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BT challenges the likes of Virgin Media and BSkyB over their Help desk call charges

# 25 February 2008, 17:14 by Cable Forum

BT was calling the shots last week as it urged its rival companies to follow its lead. The likes of Virgin Media, Orange and Sky were challenged to scrap the cost of calling its help desk services and mainly technical support. Whilst making its own numbers free, BT began to highlight the rates other companies charge and says it estimates the industry is making around £70 million every year from call charges.

Currently – Virgin Media’s Broadband customers who make a call to their Technical support line, they get charged 10p just to connect the call and then it costs a further 25p per minute, meaning an average 17 minute call will cost £4.35.

Of course, Virgin Media customers have never really been happy paying for this type of call and often quite a few customers posting on our forum, have stated they always make sure that if its a problem caused by Virgin Media, they will get refunded the cost of the call.

The same average 17 minute call to Orange technical support will cost a staggering £8.50. Even though they don’t charge to connect the call, the 50p per minute charge, more than makes up for it.

A typical average 17 minute call to Sky’s technical support will cost just £1.08.

But obviously paying nothing, 0 and zilch is far better than paying any of the above.

Commenting on the call charges made by other companies and BT making their calls to their help lines free, Gavin Patterson, BT managing director consumer said:

“We call on the rest of the industry to follow our lead. There really is no excuse for companies whose prices are either sky-high or verging on the ridiculous. We believe that customers are out of pocket to the tune of £70 million a year.”

Note the obvious puns in the above statement perhaps deliberately referring to Sky and Virgin Media.

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