Avoid expensive calls to utility companies

by Lucy Tobin
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The mobile phone giants can be very adroit in the use of slimy sales tactics — you are easily trapped in a quick chat with “Bob” from your mobile firm and before you know it you’ve signed up to another 18-month contract at £25 a month.

Only later do you find that “Bob” never mentioned VAT, the surcharges for paper bills or that your deal didn’t include as many free texts as you would need.

But while tied-in contracts can be harder to annul than a marriage, there’s another issue that forces millions of Britons to pay more than they need to for their mobile calls: expensive phone numbers.

Millions of households now use mobiles as their only phone having got rid of their landlines to save money. However, for them essential calls to their gas company, say, or other 0845, 0871 or 0870 numbers can trigger a huge bill. But now there is a way to avoid such charges.

Visit the website saynoto0870.com

In contrast to the name, the site actually lists alternatives to all sorts of expensive (or 0800) phone numbers, and you can search either by name or by the phone number. I use the free site all the time, so that when calling, say, my insurance firm, I don’t need to get stressed about the amount I am paying for spending 15 minutes on hold, because at least it’s free.

Sometimes you won’t find the exact number that you need. It’s a forum-run site so it’s expanding all the time, but occasionally some of the numbers might be incorrect or the department that you need might be unavailable. It’s still worth trying, though: I’ve found that the people answering the phone of the local-rate new customers line listed on saynoto0870.com are usually very happy to transfer calls to the expensive-rate existing customers’ line, if necessary.

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