Telephone Call Charges To Be Made ‘Clearer’

As a result of many consumer complaints, telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced consumers will soon be benefiting from simpler landline and mobile charges. The UK Calling campaign is to provide clearer pricing structures for calls to numbers beginning with 08, 09 and 119, which are referred to in the telecoms industry as “Service numbers”.

The changes follow Ofcom research which revealed consumers are confused about how much calls to service numbers cost. These new changes are scheduled to come into force on Wednesday, 1st July 2015, and will impact not only the costing of calls, but also how the numbers may be advertised.

Currently, calls to 0800 and 0808 numbers from mobile phones can be charged. From 1st July, calls to these numbers will become free to the caller, regardless of whether the caller is using a landline or mobile phone.

Free to the caller, but at a cost to the business

Under the new Ofcom rules, customers dialing service numbers will be given details of the access charge which goes to their phone company, plus the service charge determined by the company or organisation they’re calling.

If you’re a business who utilises a 0800 or 0808 number, the cost for you receive such calls will be impacted. Actual costs have yet to be finalised by telecoms providers, however, the cost of receiving calls from a mobile is likely to be greater than the current cost of receiving calls from landlines.

Ed Richards, former chief executive of Ofcom, said: “For a long time there has been a lack of transparency in the cost of calling 08, 09 and 118 numbers. The existing rules are no longer serving the interest of consumers, or indeed phone services.

“These changes will be very significant for UK telephone consumers and are designed to help build consumers’ confidence in using the full range of phone services.

“Service numbers will be advertised much more clearly, and phone bills will look a little different. We want telephone users to be comfortable with the changes, so we’ll be working closely with phone companies and consumer groups to get the message across as clearly as possible.”

The changes described in detail can be found here.

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