On Wednesday the 1st of July 2015, OFCOM will be introducing a new system of pricing phone calls to service numbers or Non Geographic numbers. These numbers are the sort used by companies and organisations, directory enquiries and even TV shows. The numbers typically start 084, 087, 09 or 118 and the intention of the change is to make it easier for customers to understand the cost of calling these numbers. Whilst this is good in theory, as ever the implementation is fraught with problems. Today we have finalised the rates that we will be paying ourselves and so we are now able to let you know the details.
This change is the biggest in phone call charges in over a decade.
From the 1st of July when you call one of these NGCS numbers the price you pay will be based upon two separate charges. An Access Charge that Adepteo as your provider set and a Service Charge that the Range holder of the network responsible for the number have set.
The Access Charge is what we can control and typically we are seeing companies charging anything from around 7ppm to 44ppm. Adepteo is setting our rate at 5ppm, this applies any time of day or day of the week.
The Service Charge is set by the Range-holder/Terminating network and should be clearly displayed on any advertising that you see. This charge should be the same for all providers. Typical wording you now see will be :-
“Calls cost xp per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.”
If you use any of these types of numbers to allow customers to contact you, you should ensure that you have updated all of your websites and other promotional materials.
The range holders have set prices for each of their number ranges from a menu of over 80 possible options and Adepteo has worked hard to ensure that we are aware of all of the prices. Some of them have been quite surprising and it is expected that there will be a large increase in the number of attempts to trick customers into paying high charges.
The charge bands range from per minutes rates of 1p/min to £3.60/min, fixed fee rates from 5p to £6 per call, and a combination of fixed fee and per minute, up to a maximum of £6.98 for the first minute and then £3.49/min.
It is important to note that the company advertising these numbers has no control over the rate being charged.
Adepteo has put in place several features to protect you from these potentially excessive charges.
A page on our portal site that lets you check the cost of dialling a number;
A special prefix that you can apply to a number before calling it that will explain the service charge applicable to the number;
The ability to set a warning limit and a block limit to the Service Charge that you pay for outgoing calls.;
Warning Limit - Calls that will be in excess of the warning limit will provide a warning before the call is connected;
Block Limit – Calls that will be in excess of the block limit will not be permitted to be completed;
PLEASE contact Adepteo to set your particular limits.
We anticipate that some number ranges will be used to entice people to call them. If you get missed calls from unexpected numbers, then please check carefully before calling the number back. The price you end up paying could be very expensive.
The good news is that these calls are now free from all phones including mobile phones. However if you use freephone numbers to allow people to contact your company there are potentially three different rates that you will pay.
Historically Adepteo has charged 3ppm for all types of calls, however the following rates will now apply.
Calls originating from a payphone – 90ppm;
Calls originating from a mobile phone – 3.5ppm;
Calls originating from a landling – 2.5ppm
If you use these numbers and want to protect yourself against unexpected call charges you can restrict the type of calls that you are willing to receive. By default we will be blocking calls from Payphones but mobile calls will be permitted.
It is expected that there will be a lot more people calling from Mobile phones so this could cause a big increase in your incoming call charges.
These have been around for several years and many organisations have started to use these numbers to allow people to contact them. If you would like to start using these numbers instead of 08 numbers then you can select them from http://www.adepteo.net/numbers and we can add them to your account for you.
If you would like more information then please check out http://www.ukcalling.info or email firstname.lastname@example.org - We will be sending an update out early on Tuesday 30th June that explains how to use our checks and monitors.
I hope that this information is useful to you and that the steps we have taken to protect you from the changes are used effectively.
If you know of any other companies that you feel could benefit from the services that we provide then please let them know about us.