MSE News: Financial services firms face premium rate number crackdown

From 26 October, financial services firms will be banned from using pricey premium rate numbers for existing customers...
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Financial services firms face premium rate number crackdown

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  • michaelsmichaels Forumite
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    I recently had an auo-renewal car insurance where the only way to prevent auto renewal was to call an 0871 number :eek:

    Luckily in this case saynoto0870 had an alternative but they don't always. Now that these 'non-geo' numbers have got so much more expensive since the 1st July it is even more important that there are alternatives.

    What I don't understand is why 0845 persists at all, they are minimally if at all revenue sharing but huge cost to the customer, seems like a particuarly short-sighted business decison to continue to use such numbers.
    I think....
  • edited 23 July 2015 at 10:09PM
    Ian011Ian011 Forumite
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    edited 23 July 2015 at 10:09PM
    In many cases, users of 0845 numbers are under the impression that calls to their number are 'local rate' (this hasn't been true since 2004) or have been misled as to the true cost of calling these numbers as incurred by the majority of callers especially those using a mobile phone.

    A major retail landline provider offers callers inclusive calls to 0845 numbers so that the business arm of that provider can sell 0845 numbers to businesses on the basis that callers are not paying for the calls. Those calls have a 5p per minute Service Charge which several other landline providers and most mobile providers rightly make the caller pay, rather than attempting to hide the cost by spreading it across all of their subscribers.

    From 1 July 2015 all users of 084, 087 and 09 numbers have had to declare the Service Charge for their number everywhere it is advertised. The regulations had an 18 month implementation period and most banks used that time to swap their 0845 lines over to the matching 0345 number. The new FCA regulation will be useful to prompt the last few smaller banks that have yet to get to grips with this. The new regulations may well have a bigger impact on the insurance sector where inappropriate usage of 084 and 087 numbers is still rife.
  • edited 25 October 2015 at 10:39PM
    Ian011Ian011 Forumite
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    edited 25 October 2015 at 10:39PM
    The new FCA regulations on the acceptable usage of telephone numbers by financial services will come into force at midnight tonight. From tomorrow, 26 October 2015, you should no longer see premium rate 084, 087 or 09 numbers being advertised for contacting financial service companies.

    In some cases it may take time to update all relevant marketing materials. Wherever you see an 084 or 087 number advertised, always try calling the matching 034 or 037 number first. If it works, it will be a cheaper call. If it doesn't, there is no charge for trying.

    Where 084 and 087 numbers continue to be used and advertised, this means the company ...
    - is FCA regulated and is breaking the rules (and you should avoid doing business with them), or
    - is not FCA regulated (and you should avoid doing business with them).
  • knack92knack92 Forumite
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    Ian011 wrote: »
    The new FCA regulations on the acceptable usage of telephone numbers by financial services will come into force at midnight tonight. From tomorrow, 26 October 2015, you should no longer see premium rate 084, 087 or 09 numbers being advertised for contacting financial service companies.

    In some cases it may take time to update all relevant marketing materials. Wherever you see an 084 or 087 number advertised, always try calling the matching 034 or 037 number first. If it works, it will be a cheaper call. If it doesn't, there is no charge for trying.

    Where 084 and 087 numbers continue to be used and advertised, this means the company ...
    - is FCA regulated and is breaking the rules (and you should avoid doing business with them), or
    - is not FCA regulated (and you should avoid doing business with them).

    Though the rules do not apply for non-customers.
  • Ian011Ian011 Forumite
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    Where 084, 087 or 09 numbers remain in use, the new Ofcom 'Clear Call Rates for Everyone' regulations that came into force on 1 July 2015 require declaration of the applicable Service Charge everywhere the number is advertised or promoted.

    Ofcom's changes recognise that all 084, 087 and 09 numbers are premium rate. The premium is the Service Charge paid to the benefit of the called party and their telecoms provider. Using a number with a Service Charge for a sales or pre-sales enquiry line is a well-known sales prevention technique.
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