Card transactions by proxy

Roland Perry lists at
Fri Apr 8 13:02:37 BST 2011

In article <20110408114333.GD28020 at>, Jon Ribbens 
<jon+ukcrypto at> writes
>> I think we should be careful when using jargon which has a precise
>> meaning (such as "Premium Rate"), to nurse a grudge about "high cost"
>> calls,
>They are charged at a rate higher than normal calls. The English word
>for that is "premium".

But you have chosen to use that word vexatiously, in this context. Many 
other words would not have the same effect.

>> which is presumably an artefact of your chosen phone supplier.
>If there is a mobile provider I can choose which does not charge a
>premium for 0800 calls, I am not aware of it.

You've chosen to use a mobile phone. And see below for a company that 
doesn't charge a premium(sic) over geographic rates. But it's more than 
a landline user would pay.

>> As it happens, Ofcom is consulting on making 0800 calls from mobiles
>> genuinely free, and they are free from my landline. I hope this doesn't
>> have the unintended consequence of those folks currently offering 0800
>> simply moving their call centres to something with a charge.
>It would be amusing if Ofcom lurched from being a complete failure
>due to lack of regulation to being a complete failure due to
>over-regulation, yes.

It's a very fine balance, and the telecoms market is sufficiently fluid 
that a change like this (which is loudly demanded by the public) can 
easily have a bad consequence.

>All they need to do is say that 0800 numbers
>must be charged at no more than geographic rates. That wouldn't
>require anyone to give up their 0800 numbers.

That wouldn't work in the general case, because so many people have in 
effect "free" geographic calls (in a bundle) for their mobile, that 
there is no marginal revenue to replace whatever you are currently 
paying per minute.

Meanwhile, I'm on Virgin PAYG, and 0800 already costs the same as calls 
to geographic numbers (26p/min).
Roland Perry

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