I gave up with 101 as I tried to contact them 10 days ago and after holding on for more than 15 minutes I was just cut off. I tried again but gave up after another 15 minutes of holding on. Perhaps that is what they want for us not to report.
"Several carriers, including 02 in my case, charge 15p to call 101. A 999 call is free..."
Well yes, because 101 is not an emergency number. Carriers will therefore charge for it. You'll only pay 15p however, no matter how long you are on the phone.
The idea is to take some of the load away from the 999 service, which is deluged with calls about non-emergencies. People phone them when a fuse trips, or when they have a poor finger. When he was at university my son worked on a London hospital A&E admissions desk in the summer holidays. Ambulance drivers told him about people who phone for an ambulance to take them home from the pub because they're drunk, or because they have a cold.
The Police 999 service gets people phoning because their cat hasn't come home for its supper, or because they have dropped their phone into a river and they want a frogman to search for it.