I’m currently having an argument with O2. I stopped allowing them to take money from me via direct debit for precisely these kinds of eventualities.

At the end of August and the start of September I made a few calls to Npower to close my account with them. Obviously I was on hold for a bit but thankfully not extended periods. These calls were made from the only phone I have, my mobile. I haven’t had a landline in several years (partly due to the expense and partly due to the only calls I received were spam for PPI).

0800 numbers are free from landlines but not on mobiles.
“Not a problem!” Thought I, cheerfulness in my smile and hope in my heart, “I’ve plenty of free minutes to use up!”

Of course then the bill came and it seems the number didn’t count towards those minutes. In fact it was charged at around 20p per minute.

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Why is this considered an acceptable state of affairs?

I can’t imagine that it costs the phone networks much to provide access to freephone numbers for free (like all the landline providers!) but to charge a premium for it is outrageous. Sure, it’s not zero hour exclusive contracts or Trident but this seems like an issue that will affect many UK citizens on a regular basis. It’s solvable and straight forward. Who wants an easy win?

Unsurprisingly I got in touch with O2, paid my normal phone bill, and told them that they could either have the fees or me as a customer. Is it worth losing a long term customer over a debt of £6.85?

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