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Service Number Changes

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From the 1st July 2015, Ofcom, the communication regulator, is making changes to the way consumers are charged for calling service numbers (08,09 & 118 numbers).

Research has shown that callers are confused about the cost of calling these types of numbers and, as a result, avoid using them. The changes being introduced are designed to make the associated cost transparent, easier to understand and encourage increased use among consumers.

The key changed being introduced from the 1st of July 2015 are: 

  • Free-phone numbers (0800 and 080) will become free to call from mobiles as well as landlines, and as a result companies operating Free-phone numbers will pay more to receive calls from mobile callers.
  • The cost to call 084, 087, 09 & 118 numbers will be split into two parts;

1. An Access Charge, which will be stipulated by the caller’s phone service provider

2. A Service Charge, which has been set by the number range holding network, and will be promoted by the organisation offering the service, There are currently 80 service change price points.

We are sending out literature to all of our customers who operate NGCS number to advise of the changes.

If you operate a NGCS Number

I operate a 084, 087, 09, or 118 numbers, what does this mean to me?

You are required to advertise the cost of calling these numbers in a way that is compliant with the regulatory requirements stipulated by Ofcom, PhonePay Plus and the Advertising Standards Agency. The price you pay or receive to your 084, 087, 09, or 118 may change.

From the 1st of July 2015 wherever the telephone number you own is advertised, it is your responsibility to ensure the service charge is clearly displayed in a prominent position. For example:

  • How your number might be advertised currently: “0845 123 4567 – Calls cost 4p per minute from a BT landline, charges from the opertator will vary and calls from mobile will cost considerably more.”
  • How your number must be advertised from the 1st July 2015: “0845 123 4567 – Calls cost 2p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.”

If you could like to seek further advice, we recommend you refer to the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA)

I operate a 0800, what does this mean to me? 

From the 1st July 2015 you will pay more to receive calls from mobile callers. This is because Ofcom have stipulated all providers of 0800 and 0808 numbers will now have to pay the call origination cost for calls made from a mobile, rather than the mobile phone user. You may see an increase in calls to these numbers as callers will no longer worry about the cost to call you from a mobile.

What are the alternatives? 

03 numbers have become very popular over the past few years. 033 numbers are charged to at the same or similar rate to a UK geographic call (01 and 02 numbers) and are often included in call bundles. This is the same for both landline and mobile callers. 03 numbers owners also pay the same rate to receive calls from UK landline and UK mobile and often the incoming pence per minute, is less than a Freephone number. If you would like to understand more about moving to 03 numbers please contact us.

If you make a call to an NGCS number from the 1st July 2015

When you make a telephone call to a service number – one beginning 08, 09, 118 – it’s not always clear how much it will cost.

That will soon change, under a new system that will make the costs of calling service numbers clear for everyone. It affects all calls from consumer mobiles and landlines to 08, 09 and 118 numbers.

You sometimes see information about the cost of calls, which looks something like this: “Calls cost 10p per minute from a BT landline. Other landlines may vary and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.”

This makes it hard to know the cost, unless you happen to be calling from a BT landline.

From the 1st July 2015, the cost of calling service numbers will be made up of two parts;

  • An access charge: This part of the call charge goes to your phone company, charged as pence per minute. They will tell you how much the access charge will be for calls to service numbers. It will be made clear in bill and when you take out a contract.
  • A service charge: This is the rest of the call charge. The organisation you are calling decides this, and will tell you how much it is.

These rules will apply to all consumer call to 084, 087, 09 and 18 numbers across the UK, delivering clearer call rates for everyone.

The changes do not affect calls made to ordinary landline number s (01, 02), 03 numbers or mobile (07) numbers. Neither do they affect calls made from payphones, international calls, or calls to the UK when roaming overseas. In addition, all Freephone numbers(which begin 0800 or 0808) are being made free for consumers to call from all phones, whether mobile or landline. Find out more about the Freephone change.

Ofcom have created the UK Calling website to help consumers and businesses understanding the changes at www.ukcalling.in