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New rules set to affect businesses using non-geographical phone numbers

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Businesses across the UK are set to be affected by new Ofcom proposals on the use of non-geographic telephone numbers.

Wakefield-based telecoms specialist NGC Networks is advising companies who use the numbers – such as 0845 and 0844 – to be aware of the new rules which are likely to become law later this month.

Non-geographic numbers are used by a range of businesses providing a customer service function.

They are popular with financial services firms, utility companies and other organisations which often operate across multiple sites and experience high volumes of customer calls.

Ofcom says consumers find non-geographic numbers confusing and it wants to improve confidence in them by simplifying the call costs.

At the same time, the EU is ruling that businesses using 0845 and 0844 must provide consumers with a UK-rated number – 03 or 0800 – to use in the event of any post-sales call by a consumer.

NGC Networks director Nikki Guest said:

“Many of our clients are affected by the proposals and we are advising them on what they need to do.

“Many more businesses will be in a similar position and they should seek support now to be sure they are in a good position when the proposals finally become law.”

“In addition, Ofcom is also looking at the cost of mobile calls made to 0800 numbers. “This will also have a big impact on businesses – Ofcom want to be sure mobile calls to 0800 numbers are genuinely free.”

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Nikki Guest

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