Card transactions by proxy

Roland Perry lists at
Fri Apr 8 15:18:34 BST 2011

In article <20110408133609.GE28020 at>, Jon Ribbens
<jon+ukcrypto at> writes

>>> 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.
>They wouldn't have conveyed my meaning.

Your meaning needed to be unpicked from an assumption that you were
expressing a personal grudge. That's not a helpful way to communicate,
on what's supposed to be a vaguely technical list.

>>>> 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.
>You might as well say I've "chosen" to use a phone at all, I could
>always conduct my entire life by post.

Of course. I could have written to my errant utility provider too. One
letter would have taken a lot less than the 20 minutes I was hanging on,
but I have a feeling would not have produced the desired effect.

>> And see below for a company that doesn't charge a premium(sic) over
>> geographic rates.
>Sorry, yes, I should have specified contract not PAYG. Interestingly,
>I just checked the Virgin Mobile website and they seem to consider it
>a secret what types of calls are included in their "minutes"; not even
>the detailed T&Cs give any indication what "airtimes minutes" includes.

I didn't have any trouble finding it.

eg "Calls to landlines" means:

        "This refers to numbers beginning with 01,02 or 03 and landline
        calls to Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man."

>>> 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.
>If I call a geographic number from my mobile, my mobile operator must
>pay the geographic landline operator money to terminate the call. If
>I call an 0800 number instead, the 0800 operator must pay my mobile
>operator money to receive the call. If they can afford to give me
>"600 minutes" or whatever to geographic numbers, they can afford to
>give *at least that* to 0800 numbers. Unless I'm somehow mistaken?

You need to look at the *overall* flow of money from you to the mobile
operator. All those 20p's per minute currently charged for 0800 calls is
revenue lost to the "telco ecosystem", and has to be made up somehow.

To address the specific issue, the money flowing at the moment from 0800
callcentre operators backwards to your mobile provider is much less than
the 20p/min you are currently paying forwards.
Roland Perry

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