From the 1st of July, Ofcom will be changing the structure of non-geographic call charges.

What will the new charges be?

The new cost of calling service numbers will be made up of two parts:

An access charge: This goes to the caller’s telephone company, charged as pence per minute.

A service charge: This is the remainder; it includes any revenue going to the service provider (that is you, the party being called), as well as revenue going to the ‘terminating call provider’ (or TCP: the company that provides the number to you).

What numbers do these charges apply to?

These rules will apply to all consumer calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers across the UK.

What do I need to put in my ad?

Under Ofcom's policy you will need to state the service charge for any service numbers given in your marketing materials, and make clear that an access charge applies. We recommend the format:

“Calls cost xp [or xp per minute] plus your telephone company’s network access charge.”

When do I need to comply by?

Ideally all advertising material should have the correct information from 1 July. That said, the ASA is unlikely to formally investigate cases where there is a short delay provided advertisers can show they are working to become compliant as soon as possible.

What about Freephone numbers?

In addition, all Freephone numbers (which begin 0800 or 0808) are being made free for consumers to call from all phones, whether mobile or landline. There is no requirement to give any pricing information for such numbers, though of course you may wish to promote the fact that the call is free.

For further information visit the UK Calling website.

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