GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

Customer service lines using 0845 numbers now illegal

Call centres are being reminded that if they are still using 0845 numbers for customer services lines, they are doing so illegally. As of June 13th, the rules were changed so that customer care options must be offered via standard rate telephone numbers such as 01, 02 or 03.

One of the huge concerns in the telephone answering services industry was that consumers had to pay premium rates simply to reach an organisation’s help line. With this in mind, the rules have been changed, meaning that customers should now be able to access service lines for normal rates. This only applies to service lines and not specified technical support or sales options.

Kieron James, an expert in the new rules, explained “It’s a shame that the 08 and other non-geographic numbers introduced by Ofcom’s predecessor, Oftel, to ‘stimulate innovation and competition’ have been systematically abused by some network operators (principally MNOs) for so many years. Calls to these numbers should have been charged at historic local (0845) and national (0870) rates by all fixed and mobile operators.” He added that even in modern times, up to 40p per minute was often charged by operators despite calls providing no extra value.

However, this has now changed, and all call centres must ensure they are sticking to the new regulations. Otherwise, they could face severe penalties as well as a potential backlash from customers.

award winning