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6/22/2007
UK Government Bills Motorists $23 Million for Customer Service
UK transport agencies are placing tolls on more than just roads. Telephone information hotlines have raised $23 million in revenue.

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UK motorists have paid more than £11.6 million (US $23 million) to the government simply to obtain basic information or conduct transactions using a telephone. Government agencies have turned to 0870 toll numbers to provide telephone services with an 8p (16 cents) per minute charge for citizens while raising big revenue.

Since 2003, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has collected £8,793,260 (US $17,554,127) from motorists waiting on hold, according to Department for Transport Under-Secretary Gillian Merron. This annual amount collected grew steadily from 2003 to the present. In the past four years, the amount of cash collected through the telephone toll grew 440 percent.

A separate Department for Transport agency, the Driving Standards Agency, generated an additional £2,725,263 (US $5,440,486) in revenue over the same period through its toll number. The Vehicle and Operator Standards Agency also generated £81,090 (US $161,869).



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