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Non-Geographic Call Services (NGCS) changes and your responsibilities

As a provider of Non-Geographic Call Services (NGCS) there are some important changes that 4Com need to make you aware of. Changes come into effect next year that will impact any organisation that currently uses 084x, 087x, 09 or 118 services. From the summer of 2015 you will be required to advertise the cost of calling your non geographic number in a particular fashion so that you do not fall foul of Ofcom, PhonePayPlus, and the Advertising Standards Agency.

The cost of calling 084x, 087x (including 0845 and 0870), 09 and 118 numbers will be split into two parts:

• An access charge: This is the amount, charged in pence per minute, that the phone company makes.

• A service charge: This is the rest of the call charge, including any amount which is due to you. The NGCS number you use determines how much this is and we will advise you of the service charge as soon as it is available to us.

What you need to do

• Review all your materials and advertising. When the new system comes into effect in summer 2015, companies and organisations that provide services using 084, 087, 09 or 118 numbers will be required to communicate the charges clearly. Wherever you advertise or promote one of these services, you must ensure that your service charge is displayed in a prominent position, and in close proximity to the telephone number, in all cases.

• Check the wording, as an example, a statement along the lines of “Calls will cost 5p per minute plus your telephone company’s Access Charge” is likely to be considered to be compliant – but we recommend you seek individual advice from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) at asa.org.uk/industry-advertisers

Your new pricing information must be ready to go in your advertising, promotional material and communications from the point of the change, which is expected to be on the 26th June 2015.

We will be back in touch as soon as we have the service charge bandings from our provider and this will be set for numbers they own, to maintain any revenue share payment you currently enjoy, but in the meantime if you wish to review the changes in more detail there is a very useful website that can be accessed by going to http://www.ukcalling.info/industry.

From June 2015 calls to 080 and 116 numbers will also be free from mobile telephones, as well as from landlines as they are presently. Should you be offering an 080x Freephone number, you will begin to be charged for receiving calls from a mobile phone on this number.

As soon as 4Com receive details from our provider as to what the cost will be to receive a call on a 080x number, we will of course make you aware.

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