Football clubs "ripping off" fans with premium-rate numbers
More than 30 British football clubs are using expensive 08 numbers more than three months after they were banned by the telecoms regulator, research has revealed.
In June Ofcom introduced new rules banning the use of phone numbers that were not charged at the basic rate for contact from consumers. The main offenders were numbers beginning with 08, as they regularly cost consumers 40p a minute or more.
Now companies that offer a telephone service for customers beginning with 08 must also offer 01, 02, and 03 numbers as these are charged at the basic rate from all phones.
The Fair Telecoms Campaign has now published a list of all clubs in the Premier League and the Championship using 08 numbers either for their general contact number or ticket line.
According to the research, 11 top-flight clubs use an 08 number for their ticket line or general enquiries, with four teams (Burnley, Everton, Sunderland and West Ham) using 08 numbers for both.
In the Championship, 20 of the 24 teams use an 08 number, with 14 using a 08 number for tickets and enquiries.
David Hickson of the Fair Telecoms campaign said: "It is sadly commonplace for ticketing agencies to use the subsidy obtained from use of a 084/087 number as an additional undeclared booking fee when taking bookings for any event by telephone. From June of next year, the "service charge" which is part of the cost of calling these numbers will have to be declared in all cases.
"Soccer clubs who treat their own fans this way should be ashamed – and shamed. Use of a 084/087 number for contact from a customer became illegal in June.
"Clubs who use these numbers (or allow their agents to do so) should now be aware that they are ripping-off their fans, and possibly breaking the law."
Only financial services providers were left out of the new regulation as well as numbers used exclusively for sales to new customers.
Club numbers and ticket numbers
|BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE||Club||Tickets||SKYBET CHAMPIONSHIP||Club||Tickets|
|Aston Villa||0121||0800||Birmingham City||0844||0844|
|Crystal Palace||020||0871||Bolton Wanderers||0844||0844|
|Hull||01482||01482||Brighton & Hove Albion||0344||0844|
|Man City||0161||0161||Derby County||0871||0871|
|West Ham||0871||0871||Rotherham United||0844||0844|