Scary numbers

When you see people posting dire warnings, sometimes it’s a good idea to Google them. One I’ve seen today is about not calling a number that rings you, because it costs you £42 just to ring it, and £14 for a text. Here it is in its entirety:

***WARNING THIS NUMBER 07677847913*** has rang me 5 times over 3 days I try to ring back and no answer… So just googled it and it’s been ringing a lot of ppl and costing them money, I just rang my phone provider and for JUST RINGING it has cost me £42 and for one single text £14 pissed off ******** share away please ppl don’t get stung

The post is written as if the person who posted it had this problem. But, they almost certainly didn’t, because if you take the first bit of text “WARNING THIS NUMBER 07677847913” and stick it into Google, and tell it not to omit similar results, you’ll see that everyone who has apparently reported this problem used exactly the same words.

That’s a bit too much of a coincidence for my liking. It’s pretty unlikely, I think, they all wrote about their experience in exactly the same way.

And it’s even more unlikely when you consider that 076 numbers in the UK are radiopagers. From landlines, they’re a fixed cost to call, no matter how long the call is – around 43 pence. Here’s a comparison showing the cost to call them from different operators. As you can see, you can spend ages connected to one of these calls, and that’s all you’ll pay.

Mobiles, of course, are a different matter, but even there Vodafone charges a similar fixed price per call (45p), Three charges 1.22 per call plus 82.5p per minute, while O2 is £1.50 per minute. The EE website is such a mess I have no idea what they charge, but I would be surprised if for some reason they alone charge about a hundred times more to ring a radiopager than landline operators.

Also bear in mind that no UK networks charge you unless a call is answered. Perhaps if you called from an O2 mobile and spend 28 minutes listening to whatever’s on the end – like a recording of a ringing tone – yes, you might then manage to spend £42 on a call.

But I’m at a loss to know why you’d spend 28 minutes doing that – and no, the people on the other end can’t keep the line open to prevent you from hanging up. That trick – used by some bank scammers – only worked on some BT exchanges, not on mobiles. So,  the most you’d be charged if you were calling from a BT landline and the people on the other end managed to hold the line open to stop you hanging up is 43.5p anyway.

I’m pretty certain that it’s not very easy to charge £14 for sending a text, either.

It’s surprisingly easy to find out how much it really costs to call a number. And there are better ways to do it than by Googling and reading countless identically worded reports of dubious provenance.

One thought on “Scary numbers

  1. This is the phone number provider’s (Core Telecom, Mazhar House, 48 Bradford Rd, Pudsey Stanningley, Leeds LS28 6DD) response: “This number range is allocated to Core Telecom, we allocate numbers responsibly within the ofcom regulations. The call to cost this number is 30p per call. Mobile networks may charge higher but that is not within our control. The number is not text enabled so therefore there should be no charge for texting. We will investigate the use of the number and if it is found to being used outside of the specified use we will disconnect the number. We have suspended this number while we investigate. Thanks ” http://findwhocallsyou.com/07677847913

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