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Caller ID Goes FREE from Zen Internet and Other UK Phone Providers

Saturday, September 1st, 2018 (7:50 am) - Score 6,188

Customers of the Rochdale-based ISP Zen Internet may like to know that a small but useful change will soon make the provider’s Caller ID feature, which is currently a chargeable add-on service that shows the incoming number on a digital handset, completely free to use. But all phone providers will have to do the same.

Apparently anybody with a telephone line from Zen will now be able to get Caller ID for free from 1st October 2018. “Regardless of whether or not you had the service before, everyone will get the service for free from 1 October by default. You don’t have to do anything – your phone will automatically start showing incoming caller ID from that date,” said Zen.

The change is by no means unique to Zen and stems from last year’s ruling by the UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, which banned providers from charging for caller display facilities (full details). Various other changes were also included in this to help tackle billing accuracy, debt collection, nuisance calls, complaints handling and support for those with disabilities.

Rule – Provision of Calling Line Identification Facilities

C6.2 Regulated Providers must provide Calling Line Identification Facilities, and enable them by default, unless they can demonstrate that it is not technically feasible or economically viable to do so.

C6.3 Regulated Providers must inform Subscribers if Calling Line Identification Facilities are not available on the service they are providing to those Subscribers.

C6.4 When providing Calling Line Identification Facilities, Regulated Providers must:
(a) ensure, so far as technically feasible, that any CLI Data provided with and/or associated with a call includes a valid, diallable Telephone Number which uniquely identifies the caller; and
(b) respect the privacy choices of End-Users.

C6.5 Regulated Providers must not charge Subscribers any additional or separate fee for access to or use of standard Calling Line Identification Facilities.

We can’t see many reasons why somebody would want to disable Called ID if it’s provided to them, but many digital handsets do usually offer a way to disable it if absolutely necessary. As usual it’s also worth considering that if providers suffer a loss of revenue in one area then it’s not uncommon for them to then find a way of recouping that from elsewhere (e.g. price rises), which is particularly true since Openreach still charge them for it.

Leave a Comment
11 Responses
  1. Avatar occasional factual says:

    “As usual it’s also worth considering that if providers suffer a loss of revenue in one area then it’s not uncommon for them to then find a way of recouping that from elsewhere (e.g. price rises”

    Plusnet did just that by adding £1 to every broadband contract when they announced that caller id would be free. And Plusnet have more broadband customers than telephone line rental customers so that was a very nice little earner for them. (Plusnet sell broadband without having to buy line rental from them but not the other way round)

    1. Avatar wireless pacman says:

      Are you sure you don’t mean that they provide broadband inclusive of line rental?

    2. Avatar occasionally factual says:

      No, Plusnet offer
      1. Broadband and line rental or;
      2. Broadband only (consumer must have a line rental contract elsewhere).

      No phone line only option.

      So they have less subscribers for option 1 than 2 as I’m aware of lots of category 2 customers.
      And lots of option 1 customers never paid for caller id.
      So Plusnet added the money to the broadband component when they had to offer free caller id. And now collect more money.

    3. Avatar wirelesspacman says:

      Interesting what you say about the number of Cat 2 customers, I had no idea they were so popular. Mind you, I also wasn’t even aware that this was something that Plusnet pushed! 🙂

  2. Avatar Dave77 says:

    By when must providers comply with free caller id?

    1. Avatar dave says:

      1st October 2018

  3. Avatar John says:

    I was getting charged for caller display on virgin but noticed on this month’s bill that caller display doesn’t show on bills anymore and yet I still have it as a active service

    1. Avatar BuckleZ says:

      I just asked Virgin and got…

      Thank you for your patience, I have checked the details and I can see that a caller display phone feature will cost £2.25 per month for all Virgin Media customer’s. If you wish I can add it to your account right now. Would you like to proceed?

    2. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      I’d try asking again after 1st Oct.

  4. Avatar CathyG says:

    and this month, Openreach trebles its charge to CPs for caller ID, so even more to be recouped elsewhere.

    1. Avatar olicuk says:

      By 8p/mo from 4p to 12p… but you’d have thought Ofcom would have banned Openreach from charging for it too, and especially not let them bump up the price.

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