Sony Digital Rapids Pixel Power calrec Sony

New rules to combat high call costs and scams

02/10/2018

New rules to combat high call costs and scams Add to Your Pages

01 October 2018

Phone users will be protected from high charges for calling 070' numbers which are often mistaken for mobiles, but cost much more to call.

Ofcom has decided to cap the wholesale cost of connecting 070 calls, to help protect callers from fraud and unexpected call costs.

070 numbers are designed to be used as a follow me' service, where calls are diverted from one number to another, so the person being called can keep their own number private. For example, classified adverts often use these numbers instead of someone's private number. Small businesses and sole traders also use them to make it easy to manage calls.

But 070 numbers are often mistaken for mobile numbers (which always begin with 07'), even though they are more expensive to call. Phone providers currently charge between 45p and 1.10 per minute for calls to 070 numbers.[1] This can result in bill shock' for consumers, who may be unaware of the cost of the call. There were 2.6 million calls to 070 numbers last year.

Ofcom is concerned that these numbers have sometimes been used to defraud people. We have uncovered evidence of scams, such as missed calls and fake job adverts, that take advantage of consumers' lack of awareness of these high prices. An estimated minimum of 20% of 070 calls involve some form of fraudulent activity.

To address this, we are imposing new rules[2] to cap the wholesale cost of calling 070 numbers. This is the price that any company controlling an 070 number can charge the caller's phone company for connecting the call. At the moment, this can be as much as 39p per minute.

The new 070 wholesale price cap will be aligned with the existing cap set by Ofcom for calls to mobile numbers currently around 0.5 pence per minute.[3] This will remove the incentive for scams by significantly cutting the revenue available from using these numbers.

This move should also clear the way for phone companies to include 070 numbers in free minute allowances, as they currently do for calls to mobiles.

Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom's Competition Group Director, said: Millions of calls are made to 070 numbers, but many people aren't aware of the high costs of calling them. This can lead to people receiving much higher bills than expected.

So we're slashing the wholesale cost of connecting 070 numbers. There's no reason why phone companies shouldn't pass this saving on to their customers as soon as possible.

Before the new price cap is introduced, providers who offer 070 number services may need to change the way they run their businesses, to comply with the new rules. This may include changing their billing systems and contacting their customers, or even moving to a different number range. So there will be a 12-month implementation period to make these changes before the new price cap comes into effect.

If any companies do move to other number ranges, it will be to ranges that our research suggests are more familiar to consumers, and people would have a better idea of the likely cost of calling them.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

Current maximum retail call prices for 070 in pence per minute (including VAT):

On 15 August, we published a draft statement of our decision and notified it to the European Commission for their review. The Commission had no comments. Our final decision therefore remains unchanged from that published in our draft statement in August.

Wholesale mobile charges in the UK have decreased significantly over recent years. In 1998, they were more than 13 pence per minute (ppm) on average. Following Ofcom intervention, these rates have been progressively decreasing, dropping to around 0.5ppm today which reflects the estimated cost of connecting a call using today's technology. See graph below:

Add to Your Pages
LINK: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__search/s/redirect?collection=web&url=https:...
See more stories from ofcom

More from OFCOM

10/08/2019

Reappointment of Iain Stephen Morrison to MG ALBA board

Reappointment of Iain Stephen Morrison to MG ALBA board Add to Your Pages 09 August 2019 Ofcom has today announced the reappointment of Iain Stephen Mor...

07/08/2019

UK becomes a nation of streamers... but traditional broadcast TV leads the way on UK content

UK becomes a nation of streamers... but traditional broadcast TV leads the way o...

07/08/2019

Wales becomes a nation of streamers

Wales becomes a nation of streamers Add to Your Pages 07 August 2019 Almost half of homes in Wales now take Netflix, Amazon, Now TV or Disney Life Tr...

01/08/2019

Airwaves opened up to support wireless revolution

Airwaves opened up to support wireless revolution Add to Your Pages 25 July 2019 Start-ups and small businesses to get easier access to airwaves for n...

01/08/2019

Radio industry makes progress on diversity, but much further to go

Radio industry makes progress on diversity, but much further to go Add to Your Pages 31 July 2019 Ethnic minorities, disabled people and women in seni...

30/07/2019

Giffgaff fined 1.4m for overcharging customers

Giffgaff fined 1.4m for overcharging customers Add to Your Pages 30 July 2019 Ofcom has today fined the mobile company Giffgaff 1.4m, for overchargi...

30/07/2019

New rules to protect people in TV and radio shows

New rules to protect people in TV and radio shows Add to Your Pages 29 July 2019 Ofcom is today proposing new rules to ensure that people who take par...

26/07/2019

Ofcom fines RT 200,000

Ofcom fines RT 200,000 Add to Your Pages 26 July 2019 Ofcom has today fined the news channel RT 200,000 for serious failures to comply with our broa...

22/07/2019

New measures to increase fairness for mobile customers

New measures to increase fairness for mobile customers Add to Your Pages 22 July 2019 Mobile customers must be told cost of buying handsets and airtim...

19/07/2019

Telecoms and pay-TV complaints from July to September 2017

Telecoms and pay-TV complaints from July to September 2017 Add to Your Pages 18 July 2019 Ofcom has today published data on the volume of consumer com...

05/07/2019

Hundreds of new digital radio stations for local listeners

Hundreds of new digital radio stations for local listeners Add to Your Pages 05 July 2019 Hundreds of new local digital radio stations could start bro...

28/06/2019

End it with a text: easy mobile switching from Monday

End it with a text: easy mobile switching from Monday Add to Your Pages 28 June 2019 Mobile users can leave current network with a simple text message...

