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Non-Geographic Numbers: Changes to UK Regulation

On June 13th 2014 the rules on how companies use non-geographic phone numbers (such as 084, 087 and 09 numbers) are changing. From the 13th, customers must have access to basic rate phone numbers for any after-sales support or service, rather than being forced into using an 084, 087 or 09 number.

What is changing?

The changes only apply to after sales phone numbers in business to consumer relationships.  If you work with consumers rather than businesses, you must provide a basic rate phone number (such as 01, 02 or 03 numbers) for any form of after-sales support or service. In essence, this means if you currently use a number starting with 084, 087 or 09 for your after-sales support you must ensure that caller pays no more than the basic rate on any such call.  The most straightforward way of doing this is to provide customers with a phone number for these services starting with 01, 02 or 03.

How quickly do you need to change?

The changes come into effect on the 13th June 2014. Any customer you gain from that point onwards must have access to a local rate phone number for any after sales support or service.

What do you need to change?

If you ask customers to call a number beginning with 084, 087 or 09 for after-sales support, billing or other services, then you must provide them with a phone number that charges no more than the basic rate.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are there exemptions?

These changes only apply to businesses working with consumers; business to business relationships are unaffected.  There are also a number of industries that are exempt. The government’s full list can be found here, but here are some of the notable industries not affected by the changes:

  • Gambling
  • Residential Lettings
  • Package travel agents
  • Construction

Which numbers are affected?

Phone numbers beginning with 084, 087 and 09 are those which will need to be changed or paired with a basic rate phone number.

What is the basic rate?

The basic rate is the amount you pay on calls to 01, 02 and 03 numbers. For mobile phone calls, it is the amount you would pay on a number beginning with 07.

Should you just change one number with another?

Not neccesarily. You are permitted to display your existing non-geographical phone number alongside your new basic rate phone number. The reason for this can be attributed to the word “bound” as the new rules state that the consumer may not be bound to pay more than the basic rate. If they are offered both options and choose to call the existing number, this is acceptable.

Does the change affect all phone numbers?

No, only the post-sales phone numbers are affected. You are still allowed to use the numbers mentioned above as your sales numbers.

Are you affected if you are a 4Com customer?

Yes, if you are working with consumers and your industry isn’t on the exempt list you will need to comply with the new rules by the 13th June 2014.

What about 0800 and 0808 numbers?

As 0800 and 0808 numbers are free from landlines, they are unaffected by these changes.  If you are using such numbers for your after sales support you are free to continue doing so.

Can 4Com Help?

Our customer services team are here to help. There are a number of ways we can assist you in smoothing the change between numbers.  If you would like to talk to us, please call us on 0330 444 4444.

Please note the information above is intended as a guide.  If you have any concerns about these regulations apply to your company, please seek independent legal advice.

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