New OFCOM rules, major impact on UK marketers

Old 60s - 70s style black telephone with rotary dial. Isolated on white. Hand set off the hook and unattended.

Heads up for the time-poor

Rules for 08, 09 and 118 services are changing under the banner “UK Calling”

From July 1st 2015 marketing must ‘prominently display’ the cost of the call broken down into its two constituent parts 1. the service charge and 2. the access charge

If you advertise chargeable service/help line telephone number(s) you must act by July 1st!

and the detail?

Following lengthy consultation, going back years, OFCOM have finally set a date for new rules on call cost transparency.

From July 1st, the cost to the consumer of calling a service number (starting 084, 087, 09 or 118) will be made up of two clear parts:

1. An access charge. This goes to the caller’s telephone company, charged as pence per minute.

2. A service charge. This is the remainder; it includes any revenue going to the service provider (that is you, the party being called), as well as revenue going to the ‘terminating call provider’ (or TCP: the company that provides the number to you).

Marketers must ensure that your service charge is clearly displayed wherever you advertise or promote that number. The service charge should be prominent and in close proximity to the number itself. The recommended form of wording is:

Calls cost xp [or xp per minute] plus your phone company’s access charge.”

Where can I get more information?

The OFCCOM dedicated UK Calling website at www.ukcalling.info has a dedicated ‘Business’ section which tells you how to set out the required information.

OFCOM 2014 press release here

OFCOM’s 265 page 2012 report, not for the faint-hearted here 

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