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Surprise costs when calling Service Companies

Dave Haggblad - Monday, June 29, 2015 |

Business man is shocked by a high phone bill You sometimes need to call a service person to arrange for repair of something like your television cable, internet line, telephone lines and other services. Most multinational firms dealing in consumer products have special service numbers. When customers need products fixed or replaced, they can make service requests on these numbers. This is done to ensure that customers get original spare parts when there are problems with expensive consumer durables.

Why calls to these numbers can be expensive?

Though these numbers are advertised as “Toll-Free” numbers, they may not be free if you call them from mobile phones. Since these are “non-geographical numbers” or they do not a specific destination details, callers do not know exactly where the call is landing. So instead of making a free call you may end up paying a hefty premium for service calls.

To avoid this situation now telecom regulators in many nations are forcing companies to tell customers the exact amount that will be charged from them when they make calls to customer service numbers. New regulations will ensure that calls made within local calling areas or within a particular city or state are accessed at a specific price while those made to different locations within a country will have charges based on distance between the caller and where the call is being handled.

Service requests to other special numbers

Numbers for help lines and special services like police, fire station, medical emergency etc., may also come with steep charges if they are called from cell phones. This is because they might not be included in a users’ contract minutes and are not classified as standard numbers. If you are on hold for a long time to explain your problem then your cost per minute charges may add up to a huge amount.

Beware of 1-900 numbers

Many of the 1-900 numbers that you see on online advertisements offering information on products and services at your fingertips are designed to make money for phone companies. These are pay-per-minutes call routes and are absolutely legitimate but their main purpose may be to keep you on the phone for as long as possible. As the charges for these services are not governed by regulatory authorities they can make you wait for required information and charge you a tidy sum as you have no idea how much a call to that number will be charged until it's finished. These situations will make you feel cheated and the best solution is to first find out how much calls to such number will be charged before making the call, and perhaps having your own timer so you know roughly what the cost will be at any point in the call.

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