4/23/2009 2:02:00 PM
Ofcom demands clarity from operators with new 0870 rules
Ofcom has published new rules demanding clarity from operators about the price of calls to 0870 numbers. The rules will come into effect on 1 August.
The regulator is calling on operators and fixed-line providers to stop charging higher prices to the numbers and to include them in packages on the same rate as ‘geographic’ calls.
Under the new rules, providers will be bound by strict guidelines about how prices are publicised on websites and in promotional material at point of sale. They will also be responsible for making sure customers are aware of how much they are paying for an 0870 number and will not be able to advertise the numbers as on a national rate.
In January, BT cut the cost of calling 0845 and 0870 to zero for many of its customers, following a consumer campaign against companies profiting from premium rate lines.
In February, Consumer Focus and BT put operators under pressure ‘to give back the £50m per year they make from customers calling 0800 numbers’ and make them free. The move followed BT’s decision to make all 0800 calls free from 1 April.
T-Mobile began to offer some 0870 numbers in Flext bundles in March.