The use of 08 numbers will change dramatically over the coming year.
Some of the changes come into effect in a couple of months and have major implications if you use 0845, 0800, 0843, 0844 or 0870 numbers in your business, particularly if you have legacy numbers we’ve not supplied or been made aware of.
Sorry to be blunt, but it is important you read the information below if you have any number like this in your business
From Next Month
From the 13th June, it will be illegal to provide an 0845, 0870, 0843 or 0844 for a post sales customer line. This is part of “The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013″. Click here to read The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 in full.
The worst-affected companies will have to update all their literature and plan for the loss of income which will result from switching to a zero or standard-charge line. You have the option to reimburse each caller for their call but that is highly impractical for most companies.
It is important to note that these impending changes only apply to lines dealing with existing customers.
Companies will still be able to use 0845 numbers for non-customer advice services such as paid for technical advice, so long as the charges are clearly advertised. Services specifically paid for through the cost of the call (i.e. horoscopes and television voting) and sales lines are also unaffected.
What do you need to do?
If you are currently using 0845 or similar numbers for your customer service lines, you will have to switch to either a geographical number (i.e. 01, 02) or an 03 number. If you are still a bit unsure about whether your business will be affected then please get in touch. The good news is that these numbers can be assigned to you and working within a week.
For companies using 0800 numbers the impact is more subtle and is a result of the Ofcom decision to make them free to call from mobiles next year. The operators will need to recover the costs and as a result companies using 0800 numbers for any purpose will find themselves paying more for each incoming call. If a lot of your callers are using mobiles then the impact could be quite substantial.
If you would like some advice on how to manage your incoming call and numbering strategy then please give us a call