In fact, Apple shouldn’t have to pander to the network operators as it is, particularly after the rather derogatory labels Steve Jobs has applied to them in the past, yet their demands still seem to cause apps to get blocked, at to detriment of paying customers.
The latest app is one that British iPhone users would no doubt relish. The 0870 application quickly finds alternative geographically fixed phone numbers for the pesky non-geographical 08** numbers that companies frequently use and cost an absolute fortune to call from cellphones.
Fixed numbers can be called for free as part of the monthly allowance on contract mobile phones, or for a fairly low fee from pay-as-you-go mobiles. 08** numbers count as extras, and telecoms companies can make a lot of money from people using them.
Though there’s a web site for finding these numbers, and this could be accessed from Safari on the iPhone, it’s nowhere near as convenient as having an app to do it for you.
Personally, I try to avoid calling customer service numbers from my iPhone â€” period â€” but for those who don’t have a landline or need to sort out admin business while on the go, the long overdue lifting of the ban on this app has to be a good thing.
A similar app was added to the Android store in January. You can read to to-ing and fro-ing on Basheera Khan’s Telegraph blog post. Suffice it to say that, despite the PR line O2 takes, there will likely have been some blushes in various telcos’ conference rooms this week.
Customers are fed up being charged exorbitant fees for all sorts of things that should never be charged for. Now, what about that ridiculous tethering charge?