Ofcom announces clear call rates for everyone

On 1st July this year, the communications regulator Ofcom is introducing a new initiative called UK Calling. It’s the biggest change to telephone calls in over a decade and is designed to make it easier for the consumer to understand how much it costs to call 08, 09 and 118 numbers.

This blog describes the changes and at the end how Mediahawk can assist you through this.

Freephone numbers will now be free from both mobiles and landlines

All numbers starting 0800 or 0808 will become free for consumers to call from mobile phones, as they are currently from landlines.

At present, calls to Freephone numbers from mobiles typically cost the consumer between 14p and 40p per minute.

From 1st July, the way 080 call charges are billed will also change. Rather than the call charge being based on where you route your service numbers to, the charge will depend on whether your customers use landlines or mobiles to dial your number. We will be in touch when these new charges are made available to us, it will be communicated to you.

What’s the impact on my business?

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 that call.

Calls to 084 and 087 numbers will now be made up of two parts

From 1 July 2015, the cost of calling 08, 09 and 118 numbers will be broken down into two parts:

  • An access charge: This part is what your phone company charges you for these calls (per minute).
  • A service charge: This is the rest of the call charge. The organisation you’re calling decides how much this charge will be and, legally, you will have to advertise this.

Ofcom requires all telecoms providers to introduce these changes. It will affect all calls from residential landlines and mobiles to all 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers. To find out more, go to ukcalling.info.

What do I need to do to comply?

If you use a 084 or 087 number range for your business, you are required 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.”

How Mediahawk can help

Geographic numbers or 03 numbers are not subject to any of the above changes.

If you would like to change your Mediahawk numbers to Geographic or 03 numbers, we are more than happy to do this for you. We will offer you a period of time where you can run these alongside your current numbers free of charge before removing the older numbers from your account.

For more information on this please contact Client Services.

About the author - Natalia Selby

Marketing Executive at Mediahawk, with 20 years experience in analytics and content management.