GHL Group switches to 0845

Ramesh Sharma

April 1, 2006

Mortgage Introducer has campaigned against 0870 numbers, which charge intermediaries national rates to contact lenders, for the past 12 months and while some lenders, including Northern Rock and Nationwide, have changed to 0845 numbers, many others still employ the practice.

GHL’s move is in recognition of broker feedback and the network hopes the move will improve its service proposition.

Mark Smith, IT director at GHL, said: “With infrastructure, people and systems advancing rapidly at GHL, it became apparent the existing systems in place for contacting us were inadequate. Utilising the 0845 numbers allows customers to contact us from anywhere in the UK at the price of a local rate call. We will be monitoring the new system closely to ensure that it adapts and changes in line with our customer needs and requirements.”

Simon Chalk, mortgage planner at Mortgage Portfolio Services, said: “It’s tremendous news and it should shame those lenders who still use 0870 numbers. Too many lenders have them. It’s just another way to raise money and squeeze the broker. While brokers don’t like using 0870 numbers, when combined with poor service, they become a real bugbear.”

“I’m not suggesting they should be free numbers as if you’ve got a good online proposition, then it’s not too bad. However, if you’ve got a poor online service and I’m forced to ring them to sort out a problem, then it’s not ok, especially if they put me on hold when it’s their fault.”

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