UK Calling will herald clear pricing for calls to service numbers beginning 08, 09 and 118.
On 1st July 2015 the charges for 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers will be split into constituent parts: organisations which use them will declare the bit they are responsible for — the Service Charge — and; telephone call companies will set out how much a customer pays to them — the Access Charge. The cost of any call will be the sum of the two charges.
At the same time, freephone numbers, which begin 0800 and 0808, will become free to call from all personal mobile telephone services.
Last year the Consumer Contracts Regulations came in and they mandate customer service lines be charged at no more than the Basic Rate. As a result, lots of companies have abandoned their 0844 and 0845 numbers.
UK Calling represents the final step in exposure of what’s been the case for years — the presence of the Service Charge. Those who can’t justify it will have to switch phone numbers.
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.