Expolink Kirsty Matthewson loooks at the changes to both freephone and non-geographic telephone numbers being introduced by Ofcom 1st July 2015.
From 1st July Ofcom are introducing important changes to Freephone and non-geographic numbers. These are considered to be the most important changes to happen to UK telephone numbers in over a decade and it is vital that businesses are prepared.
When is this happening?
Implementation of these changes will commence on the 1st July 2015
Who does it affect?
Businesses who use non-geographic phone numbers such as 03, 05, 07, 08, 09, 116 and 118 and callers to these numbers.
Why is this happening?
Ofcom are reacting to consumer concerns that there is a lack of transparency regarding charges for these numbers. This is ultimately a deterrent for consumers and negatively affects UK business.
What do I need to know?
0800 or 0808 numbers – Generally these numbers are already free to call from landlines. After 1st July 2015 they will be free to call from mobiles. There will be an increased cost of operating these numbers. The size of the increase will depend on the balance of calls that are received from callers dialling from a landline or a mobile.
Numbers starting with 084, 087, 09 and 118 – charges for these will be split into two parts:
- Access charge – stipulated by the caller’s phone company.
- Service charge – advised by the organisation that manages the service you are calling.
Calls to landlines and mobiles are not affected. Neither are calls from payphones, international calls, or calls to the UK when roaming overseas.
What do I need to do?
Businesses must clearly advertise the cost of calling their non-geographic numbers from the implementation date, in-line with the compliance guidelines set out by Ofcom, Phonepay Plus and the Advertising Standards Agency. It might also be advisable to outline the legislation on your website to demonstrate your compliance and to promote these benefits to the customer.
Additional information can be found at the Ofcom Website.