Hampshire County Council call centres use 0845 numbers. It isn’t fair because residents using mobiles have to pay much more to use these numbers. HCC actually receives a cut of the cost of the call- it’s ‘a mobile tax’, especially for those residents in rented properties.
Recently I sat in for the afternoon at the Children’s call centre in Fareham.
The staff are very caring and take down information that they can check out later.
Complicated details can take a long time to recount- and these calls are expensive from mobile phones. Adult Services and Trading standards use 0845 numbers too.
I often inform residents of the pothole hotline 0845 603 5633-and call it myself. During the flooding crisis, many residents must have called. There is often soothing music whilst you wait for a reply-and it’s costing more money if you are on your mobile phone! The startling difference of the cost is clear on my bill.
For many residents without landlines, needing to use mobile phones instead,calls to the HCC help lines are exorbitant. There is a cheaper way which would result in improved accessibility for all, costing the equivalent of an 01 or 02 number from all phones.
I am campaigning to get the Council to move to 0345 numbers asap. And I’ll follow this up with the NHS and other public bodies too.
As a Liberal Democrat, I believe in a fairer society- and I want to make sure that vital calls to report child welfare, adult social care, and potholes are the same price whether you are on a mobile or landline- it’s only fair isn’t it?