The Office for Communications (Ofcom) is ringing the changes when it comes to the cost of calling businesses and services. Call charges are going to become clearer for consumers, said the regulator, as it announced "major changes to telephone charges" this morning.
The changes will come into effect in June 2015, allowing adjustment time for companies.
Ofcom said that it's looking to "make prices more transparent, improve competition and restore customer confidence". Ed Richards, chief executive, said:
These changes will be the biggest for UK telephone customers in more than a decade.
Freephone will mean free for all consumers, and the cost of calling other services will be made clear. Telephone users will be able to see how much they’re paying, and where their money is going.
It's looking at three areas in particular:
- Freephone numbers (0800, 0808 and 116) will be free for mobiles as well as landlines
- Premium rate charges from 09 numbers will be capped
- Confusion around the 0845 number will be looked at
Any business that wants to offer a geographic-rate number will still be able to use the 03 range, which costs no more than an 01 or 02 number, said the regulator. It'll announce further details in spring of next year.