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Germans spend €150 million on hold

The Local · 28 Jan 2012, 13:37

Published: 28 Jan 2012 13:37 GMT+01:00

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“These rip-off phone numbers are showing no sign of slowing down,” said Bärbel Höhn, deputy leader of the Green Party, which published the figures.

She told the regional paper Saarbrücker Zeitung the government was not doing enough to stop people being over-charged.

Hotlines and call centres, usually on 0180 codes were the worst offenders, keeping customers waiting for more than 616 million minutes last year. This cost €86 million, the Green Party report showed.

Sex and quiz phone lines, often hosted on 0900 numbers, kept people waiting for 48 million minutes, at a cost of €58 million. These numbers have an average cost of €1.20 a minute.

A telecommunications bill is being discussed in parliament, and includes a clause banning some expensive phone charges.

Under the proposal, only free numbers and those with area codes would be allowed to keep people waiting for a call. If companies want to charge people who are ringing they must set a flat price.

Yet this would not be enough, said Höhn. “There big loopholes which mean that recorded messages and choosing from a menu will still cost money,” she said.

The telecommunications bill includes other measures which have held it up in parliament, so any premium phone line ban itself being kept on hold.

Story continues below…

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:38 January 28, 2012 by murka
Why call 0180 numbers, it is easy to find out the underlying regular numbers and call there directly. Just google "0180 database".
08:30 January 29, 2012 by Cambooya
@Chango..so you are a communist? My advice to you is to read the article first, it's talking about telecoms ripping off the public not wastefull spending.
13:04 January 29, 2012 by bobmarchiano
Why should we have to pay 14cents a minute to call the phone,cable or internet company if are having a problem with service.

That 150 million could be used paying the bills.

Even that fee of 15 euros for owning a TV
07:32 January 30, 2012 by mshameemahmed
I had one personal experience last year. I want to apply for visa for America at Embassy in Munich and for that, As I need to book interview date and had some question. So, When i called the premimum number. For the first few minute, the operator where busy giving me overview of the service and then followed by some option and then after that minute of holding. then I could able to reach the concern deprt. ohh.... like this i have to make some calls.

That month, My telephone operator charged me with around 150Euro bills.

The most expensive telephone call experience of my life !!!
11:15 February 7, 2012 by emejota
@ bobmarchiano: That's true. You have a "flatrate" and everytime you call the number of the company you have the "flatrate" with, you are forced to pay! This is so plain ridiculous!
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