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Departmental Telephone Services

Volume 495: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent representations her Department has made to the Telephone Helplines Association on the inclusion of her Department’s benefit helplines on their industry list; and what estimate she has made of the savings which would result to (a) her Department and (b) service users. (278376)

My Department believes strongly that calls to its 0800 numbers should be free to mobile phone users as they already are for callers from landlines. Officials from the Department have accordingly approached the Telephone Helplines Association and are now in discussion with mobile telephone operators seeking to secure the Department’s customers a free service when contacting the Department’s 0800 numbers via a mobile phone.

The respective costs and savings will depend on the arrangements entered into by operators and the Department.