BBC: 0845 and 0870 government departments warned [telecom]

Government departments have been ordered to stop using higher-rate phone lines as the contact for key services. cabinet Office guidance states it is "inappropriate" to pay high charges for such services - "particularly for vulnerable and low-income groups".

A recent National Audit Office report found the numbers, often starting 0845 or 0870, cost callers GBP56m in 2012. Departments will have to explain themselves to Cabinet ministers if they fail to follow the rules: Whitehall higher-rate numbers have included those for victim support, benefit and tax enquiries

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***** Moderator's Note *****

In the U.S., these calls would be made to "976" or "900" numbers, i.e., premium-rate calls where callers are charged an extra fee and some of the money is passed along to the recipient.

Bill Horne Moderator

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Joseph Singer
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