Ofcom Changes

Changes for Non-Geographic Numbers from 1st July 2015

Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, is making changes to the way consumers are charged for calling service numbers (08 & 09 numbers) which come in to effect from the 1st July 2015. Although Isle of Man businesses are not required to follow Ofcom regulations, the Isle of Man Communications Commission and Wi-Manx have decided it would be best to implement the same changes as are happening across the UK. This document is to inform our customers of any changes that may affect them.

The changes being introduced are designed to make the associated costs of calling such numbers transparent, easier to understand and encourage increased use among consumers as research found that consumers have been confused about the cost they are being charged for calling these types of numbers, and therefore avoid calling them. Be sure to keep up to date with this page, as details and charges may change.

What is happening?

The charges involved with calling service numbers will now be clearer for everyone. The ‘UK Calling’ initiative is the biggest change to telephone calls in over a decade.

The key changes introduced from 1st July 2015 are:

  1. Freephone numbers (0800 and 0808) will become free to call from mobiles as well as landlines, and accordingly companies operating Freephone numbers will pay an increased amount to receive calls from mobile callers.
  2. The cost to call 084, 087, & 09 numbers will be split into two parts;
  • An Access Charge– stipulated by the caller’s phone service provider, and
  • A Service Charge– set by the number range holding network, and will be promoted by the organisation offering the service. Our pricing will be updated accordingly. Please ensure you read this information to acquaint yourself with the new pricing.

 

Key Changes to Rates

  1. From the 1st July 2015, our Standard Access Charge for NGCS calls will be 9ppm (inc VAT).
  2. From the 1st July 2015, 0800/0808 Freephone numbers will carry a Mobile Originating Levy of 6ppm + VAT in addition to the standard Freephone rate.

FAQs

If you operate an 084, 087, or 09 number

What does this mean for you?

It is a requirement for you to advertise the cost of calling these numbers in a way that is compliant with regularity requirements stipulated by Ofcom, PhonePay Plus and the Advertising Standards Agency. The price for paying or receiving to your 084, 087, or 09 may change.

What do I need to do?

It is your responsibility to ensure the service charge is clearly shown in a prominent position wherever and whenever the telephone number you own is advertised from 1st July 2015.

For example:

  • Currently your number might be advertised similarly to: “0845 xxx xxx- Calls cost 4p per minute from a BT landline, charges from operations will vary and calls form mobiles will cost considerably more.”
  • From 1st July your number must be advertised: “0845 xxx xxxx- Calls cost 2p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.”

If you would like further information, we recommend you refer to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

 

If you operate a Freephone number (0800 and 0808)

What it means to you?

Ofcom has stipulated all providers of 0800 and 0808 numbers will now have to pay the call origination cost for calls made from a mobile, rather than the mobile user. Therefore from 1st July you will pay more to receive calls from mobile callers. You may also see an increase in calls to these numbers as callers will no longer be concerned about the cost to call you from a mobile.

What do I need to do?

You do not need to do anything unless you would prefer to change your Freephone number.

What other Non-Geographic number types are available?

03 numbers have become very popular over the past few years. 03 numbers are charged at the same or similar rate to a UK geographic call (01 and 02 numbers) and are often included in call bundles. This is the same for both landline and mobile callers.

Please contact us if you would like to understand more about moving to 03 numbers.

How do I know what the Service Charge for 084, 087, or 09 number will be?

For each number range, the service charge has been set. To find out the specific Service Charge for the number/s you own, please contact your number provider.

Where can I find out more? Useful Links

  • Ofcom have created the specific UK Calling website to help consumers and businesses understand the changes – www.ukcalling.info
  • Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) – asa.org.uk
  • The Non Geographic Call Services (NGCS) review and final statement – stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk

 

If you make a call to a non-geographic number from 1st July 2015

What’s changing?

It is not always clear how much a call will cost when you make a telephone call to a service number beginning with 08, or 09.

This will be changing very soon, under a new system that will make the cost of calling service numbers a clear process for everyone. It will affect all calls from consumer mobiles and landlines to 08, and 09 numbers.

How it works now

You can often see information about the cost of calls which can look similar to the below:

“Calls cost 20p per minute from a BT landline, other landlines may vary and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.”

This makes it difficult to know what the cost is unless you are calling from a BT landline.

How it will work in the future

The cost of calling service numbers will be made up of two parts from 1st July 2015:

  1. An access charge: This part of the charge goes to your phone company, charged as pence per minute. The phone company will tell you how much the access charge will be for calls to service numbers. The charge will be made clear on bills and when you take out a contract.
  2. A service charge: This makes up the rest of the call charge. The organisation you are calling decides this and will tell you how much this is.

Let’s take an example:

Say your particular phone company charges you 5p per minute for calls to service numbers – that is their access charge. And let’s say the service charge for a particular number you want to call is 10p per minute. In that case, you would see information like this:

“Calls cost 10p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.”

In this particular example, the call would cost 10p per minute (the service charge), plus 5p per minute (the access charge). So the call would cost you 15p per minute.

Which numbers are affected?

These rules apply to all consumer calls to 084, 087, and 09 numbers across the UK, delivering clearer call rates for everyone.

All ordinary landline numbers (01,02), 03 numbers or mobile (07 numbers) will not be affected by these changes. Neither do they affect calls made from payphones, international calls, or calls to the UK when roaming overseas.

Freephone

All Freephone numbers (which begin 0800 or 0808) are being made free for consumers to call from all phones, whether mobile or landline.

Find out more about the Freephone change.

Where can I find out more?

Ofcom have created the UK Calling website to help consumers and businesses understand the changes –www.ukcalling.info