Businesses told to beware of changes to non-geographic numbers

Businesses need to be aware of changes being introduced by communications regulator Ofcom to the way consumers are charged for calling non-geographic numbers, says leading Yorkshire telecoms specialist NGC Networks.

Ofcom says people can be confused about how much it costs to call numbers starting 08, 09 and 118 and its ‘UK Calling’ changes will make the costs more transparent and easier to understand.

The new rules come into force on 1 July 2015 and a key change will see Freephone numbers become free from mobiles as well as landlines which could result in an increased cost of operating an 0800 or 0808 number.

In addition, the cost to call service numbers – those starting 084, 087, 09 and 118 – will be split into two parts – an access charge (stipulated by the caller’s phone company) and a service charge (promoted by the organisation providing the service) meaning businesses will be required to advertise clearly the cost of calling a non-geographic number.

NGC Networks director Nikki Guest said: “Non-geographic numbers are popular with many businesses, particularly those providing a customer service function.

“We anticipate an increase in companies wanting 03 numbers as they are charged at a standard geographic rate for the consumer and the cost to receive the call is likely to be less than a freephone call.

“We are currently advising our own clients so they are fully prepared for the regulatory changes, and other businesses using non-geographic numbers should also seek guidance well in advance of the July implementation.”

NGC Networks is co-hosting the Business Technology Forum on 14 May at The Village Hotel, Leeds during which there will be a range of seminars including one on the imminent changes to non-geographic numbers.

The event provides the opportunity to explore the latest advances in technology for business and hear from industry leaders – book your place at www.businesstechforum.co.uk

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Nikki Guest

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