Hello John, Got A New Number?

Posted by Voipfone on August 30, 2014

Way back in the distant past, when the sun shone all day long (June 2014) the rules for telephone numbers displayed on websites changed

Now those of us that sell stuff online can’t use one of those expensive telephone numbers that many companies seem to favour. (Not Voipfone of course, ours is a bog standard geographic number and always has been; try it – 020 7043 5555 – we’ve got some really nice on-hold music if 10,000 of you try simultaneously. Really.)

Anyway, I was buying something online from a well known organisation this week – ok, it was the Londoneye – and was amused to see it still using a nasty 0870 number, it seems that often these changes don’t get fully communicated. This is doubly dumb as 0870 numbers now don’t pay a revenue share so all the company is doing is annoying the customer for no financial gain.

Customer Services
09.00 to 17.00 Monday to Sunday
Telephone: +44 (0)870 990 8883
Fax: +44 (0)870 400 3006
Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras

Here’s the official guidance for anyone that missed it. Of course we’re happy to help anybody find a nice, shiny, new, compliant, telephone number if necessary 😉

1. Where a telephone helpline is provided, the basic rate requirement means not charging more than a geographic or mobile rate. Consumers should generally expect to pay no more to phone a trader about something they have bought than to call a friend or relative, that is to say the simple cost of connection. This telephone number provided should not provide the trader with a contribution to their costs

2. The following numbers, if used by traders, would comply with the regulations:

Geographic numbers or numbers which are always set at the same rate, which usually begin with the prefix 01, 02, or 03;

Calls which can be free of charge to call, for example, 0800 and 0808 numbers. In certain circumstances charges to these numbers can be applied, for example, for those ringing from a mobile. However, OFCOM’s proposed reforms will mean these numbers will soon become free in all circumstances;

Mobile numbers, which usually begin with the prefix 07.

3. Premium rate numbers would not comply. They begin with the prefix 09.

4. Other revenue sharing numbers would not comply. These are numbers in which a portion of the call charge can be used to either provide a service or make a small payment to the trader. These usually have the prefix 084 or 0871, 0872 or 0873.

5. Numbers with the prefix 0870 are not revenue sharing numbers. However, they can be higher than a geographic cost, and will vary depending on the tariff of the consumer’s telecom company. They would therefore not comply. Following OFCOM reforms in 2015 these numbers will permit revenue sharing and in any case would no longer comply with the basic rate requirements.

6. OFCOM has ensured those wishing to change from a 0845 number have access to 03 numbers where the only change will be the substitution of the digit ‘3’ instead of the ‘8’ in the prefix.


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