Serentschy Pleading for more Transparency of Rates of 05 coded telephone numbers

Press release dated 30 January 2009

We lately see a sharp increase in number of complaints of subscribers, companies and organizations, such as e.g. the Association of Retired Persons, regarding the lack of transparency of telephone charges when calling the so-called private networks, that is telephone numbers starting with 05. One criticism of subscribers is meant for ‘all inclusive’ rate packages that often suggest containing all calls to terrestrial and mobile phone numbers. The telephone bills then show that this is not the case for example in the case of the 05 numbers”, Dr. Georg Serentschy, managing director of RTR-GmbH for the telecommunications division, characterizes the situation. “A further point of criticism of subscribers, but also businesses and organizations making use of these numbers, are the high rates - a one minute call to an 05 number may cost up-to 25 cents.” 

Serentschy recommends: “reading also the small print!” 

From the experience of daily conciliation practice I recommend not to get carried away by commercials, but to check carefully which services are contained in rate packages. Studying the General Terms and Conditions and Rate Terms is indispensable for this purpose”, says the managing director of the regulatory authority. “In terms of the service principle, I want to call upon providers to make rate information more transparent and easily accessible in the web pages”.  

Rate overview on the RTR web site

“05 numbers are actually telephone numbers with terrestrial connection, from this point of view it is understandable that many subscribers are annoyed by the rate policies of certain providers. In order to shed light into the rate jungle, we are publishing an overview on our website, containing the latest status of a number of the most frequently advertised rate options of mobile phone operators, as well as the cost for calling 05 numbers", Serentschy invites the public to look at the consumer pages of the RTR home page.    

05 numbers: accessible through one and the same number all over Austria  

Companies with premises on more than one location are offered a number of advantages by making use of 05 numbers and private network operators. The company can be reached under one and the same telephone number all over Austria. Thus the telephone number is not linked to a particular city, such as an ordinary terrestrial number.  

“Being a point of contact for complaints in the telecommunications field, we are, however, also faced with complaints of companies that can be reached through 05 numbers. They also criticize the lack of transparency of the rates and that often the subscriber has no idea what it costs to dial these numbers. While we, as the regulatory authority, cannot act at this point – deciding on rates for private networks is up to their operators – I once more want to call upon the industry to improve rate transparency”, concludes Serentschy.