Ofcom recently described 0870 telephone numbers as "premium rate" in all but name.

0870 numbers have for some time been advertised as being "at the cost of a national call", usually 8p per minute. This price is often double the rate of typical national call tariffs.

In addition, it is not uncommon for companies using 0870 numbers to make money on incoming calls by sharing profits with the telephone company.

It is disappointing to see that some insurers and loss adjusters use such numbers, especially when poor service manifets itself in callers to such numbers being left on hold for long periods.

Service providers then have a vested interest in providing sub-standard customer service.

To paraphrase an old saying "let's make a profit out of a crisis".

Name and address withheld