OFCOM have recently announced that they want to see a standardisation of call charges across a range of 08 numbers in the UK and this could be good news for consumers.
Many businesses run 08 numbers as part of their customer care programme but what many people don’t realise is that whilst 0800 is free and 0845 charged at a ‘local’ call rate, 0870 numbers and 0871 numbers can be extremely expensive. This means that it you want to phone your utilities supplier to complain they are charging you for the privilege of doing so and in some cases you won’t be aware of this.
What many people don’t realise though is that calls to 0845 numbers can vary as well and whilst they are typically no more than a local call rate they can be set to be much higher. With some businesses experiencing high call volumes very day this becomes a major revenue stream for them and supplements what they already make selling their products and services. Clearly there is nothing wrong with them doing this, as long as they tell you that you are being charged. At the moment too many businesses hide the call charge information away or fail to display it in some cases and as such you are left with a large bill weeks after making the call which can be an unexpected shock.
We are all in favour of transparency and hopefully OFCOM’s plans for standardisation will bring a measure of clarity to this murky area.