Which five-digit phone numbers can hide huge charges


The Consumer Ombudsman has received numerous reports from consumers. The authority’s recommendations to companies.

The consumer attention for non-fixed charges on telephony bills coming from calls to special numbersdraws the Consumer Advocateas it has received numerous reports from citizens.

The highs result from calls to special telephone numbers, which are excluded from the built-in benefits of their financial programs.

Examples of such reported numbers are:

  • Short five-digit numbers of the number 13which are used for customer service and fault reporting by providers of various services (energy, electricity, etc.).
  • Short all-digit numbers of the number 14through which multimedia information services (multimedia information) are provided, however there are cases where such numbers have been selected for telephone appointment services.
  • Short four-digit or five-digit numbers of the number 15which are used to provide services of public interest or services to society as a whole by Ministries or Local Government Organizations.
  • Ten-digit cost-sharing numbers of the 801 serial numberwhich are commonly used by companies to communicate with technical support departments or for telephone orders.

For all these numbers, with the exception of serial numbers 137who are assigned to provide customer service for fault issues and for whom there is an explicit provision that there is no charge for calls to them, there is the possibility of charges, with some conditions and restrictions, which determined by the pricing policy of providers of electronic communications services.

In the context of the investigation of the relevant cases, the Authority has proceeded to recommendations to all companies and operators using such numbers to:

  • consider making special arrangements for incomplete calls, in the case of numbers used to provide information services on a range of key issues (eg employment, pensions, insurance, health, etc.);
  • to introduce alternative ten-digit geographical numbers for customer service (where they do not already exist and which is possible), which are included in the integrated benefits of the financial plans of the telecommunications service providers and therefore do not incur out-of-pocket charges,
  • to promote the use of ten-digit geographical numbers to serve consumers and
  • provide clear information to consumers about any charges that may arise from the use of the special numbers, both in the publication and promotion of these numbers to the consumer public and in the provision of services through them, advising and urging consumers to consult price lists of their providers.

It should be noted that, after the intervention of the Consumer Ombudsman, to the E.F.K.A. Regarding the special number 1555, the pricing policy of all telecommunications providers regarding the number 1555 has changed and now calls to this number are free of charge.

Finally, the Consumer Ombudsman advises consumers, in order to avoid excessive, off-line charges on their (fixed and mobile) telephony bills:

  1. avoid using special numbers, provided that the alternative of using ten-digit geographical numbers is provided; and
  2. to be informed about the pricing policy of their providers, by consulting the relevant price lists, before using the special numbers.

You May Also Like

Recommended for you