Telephone Services

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 1st November 2011.

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Photo of Stephen Lloyd Stephen Lloyd Liberal Democrat, Eastbourne

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department has allocated to each telephone helpline funded by his Department in 2011-12; what the purpose is of each such helpline; and how many calls each helpline received in the last 12 months.

Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to Nia Griffith on 10 October 2011, Hansard, columns 263-4W.

In terms of helplines operated by the Department:

The central Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) inquiry line (020 7215 5000) has taken 77,518 calls in the last 12 months.

0845 015 0010 BIS publications order line has taken 3,238 calls in the last 12 months.

0845 015 0020 BIS publications order line (fax) has taken 88 calls in the last 12 months.

0845 015 0030 BIS publications order line (minicom) has taken 101 calls in the last 12 months.

The United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) help line has taken 18,475 calls in the last 12 months.

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Annotations

David Hickson - fair telecoms campaign
Posted on 27 Feb 2012 2:05 pm (Report this annotation)

Each 0845 number earns a subsidy towards its running costs of around 2p per minute on each call.

The additional cost to the caller (over the cost of a call to a 01/02/03 number) is up to 41p per minute.

If this "Service Charge" is deemed appropriate and valid, then the Department should declare it - at least the 2p per minute which it gains in subsidy.

N.B. The subsidy is generally used to offset the cost of telephone services, not received in cash. This enables a ready (if misleading) denial that the Department receives any income. It may not, but it does receive a financial benefit.