Ofcom Changes to Non-Geographic Numbers

Posted 11th May 2015
By Matt Watts

Question MapYou may well remember that changes were made to non-geographic numbers last year. These changes saw the rules amended to ensure that all consumers had a basic rate phone number to call for all after sales support and services

Ofcom have now moved to make all non-geographic call charges even clearer.  From July 1st 2015, phone numbers beginning 084x, 087x, 09, alongside 118 directory numbers will see their call charges split into two sections:

  • An access charge: This what the phone company itself makes, charged in pence per minute;
  • A service charge: The remaining charge, including any amount due to yourself. This amount will vary depending on which NGS number you are using. The list of our service charges by number can be found here

What do you need to do?

  1. Review your public facing materials e.g. advertising. As of July 1st 2015, you will need to display your service charge clearly alongside any non-geographic phone number. The guidelines state the charge should be “in close proximity” to the phone number.
  2. Ensure you are using the correct wording. For example, one of the most cited examples is “calls cost 10p per minute, plus your operator’s access charge.” If you would like further guidance on this please visit the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) website, here: asa.org.uk/industry-advertisers

This information will need to be ready to be used as of the 1st July, with existing, non-compliant wording and advertising being removed at the same time.

What else has changed?

You may also be interested to know that from July 1st, calls to 080 and 116 numbers will be free from mobile phones, whereas historically they were only free to call from landlines.

If you are using a Freephone number (such as 080x) you will now be charged to receive calls if the user is calling from a mobile.

For more information on all these changes, please visit:  http://www.ukcalling.info//whats-happening

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