I have long avoided calling 0845 numbers. They are a total rip-off and it makes me angry that we are forced to PAY to WAIT for service - it's like paying for every second we queue for tellers at a bank or check-outs at a supermarket! You can't help wondering if revenue-generating waiting times are deliberately longer.
Even the government's HMRC condones, in fact uses, 0845 numbers. I can see that the original concept was to cover costs of the service but it is an unfair system when there is no alternative. With no choice, the caller has no control over the amount he/she will spend - how long in the queue, the quality of the response at the call centre, etc. - or if it will be value-for-money and time well spent.
So... a plea to businesses: don't sign up for these services because you will lose customers. Dave Millet of the Branduin Business Support team seems to be the person who can help small businesses with their telecoms decisions (no, he's not paying me for this but he has helped a couple of our clients).