- Service numbers (084, 087, 09 and 118) | There are several strands of action to ‘clean’ these up:
- clear pricing brought in by Ofcom as part of UK Calling, including the requirement for all users to declare their Service Charge;
- the Consumer Contracts Regulations (CCR), which require customer helplines cost no more than the basic rate;
- regulation by the FCA on financial firms requiring customer helplines to cost no more than the basic rate (because the CCR doesn’t apply to them), and;
- a move away from 084 numbers by the public-sector.
- Use of 084 numbers in the NHS | These are banned in England and Wales, but many GPs and other service providers, such as hospitals, continue with their use regardless. In November 2013 NHS England wrote to affected practices telling them that they will be in breach of contract if they fail to take all reasonable steps to see that patients don’t call expensive 084 numbers to speak to them.
- ICSS | Information, Connection and/or Signposting Services provide expensive telephone numbers for contacting companies and organisations in place of the cheap telephone numbers provided by the organisation itself. The Fair Telecoms Campaign is pushing for tighter regulation of these services.
- Nuisance calls | People are plagued by these and we are campaigning for sector regulators in problem sectors to ban the use of the telephone for making marketing calls, and for a single agency to be set-up where all reports of nuisance calls be directed.
The issues listed above are those of current focus for the campaign. We’re always open to suggestions for other issues that the campaign may focus on.