charge local rate
brightspark1
Grafter
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎19-05-2012

Re: I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

Its a good question...you used to phone at 8am and book and appointment and it was a normal number that you phoned. Or when the surgery opened that number put you through to reception. Now...you phone this 08444 number(its been that way for some years)and you are given a menu 1. Emergencies, 2. Dr's appointments 3. Nurses appointments 4. results and tests and so on...there was a lot of compalints when it happened but the protests seem to have died down. I don't agree with it!
Strat
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Re: I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

I seem to recall 0845 numbers were introduced as a local rate call from anywhere to anywhere in the country when 'long distance' calls cost more than local calls.
So who lived in Carlisle and was registered at a doctor's surgery in Margate, called to make an appointment to take advantage of the local rate charge of an 0845 number Undecided
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brightspark1
Grafter
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎19-05-2012

Re: I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

You get screwed on this 08444 number whether you use the mobile or landline. Thankfully, I usually only have to call once every three months. If I could call into the surgery, in person I could avoid the charge but as mobility isn't good and I have usually no reaon to be where the surgery is, the call is the easiest option especially compared to a £2.50-£3.00 taxi fare Seems wrong that the vulnerable who need access to a Dr are charged this way. We don't all have access to transport.
AlaricAdair
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Registered: ‎21-03-2011

Re: I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

GP Practices are normally just a private business (partnership) who contract with the NHS to provide services for a given catchment area. As such they are profit driven, though most individual GPs have public spirited intentions. However they'll take every opportunity to make a profit where they can. The 0845 number used to generate a few pence per minute profit for the GP Practice with every call. Many GPs used to justify using the 0845 number as the only way to have a single number for the public  while still providing multiple incoming lines to the Practice as well as the specious argument that it was low cost to the public. The mobile phone companies got in the act and loaded the cost of calling 0845 numbers with price gouging rates, so while nowadays if you have a BT call package it is generally cheap to call 0845, if you call by mobile phone or most other suppliers you get stung.
There is nothing to stop the GPs Practices from leasing a block of local geographic incoming phone numbers (channels/lines)  and assigning just one number from the range to be used across the range of channels/lines. If the first line is busy the caller is automatically rolled over to the next line until all of the lines in the block are in use. This is called Rollover or line hunting. Generally there is a small extra charge (to the GP) for the feature. The impact to the patients is they only get charged a local rate, for most fixed line/mobile call packages that is their calls are effectively free.
Edit: there's a similar situation with the 0844 numbers.
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Anotherone
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

Rollover is an American term. A "Hunt group" is what's normally referred to in the UK. No matter that makes no difference to the cost of the call.
I thought the (previous) Government had said that GP practises should not use 0844 numbers charged at the higher rates (upto 10ppm) from a UK landline.
A small correction to Jim's post though, once you have looked up the Charge band at http://www.bt.com/pricing...o/1632_d0e5.htm#1632-d0e5 you should then get the price from http://www.plus.net/residential/tariffs/homephone.html about halfway down the page is the Specialised Number Tariff - look for the relevant Band code. It's likely to be one which is the same rate 24/7 and not as cheap as a local call  Roll_eyes
Next time you visit the Surgery, ask them what there standard landline number is (they are bound to have one because the 0844 number has to "translate" to it. Tell them you sometimes have to call from a mobile and 0844 costs are prohibitive, you want to be able to use your inclusive minutes  Wink
You could have a close look at their literature or website if they have one, the info may be there, or look to see if they give a number to call from abroad.
If you can't get the number complain to the NHS Trust (if it still exists!). Failing that, contact your MP.
KevinG
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Registered: ‎05-11-2008

Re: I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

Quote from: BryanP
Why is a Doctors Phone an 0844 number, they are normally 0845 numbers which should charge local rate

Not true on two counts - most surgeries that are breaking the rules (it's a long story - see http://davidhicksonmedia.blogspot.co.uk/ if you're interested) use 0844, not 0845, and 0845 is not local rate and hasn't been for many years. It is, however, included in some bundles whereas 0844 is not.
James
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Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

0845 unless I am mistaken, is actually lo-call rate, and not local.
KevinG
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Registered: ‎05-11-2008

Re: I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

Well it would be, if there were such a thing, which there isn't - it's just a meaningless marketing term.
James
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Re: I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

BryanP
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Registered: ‎21-11-2011

Re: I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

According to the BT price List calls to 0845 are charged at Local NTS rate, BT words not mine
Anotherone
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

The OP is a Plusnet Phone customer so 0845 is included with his inclusive minutes and with Plusnet, NGNs are charged at the same rate as Local & National numbers outside of that.
Anyway this 0845 stuff is a bit off-topic as the OP was asking about the costs related to his 08444 calls to his doctor's surgery.
brightspark1
Grafter
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎19-05-2012

Re: I'm Hardly Making Any Calls

Its annoying but interesting and it does kind of all tie in Anotherone...I may ask questions...I've always got on well with my Dr and the surgery but why an 0800,0845 or a rollover idea could not be used it seems wrong to me for what is really an essential service...