Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Saving phone bills in Ireland!

Yes I know it's not automation as we know it (but where does automation stop?) However for our myriad of visitors from Ireland this will be interesting and who knows maybe there is an application further afield!

NetWork ID's Colm Murphy
Galway based IT developer Colm Murphy has released application notes for Forget1850’, a new cost saving directory App which allows users to access cheaper (and sometimes free) landline numbers as an alternative to using numbers beginning with 1850 / 1890 / 0818, numbers which are often promoted as customer service contact numbers by large organisations and companies in Ireland.

Network ID Ltd is based in the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology's (GMIT) Innovation Centre in Galway. Colm told Read-out that inspiration for the new App came after he was charged €13 for a  call to one particular organisation’s ‘customer services’ 1850 number. (We all know the feeling!)

“The vast majority of household service providers, including telecoms, Revenue, Government Agencies, as well as most banks and energy suppliers, use 1850/1890 as their customer service contact numbers.  Irish consumers such as myself are becomingly increasingly irritated at the high costs associated with calling 1850/1890 numbers.

The Forget1850 directory App was developed to provide Irish consumers with a choice on what costs they would incur when contacting these organisations or companies” he said.

In some cases, consumers may be unwittingly paying as much as €10 in phone charges to simply communicate with a company – especially when reporting a fault in a product or service, where the wait time to speak with a company representative may be excessive. Invariably, an 1890 number is the only contact number advertised.

"‘Forget 1850’ users could save up to €52.50 per year by using alternative landline numbers rather than the typical 1850/ 1890 numbers advertised by companies” according to Colm Murphy.  “For example, if an O2 bill pay customer calls an 1890 (35c per minute) number for 10 minutes they will be charged €3.50 per call. Based on a rough average of making 15 such calls per year that’s a saving of €52.50”

Non-geographical numbers such as those beginning with 1850/1890 and more recently 0818 became popular before bundled minutes became an integral part of both landline and mobile contracts. However, not only are 1850/1890 and in some cases 0818 numbers not included in a monthly contracts ‘Free Minutes Bundle’,  they also cannot be called from overseas or through Skype.

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