Why The Premium Call Ban Has Been Misunderstood

With just one month to go until companies are banned from using premium numbers for complaints lines, we at alldayPA felt it was high time that the misconceptions surrounding the legal reforms were laid to rest.

As of June 13th, it will be against the law for businesses to use expensive 084 and 087 numbers to field customer complaints. The government announced in December 2013 that people who have a grievance should only be charged a basic rate when contacting a company, with consumer minister Jo Swinson insisting that “it really is unfair” that customers are being stung by expensive calls.

Unfortunately, it appears that some people have misinterpreted the regulations.

084 and 087 numbers have NOT been completely banned

We cannot stress enough that the impending legislation is designed to ban the use of premium numbers on designated complaints lines only. This certainly doesn’t mean that companies that use these lines in other areas of their business are breaking any laws.

Nevertheless, it seems the new regulations have prompted many organisations to introduce local rate numbers across their entire business, and with over 50,000 UK phone numbers in our possession, this is something alldayPA can help you with.

The government believes the reforms will actually boost the profits of businesses in the long run, as consumers will be more likely to spend money if the rules regarding customer complaints and queries are more transparent. The Consumer Rights Bill will also bring the UK in line with the EU’s Consumer Rights Directive of 2011, which gives customers more rights when purchasing goods throughout EU member states.

The race is on

While we’ve established that the law does not mean a blanket ban on premium rate calls, it is important that companies update their complaints lines over the next four weeks if they want to avoid a hefty penalty.

A number of high-profile firms have announced changes in the past month, with TSB being the first national bank to abolish 0845 numbers in favour of 0345 lines. The organisation conducted a study that showed 82 per cent of Britons avoid calling service providers because of the high costs involved.

Almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of consumers also stated they would hang up if they were kept on hold by a business because they didn’t want to rack up excessive charges. In addition to this, the research confirmed that the vast majority (94 per cent) of Britons do not realise that 0345 numbers are part of inclusive minutes for both landlines and mobiles. Around 35 per cent of the country have never even come across a 0345 number, the study also discovered.

This goes to show there is a general lack of awareness when it comes to call charges in the UK, and we hope this latest legal reform will help to change this in the long term.

Do you think the incoming law will make a big difference to the customer service industry?