UK Calling initiative simplifies call charges

If your business currently uses 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers then you need to be aware of changes taking place that will simplify call charges to these numbers. The new charging system (the access and service charges) applies to calls made from residential lines and consumer mobile phones. Phone operators will continue to have flexibility over how they charge for these calls from business phones.

UK Calling is a new Ofcom initiative coming into play from 1st July, which aims to make the cost of calling these service numbers clearer for everyone.

Under the new UK Calling rules the cost of calling 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers will be made up of two parts:

  • An access charge – This is the cost that your phone line provider charges you per minute
  • A service charge – This is the remainder of the call charge, and is decided by the organisation you’re calling.

These changes will apply to any calls and voice services user regardless of who provides the service.

The changes don’t affect calls made to 01, 02 or 03 numbers, or calls to mobile (07) numbers.

Calls to numbers beginning with 0800 or 0808 will also now be free for you to call from mobiles, as well as from landlines. That means no access charge, and no service charge.

What you need to do

 1) Speak to the company that provides your 08 or 09 telephone number.

2) Ask them to confirm the service charge for your number or numbers.

3) Decide if the service charge is suitable. 

4) Review all your materials and advertising. 

 If your business or organisation is contacted on a number beginning 084, 087, 09 or 118, you must ensure that your service charge is clearly displayed wherever you advertise or promote that number. The service charge should be prominent and in close proximity to the number itself. The recommended form of wording is:

Calls cost xp [or xp per minute] plus your phone company’s access charge.”

This is likely to mean that your service charge should be provided alongside the related number in all communications directed towards current or potential users of the service, where the use of the number is promoted or advertised.

Finally, if you use a Freephone number to be contacted, you may wish to discuss with your provider the implications of calls to your organisation becoming free from mobile phones.

 

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