Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Ceisteanna (273)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

273. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the revenue generated to her Department through the operation of the 1890 lo-call phone line; the amount of such revenue to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14371/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The use of 1890 LoCall numbers by my Department is not a revenue generating operation.

My Department is committed to providing a choice of channels to our customers through which they can engage with us and the 1890 service is one of those channels available for customers who wish to contact us by telephone.

1890 numbers are one class of Non-Geographic Numbers (NGN) provided for and regulated by the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg). In my Department’s case the 1890 numbers provide for a shared cost model where the customer pays a per minute charge, set by their telephone service provider, and my Department pays an associated charge to subsidise the call.

I am aware that some customers who use the service, particularly those who contact us by mobile phone, are not able to avail of LoCall rates as the service is not available from their telephone service providers.

Customers who wish to contact us by telephone, but cannot avail of the LoCall rates, should contact us using the local and national telephone numbers which are published on all our letters, leaflets and forms, and are also available on our website, www.welfare.ie.

My Department is aware that in January 2019 ComReg issued an Information Notice outlining its plans for Implementing the New NGN Platform (ComReg 19/01) and welcomes its introduction.