the incoming 0845/chargeable line changes

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Contact Centre Manager


Morning All

Read several articles on this over the last week and while they arent conflicting. There does seem to be some confusion(for me anyway)

Some of the articles mention public/local lines, but it doesnt mention private sector. It does seem that ALL complaints lines need to be standard rate, so an alternative number would nee dto be promoted for complaints or you simply have a new non chargeable number for all contacts?

Is my understanding correct?

Thansk in advance for any assistance


The law is changing which basically means for the following for 'Consumer Hotlines' which could be Sales, Customer Services, Tech Support, Compliants. It is everything!

Calls from Consumers to your customer service line must be charged at Local Rate Number.

For Example Call us on 0845 111 1234 this would need to also have a 0345/Local Rate/0333 number attached to it. (This also includes 0800 numbers as mobile users do currently get charged for this)

Calls which are Business to Business are not affected.

Contact Centre Manager


Thanks Kris

The articles I seem to have read though all seem to point towards still being able to charge for "support" services. It is just when customers wish to complain that companies shouldnt be charging for this aspect?

"From 13th June 2014, it will be illegal for companies to provide premium-rate numbers (including 0845, 0870 and 09) for their customer service lines. This law was passed as part of “The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013″ on 13th December 2013.

This applies to any phone line that is in place for existing customers (anyone who has a contractual relationship with a company or is an ongoing receiver of a company’s services) to make a query or complaint. This law does not apply to value-added services, such as technical support or sales lines."

So seems to point at complaint handling, not support/sales?


Call Centre Helper

The only 0845 lines that are not covered are sales lines.

All lines that are post sale (customer care, technical support, billing etc) must be converted to 01, 02 or 03 numbers.

The good news is that for every existing 0845 number you have already been allocated the same 0345 number, so it should be fairly easy to change.

You just need to check with your carrier to get the 0345 number activated.

There is a handy guide here

Contact Centre Manager


Thanks Jonty

However even on that article it says

"It is important to note that these impending changes only apply to customer complaint lines."

Its confusing as some of the articles seem quite clear(re above), although some parties believe it affects everything but sales!?

We have got the 03 versions reserved. To muddy the waters further, our chargeable line is cheaper than most local rates!!


Call Centre Helper

Yes that sentence was confusing

Regulation 41 provides that where the trader operates a telephone line for consumers to contact them about a contract entered into with the trader, the consumer must not be bound to pay more than the basic rate for such telephone calls.

So if somebody is you customer you cannot charge them more than a basic rate for getting support.

I have changed it to "It is important to note that these impending changes only apply to lines dealing with existing customers."

Contact Centre Manager


Thanks Jonty

So if our 0845 number is actually cheaper than local rate, do we still need to change it?


Call Centre Helper

Yes - if you are using an 0845 number to look after existing customers - you will need to change. The law is quite clear on this.

0845 will be more expensive than a local call from a mobile phone as this excluded from people's "free" minutes.

Head of Research


Hello, I might be a bit late, but this may help others. The changes are something that we have been asked about a lot recently. This, and the linked documents, should help to clarify things:

In summary, a couple of things to bear in mind:

1. Not all sectors (financial services, package holidays and timeshare for example) are currently required to change their service numbers.

2. Several regulatory bodies (the FCA and the Cabinet Office for example) are currently considering their positions on service numbers as well.

3. There is a great deal of public misgiving and uncertainty about certain types of 08 numbers (the reason why Ofcom suggested the change in the first place). Even if you are not required to change them by law you may wish to consider doing so to avoid this.

To help organisations make the change we've asked ICM to carry out some research into what customers think about different number types (the new 03 numbers included). Watch out for the results next week.

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