Is your website ready for Ofcom's new regulations for non-geographic phone numbers?

On 1st July 2015 Ofcom will adjust the structure of non-geographic call charges. Ofcom has taken the decision to make these pricing changes, because of the confusion that currently surrounds the price of calls to non-geographic service numbers.

Which numbers are affected?

The changes by Ofcom will affect service numbers that start with 084, 087, 09 and 118. Presently, the cost of calling these numbers varies, and customers are not aware of how much they will be charged unless they are using a BT landline. All that will change on 1 July when UK Calling comes into effect.

UK Calling Explained

UK Calling will simplify the way charges to non-geographic numbers are calculated and advertised. Under the new regulations, the charge for a non-geographic number will consist of the following:

  • Access charge - A pence per minute charge set by the caller's phone company, as payment for facilitating connection to the service.
  • Service charge - This charge is set by the service provider of the non-geographic number, and may be shared with the company that uses the number.

Also on 1st July, Freephone numbers beginning 0800 and 0808 which are already free to landline customers, will also be free to mobile users.

What you need to say on your website

If your company operates a non-geographic number, your website will have to be updated with information advising of the new pricing. This should be done in accordance with the message wording set out under the Ofcom regulations. Your number should therefore be advertised as '0845-000-000 - Calls cost Xp per minute plus your phone company’s access charge'.

Possible penalties for non-compliance

There will be penalties for non-compliance, and these will be enforced by Phonepay Plus, and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

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