Summary of the changes:
Following a lengthy consultation process sparked by a number of concerns in the non-geographic call services market, Ofcom have ruled that consumers will be able to see how much they’re paying for calls to 08 numbers and where their money is going.
As of 1st July 2015, calls to 0800 numbers are free to all callers plus caller charges to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers are now made up of two clear parts: an access charge and a service charge.
An access charge. This goes to the caller’s telephone company.
A service charge. This is the remainder; it includes any revenue going to the service provider (that is the business being called), as well as revenue going to the ‘terminating call provider’ (or TCP: the company that provides the number to you).
What do you need to do?
If you haven’t already spoken to your BCR Associates account manager about these price changes we advise that you get in touch with us as soon as possible. Our dedicated account managers can liaise with your telecoms supplier on your behalf to confirm the service charge for the various number(s). Your account manager can advise you if the service charge is suitable for your business and if not, we can provide advice on more cost effective alternatives. You may wish to consider changing to an 03 number(s).
As part of this new Ofcom legislation you will also need to review all marketing materials and advertising. If your business or organisation is contacted on a number beginning 084, 087, 09 or 118, you must ensure that the service charge (cost to your customer) is clearly displayed wherever you advertise or promote that number. Service charge information should be prominent and in close proximity to the number itself. The recommended form of wording is:
“Calls cost xp [or xp per minute] plus your phone company's access charge.”
This means that details of service charges should be provided alongside the related number in all communications directed towards current or potential users of the service, where the use of the number is promoted or advertised. For a full list of the communications that this affects, see here.
It is important to note that if your business was to use 03 numbers, new regulations regarding marketing material would not apply.
For further information about the changes to non-geographic calling services, please refer to Ofcom’s dedicated website on this topic.