Ofcom changes to Non-Geographic Numbers from 1st July 2015

 

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

Research has shown that consumers 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 costs transparent, easier to understand and encourage increased use among consumers.

What is happening?

Under the new system the cost of calling service numbers will be clear for everyone. It is called UK Calling and it is the biggest change to telephone calls in over a decade.

The key changes being introduced from 1st July 2015 are:

You can download a list of Service Charges to 118 numbers here.

Download a list of Ofcom service charges effective from 1st July 2015 here

If you operate an 084, 087, 09 or 118 number

What does this mean to you?

What it means to you? 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.

What do I need to do? From 1st July 2015 wherever the telephone number you own is advertised, it’s your responsibility to ensure the service charge is clearly displayed in a prominent position. For example:

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

If you'’d like to seek further advice, we recommend you refer to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

If you operate a Freephone number (0800 and 0808)

What it means to you? From the 1st July 2015 you will pay more to receive calls from mobile callers. This is because Ofcom has 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 do I need to do? Unless you wish to change your Freephone number to an alternative prefix, you need to do nothing.

What other Non-Geographuc number types are available?

033 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.

033 number owners also pay the same rate to receive calls from UK landline and UK mobiles and often the incoming pence per minute, is less than a Freephone number. If you would like to understand more about moving to 033 numbers please contact us.

How do I know what the Service Charge for 084, 087, 09 or 118 number will be?

The Service Charge has been set by the range holder for each number range. The specific Service Charge for the number/s you own can be found using the list on the OFCOM website.

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/numbering/index.htm#service

The Service Charge is displayed inclusive of VAT.

What will I be charged to receive calls on my 084, 087, 09 or 118 number from
1st July 2015?

For more information, a specific website has been launched by OFCOM to explain the changes in detail for both consumers and business www.ukcalling.info

Where can I find out more? Useful Links

Ofcom have created the UK Calling website to help consumers and businesses understand the changes http://www.ukcalling.info/

The OFCOM Master list of Service Charges can be found at  http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/numbering/index.htm#service

Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)  http://asa.org.uk/industry-advertisers

The Non Geographic Call Services (NGCS) review and final statement  http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/simplifying-non-geo-no/final-statement

If you make a call to a non-geographic number from 1st July 2015

What'’s changing?

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

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

How it works now

You sometimes see information about the cost of calls, which looks something like this:

“

Calls cost 20p 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.

How it works in the future

From 1 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 on bills 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.

Let'’s take an example.

Say your particular phone company charges you 5p per minute for calls to service numbers,– that is their access charge. And let’'s say the service charge for a particular number you want to call is 20p per minute. In that case, you would see information like this:

“Calls cost 20p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.”

In this particular example, the call would cost 20p per minute (the service charge), plus 5p per minute (the access charge). So the call would cost you 25p per minute.

Which numbers are affected

These rules will apply to all consumer calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers across the UK, delivering clearer call rates for everyone.

The changes do not affect calls made to ordinary landline numbers (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.

Freephone

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.

Where can I find out more?

Ofcom have created the UK Calling website to help consumers and businesses understand the changes www.ukcalling.info