Businesses will pay dearly when 0870 charges switch, warns firm

Owners of premium rate numbers should prepare for 1 August, Scottish business telecoms company, HIGHnet has warned.

Businesses reaping revenue from premium rate numbers could be hit by high bills from 1 August, when charges for calls to 0870 numbers switch to the call receiver.

The major change to the regulatory regime has been introduced by Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for UK communications industries.

HIGHnet is advising companies how to prepare for the August deadline to ensure they do not become unwittingly charged.

David Siegel, director at HIGHnet, commented: “The changes to the 0870 numbers are two fold. Companies will no longer be able to make revenue by having a 0870 telephone number and if they continue to use one, they will incur a charge to receive calls. Also on 1 August, 0871, 0872 and 0873 will be reclassified as Premium Rate Services and will be regulated by the associated regulator, PhonepayPlus.”

Ofcom announced the changes to the 0870 numbers this April, following an extensive review carried out over a three year period. Consultation highlighted public confusion over the cost of dialling 0870 numbers. Consumer campaigns such as ‘Just say no to 0870’ have also gained widespread momentum in recent years.

Siegel added: “Our role as a business telecoms specialist is to ensure our business customers are equipped for the changeover come the 1 of August. There are many number ranges available, including some that retain an element of revenue share. We are advising businesses to carefully consider all the options available to them and consider whether it makes commercial sense to change numbers. They also need to allow enough time to inform their customers of any changes.”

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