Will your promo material need amending after july 1st?

Paul Youngs, Printbox UK

I've said for ages that non-geographic telephone numbers are a great way to turn OFF your customers as they are rarely included by all inclusive call plans but July 1st 2015 sees a major change in the way that call costs for 084, 087 and 09 numbers are declared with implications for all businesses still using these numbers.

These changes will require you to review anywhere that these numbers appear; i.e. printed items, websites etc etc

The current arrangements call for adverting to show something along the lines of
“Calls cost Xp per minute from a BT landline, other landline providers and mobile operators may charge more.”

Ofcom have had a long rethink and decided to split the call cost into two parts, each separately declared. They have also produced a handy three minute video to explain as well as an informational website at http://ukcalling.info/ , with more detailed information.

The responsibilty to declare the Access Charge lies with the caller’s phone provider.

The Service Charge must be declared by the service provider (the organisation/business that receives the calls) and the requirements have been extended to apply to all such numbers wherever they are shown, not just in adverts but on websites, brochures and leaflets.

Organisations & businesses now have only a few months to update their marketing and informational materials to declare their Service Charge – else change their number to stop imposing it.

Any statement along the lines of:
“Calls incur a Xp per minute Service Charge on top of your phone provider’s Access Charge”
“Calls cost Xp per minute plus your phone provider’s Access Charge.” is likely to comply. In some cases, CAP (cap.org.uk) can also advise.

Note that some calls have a “cost per call” element instead of, or in addition to, the “cost per minute” element.

Those organisations who are unable to justify imposing a Service Charge on callers must change their number to one that does not impose it. Ofcom made the 03 range of numbers available in 2007 specifically for this purpose.

03 numbers offer exactly the same technical benefits as an 08 or 09 number but without loading additional costs on to the caller. Calls to 03 numbers always cost the same as calling an 01 or 02 geographic number. In many cases, this means the call is inclusive within the caller’s monthly allowance and incurs no additional costs.

Ofcom has specifically reserved the 034 and 037 ranges for those who wish to migrate their 084 and 087 numbers. The change of number involves only the alteration of a single digit: the “8” becomes a “3”.

So there you have it, there are imminent changes that you need to make if you offer one of these numbers but whatever you decide to do, Printbox UK can guide you through the process of updating your business stationery and marketing materials.

For more info take a look at the Fair Telecoms Campaign  and the UK Calling website.

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