Changes to 08, 09 and 118 numbers confirmed
In December 2013 Ofcom confirmed that the Unbundled Tariff will be implemented by June 2015. Phone companies and users of 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers have just over 18 months to prepare. Also, calls to freephone numbers, which begin 0800 and 0808, will become free-to-call from mobile phones.
Consumer Rights Directive
As well as the Unbundled Tariff, the EU Consumer Rights Directive will result in a major shake-up of customer service phonelines. It stipulates post-contract customer helplines not to cost more than the “basic rate”.
The resulting UK law means companies have to give up their 0844, 0845 and 0871 phone numbers for customer enquiries, including complaints. They have until 13th June 2014 to move into compliance.
Government use of 084 numbers
The Cabinet Office has issued guidance on telephone numbering within Government. It says that geographic rate numbers, which begin 01, 02 and 03, should be the default choice.
Is your doctor still using an expensive number?
NHS England, the body which commissions GP services in England, has issued a letter to practices telling them they will be in breach of contract if they don’t take reasonable steps to stop charging premium rates. We suggest you print a copy and take it to your NHS GP Practice.