Clearer call rates from 1st July 2015

Published on 01st Jun 2015 in Tech

Changes to Freephone Numbers

UK Calling

What is changing?

On the 1st July 2015 new Ofcom regulations are coming into effect for freephone numbers.

  • All freephone numbers (which begin 0800 or 0808) are being made free for consumers to call from all phones, whether mobile or landline.
  • Historically, these calls have generally been free when dialled from a landline, but mobile users are usually charged for calling them.
  • The cost of calling your freephone numbers from a mobile will now be passed to you:
    • Previously: 3.5p per minute from landline, and will continue to be so.
    • Now: An extra charge of 4p per minute when a customer calls you from a mobile, totalling 7.5p per minute.
  • Great news for consumers as there will be an improved consumer user experience - no need to redial Freephone numbers.

What does this mean?

  • The cost will be passed to you rather than being picked up by the consumer.
  • If you do not want to be charged these additional charges, then you will need to change from a freephone number type to another number type before the 1st July 2015.

Changes to the service numbers

On the 1st July 2015 new Ofcom regulations are coming into effect for service numbers. The cost to the consumer of calling a service number will now be made up of two clear parts:

  • An access charge: This part of the call charge goes to the caller’s phone company, charged as pence per minute.
  • A service charge: This is the rest of the call charge. The organisation you are calling decides this, and will tell you how much it is.

Access Charge + Service Charge

Example of charges

  • Your telephone provider e.g. BT, Virgin or Talk Talk might charge 2p per minute for calls to 0844/3 – that is their access charge. And the service charge, for example, would be 7p per minute. In this example the call would cost you 9p per minute.
  • Currently companies advertising 0844/0843 numbers use a call charge description next to their number similar to this: “Calls to this number will cost you 5p per minute from a BT land line, other landline providers may vary and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.”
  • Ofcom expect an updated description following this format: “Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.”

What do you need to do by 1st July 2015?

  • You will need to change the wording on your website by 1st July 2015.
  • Under the new structure Ofcom expect the descriptions in the new format: “This call will cost you 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.”
  • The 7 pence per minute is the new charge being set by Ofcom for 0844/0843 numbers (inclusive of VAT) from the 1st of July 2015, this is a slight increase to the standard BT rate.

If you have any questions, please contact our support team.

Senior Digital Marketing Manager

Alex Worth
Senior Digital Marketing Manager

Digital marketing enthusiast at Infinity and when not at work is kept on her toes by two cheeky little boys.

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