Leisure Centre Telephone 'Rip Off' Slammed

Call for council-run service to stop charging expensive phone rates

Related Links

Pool Image

Lorries Banned From Overnight Parking In Residential Areas

ChiswickW4.com and BrentfordTW8.com

Hounslow Council's leisure services contractor Fusion, which runs services at Chiswick Town Hall, Chiswick New Pool and Brentford Leisure Centre, has been charging expensive 084 rates to locals, according to a local fair telecoms campaigner.

Chiswick-based David Hickson of fairtelecoms called upon Hounslow Council to take action to stop the practice and to urge its contractor to bring down phone rates.

"This is however only one of many examples of charitable bodies using 084 numbers to subsidise their services by causing callers to incur excessive costs – most of which are only to the benefit of the caller’s telephone company", he said.

A story by the Daily Mail recently highlighted the practice of the Citizens Advice charity which was charging premium phone rates to consumers, despite stating that its services were free. Some cases were reported of a charge of £12 for a 20-minute call. This does not apply to the Citizens Advice office in Chiswick.

Mr. Hickson said the fair telecoms campaign was delighted to see that Fusion Lifestyle had finally stopped using expensive rates in its services to Braintree Council but similar problems remained in connection with Hounslow, Hillingdon and Oxford councils. Fusion had promised to stop using the premium rates earlier this year.

None of the private health clubs in Chiswick charge premium rates. Neither does Richmond Pools On The Park, Putney Leisure Centre or Acton Swimming Pool.

In Hounslow borough the relevant numbers are: Chiswick Town Hall - 0845 456 2828
Brentford Fountain Leisure Centre - 0845 456 6675; New Chiswick Pool - 0845 456 6675

You can however also reach them on local 020 numbers. Chiswick Town Hall is 020 8747 5970, Chiswick New Pool is 020 8747 8811 and Brentford Fountain Leisure Centre is 020 8996 4075.

But if a customer is unaware of this he or she will end up dialling the 0845 Fusion central number and a recording will ask which option they require. Mr. Hickson does not think this is good enough.

Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said, “We have been informed by Fusion Lifestyle which manages the leisure centres on behalf of the Council, that local numbers are now in place to contact its services instead of the 0845 connection.

“From the 1st September, the system will be switched to the more cost-effective 0345 numbers and in turn provide a reliable, low-cost and efficient system that will best serve residents and those wishing to visit the borough and find out what our leisure centres have to offer.”

August 18, 2016

Bookmark and Share