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Ofcom UK Proposes to Make Calls to 0800 Numbers Free from all Phones

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 (11:19 am) - Score 781

Ofcom, the communications and media regulator, has today moved to simplify UK call charges by proposing to make all calls, from both fixed lines and mobile phones, to 0800 and 116 telephone numbers completely free. At present calls to 0800 numbers can, somewhat confusingly, still attract charges of up to 21p a minute from mobiles.

In addition, Ofcom will also seek to “clarify and simplify” how calls to 08, 09 and 118 numbers (i.e. information, banking, directory enquiry and entertainment services) are charged for, which will require operators to make their information both clear and transparent. This is especially important for consumers on non-BT services where the different charges can sometimes cause confusion.

Furthermore Ofcom will also remove some of the existing confusion that surrounds 0845/0870 numbers and “reinforce” the 03 range where the cost of calls are the same price as calling a geographic number (i.e. numbers staring in 01 or 02).

Ed Richards, CEO of Ofcom, said:

Consumers are often confused about how much they will pay to call these number ranges. Under our proposals, people will have much clearer information and there will be greater competition on prices.

By making calls to 0800 numbers free from all phones, we will clear up any uncertainty about making calls, especially from mobiles, to the benefit of consumers and service providers alike.”

This isn’t strictly ISP / broadband news but many people do take bundles and as a result such changes can have an impact upon the price you pay or your choice of provider. Ofcom aims to make a final decision on the new rules by early 2013. Its related consultation will be open until 27th June 2012.

Ofcom’s Simplifying Non-geographic Numbers Consultation
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/simplifying-non-geographic-no/…

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