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UK Calling Charge Changes are nearly here......
Following our recent notification about UK Calling changes due to take place on the 1stJuly 2015.
Ofcom, the communications regulator, is making changes to the way consumers are charged for calling services beginning 08. Research carried out by Ofcom has shown that people are confused about how much it costs to call these service numbers, and as a result avoid using them. The changes being introduced will make the costs more transparent and easier to understand.
The key changes being introduced on 1st July 2015 are:
Freephone numbers will become free to call from mobiles as well as landlines – as a result there will be an increased cost of operating an 0800 or 0808 number, but the size of the increase will depend on the balance of calls that are received from callers dialling from a landline or a mobile, there will be a surcharge for all callers dialling from their mobile
The cost to call service numbers (that’s those starting 084, 087, 09 & 118) will be split into two parts;
an access charge, which will be stipulated by the caller’s phone company,
and a service charge, which will be promoted by the organisation offering the service
From the 1st of July, calls to your Freephone number(s) that originate from mobile phones will attract a levy of a few pence per minute. The impact on your organisation will depend on the amount of calls that originate from mobile phones.
You may wish to consider migrating to a UK Wide 03 number which is less costly than 0800 / 0808 numbers and does not attract a levy.
What you need to do
Review all your promotional materials, website and advertising. When the new system comes into effect, companies and organisations that provide services using 084, 087, 09 or 118 numbers will be required to communicate charges clearly. Wherever you advertise or promote one of these numbers, you must ensure that the relevant service charge is displayed in a prominent position, and in close proximity to the telephone number in all cases.
Check the wording, as an example, a statement along the lines of “Calls will cost 5 pence per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge” is likely to be considered compliant – but we recommend you seek individual advice from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) at asa.org.uk/industry -advertisers and visit the CAP (Committee of Advertising Practise) website for information about the types of marketing materials you need to update.
Your new pricing information must be ready to go in your advertising, promotional material and communications from the point of change, which is expected to be 1st July 2015.
We’ve published some FAQ’s on our website to answer any questions you may have and provide more information about the changes. You can view these at: http://www.divatelecom.co.uk/useful/faq
This is a major change within the industry and our carriers have been working closely with Ofcom and other communications providers in determining the new system. We’re confident this will provide a fair and simpler system for consumers.
From your perspective it’s also a good opportunity to review the way your customers contact you and make some changes if necessary.
Please do share this information with anyone else in your organisation that will need to know; marketing and communications teams, finance, or any other teams in your organisation that actively use service numbers, so they can start preparing themselves for the changes too.
We would be delighted to help you with your review, please call us on 0330 333 0330 for advice or to arrange a meeting.
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