Ofcom have published their final statement setting out changes to the regulation of non-geographic calls confirming the following decisions:
- Freephone will mean free. Calls made by consumers to 080 number ranges from all devices (including mobiles) will be free.
- Call charges will be split for 084 and 087 numbers. The current call charge for calls made by consumers to the 084 & 087 number ranges will be unbundled and split between an access charge and a service charge.
Ofcom has decided that these changes will be implemented in summer 2015 – anticipated to be 1st July 2015.
What's the impact of 080 being free to call?
If you use an 080 number, you can advertise with complete confidence that calls to that 080 number are always free – regardless of what device or network are used to make the call.
The flip-side of this new policy from Ofcom means that clients with 080 numbers will have to pay more to ensure calls from mobiles are free.
Our clients will be charged dependent on whether the origin of the call is from a landline or mobile, not on whether the destination number is a landline or mobile.
084 and 087 call charges are changing too
If you use an 084 or 087 number range for your business, you will need to change your current call charge description to let consumers know how much they are being charged for the call (the service charge).
For example, if your current description is:
"This call will cost you X pence per minute on a BT line, other landline providers may vary and calls on mobiles may cost considerably more."
You will need to change it to the following:
"This call will cost you X pence per minute plus your phone company’s access charge."
Frequently Asked Questions
Does this change affect me?
This change will only affect you if you use 080, 084 or 087 numbers. Numbers beginning with 01, 02 and 03 are not affected.
I use 080 numbers, what changes are happening, how will they affect my business and is there a cost implication?
080 numbers will now be free to call from anywhere, including mobiles.
The caller can phone your numbers in complete confidence that they will not be charged. The change to you is that calls to 080 numbers will now be charged depending on whether they are dialled from a UK landline or mobile number as opposed to where they connect to.
If you would like to see where the majority of your calls come from at the moment, let us know and we will show you where to find this on Mediahawk’s reporting platform.
I use 084 and/or 087 numbers, what changes are happening and how will they affect my business? Is there a cost implication?
084 and 087 numbers will change cost-wise to the consumer. Currently, BT and other providers charge a fixed fee to 'set-up' the call (normally around 15ppm). Under these new regulations this 'set-up fee' will no longer be charged, however the pence per minute cost will rise as a result.
You will need to place a statement where the number is advertised to state the cost of the call per minute PLUS your phone company's access charge. Mediahawk can provide you with suggested wording and costings as we have these details from Ofcom.
Why are Ofcom making this change?
Ofcom have decided to make this change because there is a lack of transparency about how much calls cost consumers. These changes are designed to make sure consumers know exactly how much they will be charged for making a phone call.
You will need to post a clear statement on your website explaining how much the call will cost plus their phone company's access charge. The reason for this is so that the consumer knows how their phone call charge is distributed.
I don't want to advertise the cost of the call in case this puts callers off. What can I do?
Ofcom anticipates that the changes will come in to effect on 1st July 2015. However, remember that you do not have to display the cost of the call if you use 080, 01, 02 or 03 numbers.
Alternatively, you have plenty of time to swap the numbers you are using.
We can provide 03 numbers which have all the benefits of a geographic number, such as minutes included within mobile call plans, without being location specific – or we can provide you with geographic numbers.
If you have any queries about Ofcom’s forthcoming changes and how these affect your business specifically, please get in touch.