Regulatory Changes to Call Charges and Advertising of Non-Geographic Numbers

Effective 1st July 2015

OFCOM (Communications Regulator) have implemented a number of significant changes, as of 01 July 2015, affecting the way in which calls to NGN (Non Geographical Numbers) are both advertised and charged.

The changes affect pricing for both “caller” and “owner”(advertiser/recipient) of calls to 084, 087, 09, 118 and UK Freephone (0800 and 0808) numbers from both UK Fixed Line (landline) and Mobiles. Note – changes apply to incoming calls only to the above number ranges, not outgoing.

The changes explained here are an Industry Change and regardless of supplier – all customers will be affected. Customers that are not happy with the new service charges can change their number.

The number range 03 is not being affected by the new charges and can sometimes be a cheaper, more customer friendly number – call ACR Networks Ltd for further details (01869 342142).

Ofcom now require that all advertisers of NGN numbers have an obligation to publish the charges to be incurred by the caller. For the full Ofcom statement: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/simplifying-non-geo-no/final-statement

The cost changes will be seen in your August 2015 dated invoice from ACR Networks, relating to calls made or received during July 2015.

UK FREEPHONE NUMBERS

Caller > UK Fixed Line Calls to UK Freephone numbers (0800 and 0808) remain free of charge to the caller.

Caller > UK Mobile Calls to UK Freephone numbers (0800 and 0808) have previously incurred high cost charges to the caller, these now become free of charge to the caller.

Owner > of the UK Freephone – Calls from Fixed Lines – to receive calls to your advertised number, the charge will remain at the pence per minute rate as agreed with your Communication Provider (ACR Networks Ltd*).

Owner > of the UK Freephone – Calls from Mobiles – to receive calls to your advertised number, from a Mobile, will now incur charges made up of two parts. The first, your current pence per minute charge (as per Fixed Lines*) and the second is a Mobile Originating Levy. The ‘Levy’ has been introduced and deemed payable by the Owner of a UK Freephone number by Ofcom to enable calls from Mobiles to be free of charge for the caller.

Caller:

UK Fixed Line > UK Freephone Number 0800/0808 free of charge
UK Mobile > UK Freephone Number 0800/0808 free of charge

Owner:

UK Freephone Number 0800/0808 from UK Fixed Line 3.8ppm
UK Freephone Number 0800/0808 from UK Mobile 8.8ppm

*ACR Networks Ltd previously operated various ppm rates for UK Freephone Numbers, from 3.8ppm to 5.2ppm. In order to help our customers with the introduction of the ‘Levy’ for calls from Mobiles, ALL of our customers will now benefit from being on the 3.8ppm rate!

09 NUMBERS – 087 NUMBERS – 084 NUMBERS – 118 NUMBERS

The number ranges starting 09* 087* 084* 118* are service numbers and mostly used by businesses for sales, enquiries, customer service lines, and directory enquiries. Previously, charges to call these numbers will have been advertised as “Calls cost **ppm from a BT landline, other landlines may vary and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more”. Unless calling from a BT landline, the cost of the call is difficult to work out.

Call charges to the above numbers will now be made up of two parts – an Access Charge and a Service Charge. Therefore, in future, adverts for these numbers will be worded differently, eg “This call will cost you **ppm plus your telephone company’s Access charge”.

ACCESS CHARGE:

A non-regulated/variable charge – set by the Communication/Service Provider of the call, charged to enable ‘Access’ to the service being called.

ACR Networks Ltd (Communication Provider) Access Charge will be 4.2ppm inc VAT (this includes charges to ACR Networks from their Service Provider).

SERVICE CHARGE:

A regulated/set charge (inc VAT) – set by Range Holder (original Service Provider – not ACR Networks Ltd) following allocation of NGN range by Ofcom. Service Charge covers Operating & Network Delivery costs.

09 Premium Rate Numbers – maximum £3.60 per minute or maximum £6.00 per call
087 Numbers – maximum 13 pence per minute
084 Numbers – maximum 7 pence per minute
118 Directory Enquiry Numbers – no maximum pence per minute

Example of call cost calculation:

084 – Access Charge (4.2ppm) + Service Charge (7.0ppm – max) = 11.2ppm inc VAT max.

09 – Access Charge (4.2ppm) + Service Charge (£3.60ppm – max) = £3.642ppm inc VAT max.

09 – Access Charge (4.2ppm) + Service Charge £6.00 per call) = £6.042 per call inc VAT for the call including the first 60 seconds + 4.2ppm inc VAT per minute/part minute of call

118 – Access Charge (4.2ppm) + Service Charge – uncapped