UK Calling heralds clear call pricing service numbers which begin 08, 09 and 118. It’s a major landmark in our campaign to clean-up these numbers.
From 1st July 2015 the charges for 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers are split into constituent parts: organisations which use them must declare the bit they are responsible for — the Service Charge — and; telephone call companies must set out how much a customer pays to them — the Access Charge. The cost of any call is the sum of the two charges.
Also as part of UK Calling, freephone numbers, which begin 0800 and 0808, will become free to call from all mobile telephone services for the first time.
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 already 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 must switch phone numbers!
Illegal NHS GP Service Charges must be declared
UK Calling means NHS GP surgeries still using 0844 and 0845 numbers must declare their Service Charges, which are up to 7 pence per minute. This is a flagrant breach the first principle of our NHS which is that it is free at the point of need! We recently published a list of 90 such cases.
Government use of 084 numbers
The Cabinet Office issued guidance on telephone numbering within Government. It says that geographic rate numbers, which begin 01, 02 and 03, should be the default choice.