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Ofcom UK Implements Cost Cap for 070 Calls to Tackle Fraud

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019 (3:53 pm) - Score 1,566
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As expected Ofcom has today introduced a cap on the wholesale cost of calls to 070 numbers, which can in some cases attract consumer charges of between 45p and £1.10 per minute but will now be aligned with the existing cap set by the regulator for calls to mobile numbers (currently around 0.5p per minute).

Such numbers were originally designed to be used as a “follow me” service (i.e. where calls are diverted from one number to another, so the person being called can keep their own number private), which makes them useful for things like classified adverts (e.g. those posted by individuals online or in a newspaper) and the call management facilities run by small businesses.

However last year Ofcom estimated that 20% of 070 calls (there were 2.6 million in 2017) involved some form of “fraudulent activity” and these often prey on consumer confusion (e.g. fake missed calls and job adverts). People may thus end up calling such numbers while expecting to pay the same as an ordinary mobile call, which can be a very expensive mistake to make.

The decision to introduce such a cost cap was a significant one and so the regulator gave operators a year to adapt (here), although today the clock on that period of grace finally ran out and the change has now been enforced.

Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom’s Competition Group Director, said:

“Millions of calls are made to 070 numbers, but many people aren’t aware of the high costs of calling them. This can lead to people receiving much higher bills than expected. So, we’re slashing the wholesale cost of connecting 070 numbers.”

End.

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar Ian

    Missing from the Ofcom release were the words …

    Ofcom “expect[s] this will allow phone companies to price calls to these numbers or include them in call allowances in the same way that they do for calls to mobiles.”

    … which do appear on Ofcom’s “Call costs guide” page.

    Plusnet was the only provider to fully comply today with what Ofcom expected.

  2. Avatar tiq

    Well, that announced well back in October 2018 https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/features-and-news/070-rules-combat-call-scams, why are you posting this in 2019?

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