How do the changes to 08 numbers affect your business?
Big changes are just around the corner in the telecoms industry regarding the costs to call certain numbers.
Ofcom, the communications regulator, has taken action to make it much clearer to consumers exactly how much it costs to call Freephone numbers 0800 and 0808 and Service numbers starting 084, 087, 09 and 118.
What does this mean for businesses?
If you’re using a Freephone number customers will be able to call you for free from a landline or mobile great this should increase the number of calls you receive. But from 1st July mobile providers will be able to charge the business using the Freephone number at a ‘fair and reasonable rate’… read into that what you want but the fact is if you receive a high volume of calls to your Freephone number from mobiles your costs could, and probably will, increase – significantly!
Have you got a service number starting 084, 087, 09 or 118? Then from the July 1st you’ll have to provide a breakdown of the costs to make the call – this is made up of two parts:
Access Charge - this is set by the caller’s phone company
Service Charge - set and paid to the organisation being called and the provider of the number
What does this mean for consumers?
The changes should make it simpler to understand how much a call will actually cost. Previously call charges were described as
“Calls cost 5p per minute from a BT Landline. Other networks may vary and calls from mobile will be considerably more”
With the changes you’ll know exactly how much the call will cost them. And best of all for consumers it’s now completely free to call Freephone numbers even from mobiles, making life much simpler for everyone.
So what do I need to do?
1. If you use a Freephone number speak to your number provider to find out how the changes will affect your costs.
2. If you use a service number (084, 087, 09 or 118) then you need to review all your advertisements and marketing material. You must display the service charge clearly, prominently and close to the telephone number.
For example: “Calls will cost Xp per minute plus your phone provider’s access charge.”
The above information is as a guide only. If you use a telephone number affected by the changes your telecoms company or number provider should contact you to inform you of the changes and their charges.
The latest information and guidance can be found on the UK Calling website. www.UKCalling.info