GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

0845 number change in just 50 days

Only 50 days remain until all call centres must have changed customer service lines from 0845 numbers. Those who fail to do so will actually be breaking the law. From June 13th, 2014, telephone answering services have to have a consumer care line that is a standard rate number so customers are not charged extortionately simply for trying to contact manufacturers and service providers.

Premium numbers can remain for certain channels, such as customers wanting help on specific technical lines or to contact companies via sales numbers. However, general enquiry customer service lines must be accessible on standard rate numbers. The Financial Conduct Authority’s Martin Wheatley said: “The absolute minimum we want is that for basic issues, complaints, questions, there ought to be a basic cost way of doing that, not paying premium rate costs.” Although the financial services industry is currently exempt from the new law, this is likely to change by summer 2015.

For call centres that are still using 0845 numbers for their customer services channels, it is vital to switch to an 0345 option or a number that is related to the company’s geographical location. “Whilst 03 numbers are less commonly used than 01 and 02, they are in much greater supply and are more attractive financially to the call-centre operator than 01/02,” explained Syntec’s Simon Beeching.

Failure to make the change will mean companies are breaking the law, and they could face severe penalties as a result.

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