28/06/2019

Ofcom confirms new rules for business networks

Ofcom confirms new rules for business networks Add to Your Pages 28 June 2019 Ofcom has today confirmed final decisions on our reviews of: the physic...

25/06/2019

Ofcom appoints new Chair and members to Advisory Committee for England

Ofcom appoints new Chair and members to Advisory Committee for England Add to Your Pages 25 June 2019 Ofcom today announced the appointment of three n...

18/06/2019

Stamping out unfair practices in telecoms and TV

Stamping out unfair practices in telecoms and TV Add to Your Pages 17 June 2019 New guidelines to help ensure telecoms and TV companies treat customer...

10/06/2019

Rem Noormohamed appointed to Ofcom's Advisory Committee for Wales

Rem Noormohamed appointed to Ofcom's Advisory Committee for Wales Add to Your Pages 10 June 2019 Ofcom today announced the appointment of Rem Noor...

07/06/2019

Countdown to the new broadband safety net

Countdown to the new broadband safety net Add to Your Pages 06 June 2019 Ofcom appoints BT and KCOM to deliver the UKs broadband universal service fro...

07/06/2019

Sharon White to step down as Ofcom Chief Executive

Sharon White to step down as Ofcom Chief Executive Add to Your Pages 06 June 2019 The Ofcom Board has today announced that Sharon White is to step dow...

03/06/2019

Britain's biggest broadband and phone firms to put fairness first

Britains biggest broadband and phone firms to put fairness first Add to Your Pages 03 June 2019 UKs major broadband, mobile, pay-TV and home phone fir...

30/05/2019

People's online experiences revealed

Peoples online experiences revealed Add to Your Pages 29 May 2019 Adults now spend almost 50 days of their year online Increased internet concern, th...

24/05/2019

Further Ofcom rules to support fibre investment

Further Ofcom rules to support fibre investment Add to Your Pages 24 May 2019 New rules give rival firms better access to Openreachs infrastructure M...

16/05/2019

Broadband, phone and pay TV firms must tell customers about their best deals

Broadband, phone and pay TV firms must tell customers about their best deals Add to Your Pages 15 May 2019 New Ofcom rules will help people get the be...

16/05/2019

Ofcom statement on care of programme participants

Ofcom statement on care of programme participants Add to Your Pages 15 May 2019 It's vital that people taking part in reality and factual shows ar...

10/05/2019

Marion Sinclair appointed to MG ALBA board

Marion Sinclair appointed to MG ALBA board Add to Your Pages 09 May 2019 Ofcom has today announced the appointment of Marion Sinclair to the board of ...

09/05/2019

Broadband speeds boost for UK homes

Broadband speeds boost for UK homes Add to Your Pages 08 May 2019 Average broadband speeds rise by a fifth in a year Superfast customers can stream iPl...

04/05/2019

Ofcom appoints two new members to the Advisory Committee for Scotland

Ofcom appoints two new members to the Advisory Committee for Scotland Add to Your Pages 02 May 2019 Ofcom today announced the appointment of two new m...

01/05/2019

Best and worst telecoms customer service revealed

Best and worst telecoms customer service revealed Add to Your Pages 30 April 2019 Ofcom shines a light on major broadband and phone companies performa...

01/04/2019

Money back for broadband and landline customers when things go wrong

Money back for broadband and landline customers when things go wrong Add to Your Pages 31 March 2019 Automatic compensation from 1 April to ensure fai...

11/03/2019

Telecoms and pay-TV complaints from April to June 2018

Telecoms and pay-TV complaints from April to June 2018 Add to Your Pages 11 March 2019 Complaints about communications providers decline to record low...

09/03/2019

Telecoms and pay-TV complaints from July to September 2018

Telecoms and pay-TV complaints from July to September 2018 Add to Your Pages 30 January 2019 Ofcom has today published the latest league tables on the...

28/02/2019

Clear, honest information before you buy broadband

Clear, honest information before you buy broadband Add to Your Pages 28 February 2019 New protections are part of Ofcom's work to ensure Fairness ...

29/01/2019

Why children spend time online

Why children spend time online Add to Your Pages 29 January 2019 New research explains how YouTube taps into kids' interests Live' TV remain...

06/01/2019

Ringing the changes: do phone numbers still matter?

Ringing the changes: do phone numbers still matter? Add to Your Pages 05 January 2019 Britons spend half as much time on the landline but use ten ti...

27/12/2018

Most complained about TV programmes of 2018

Most complained about TV programmes of 2018 Add to Your Pages 27 December 2018 Celebrity Big Brother was the television programme that attracted most ...

20/12/2018

Update on investigations into the RT news channel

Update on investigations into the RT news channel Add to Your Pages 20 December 2018 Ofcom has today found that the RT news channel broke broadcasting...

19/12/2018

Ofcom response to the CMA's super-complaint report

Ofcom response to the CMA's super-complaint report Add to Your Pages 19 December 2018 Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's Consumer Group Director, said: ...

18/12/2018

Getting rural areas connected in Wales

Getting rural areas connected in Wales Add to Your Pages 18 December 2018 Mobile and broadband coverage improve, but more progress needed in rural are...

18/12/2018

Getting rural areas connected

Getting rural areas connected Add to Your Pages 18 December 2018 Mobile and broadband coverage improve, but more progress needed in rural areas New O...

14/12/2018

Half of homes could boost their broadband

Half of homes could boost their broadband Add to Your Pages 14 December 2018 Millions could get faster internet today without paying more, research re...

10/12/2018

Ofcom appoints new Content Board member

Ofcom appoints new Content Board member Add to Your Pages 10 December 2018 Ofcom has appointed Stephen Nuttall to its Content Board. Ofcoms Content B...

03/12/2018

Ofcom sets out work programme for 2019/20

Ofcom sets out work programme for 2019/20 Add to Your Pages 03 December 2018 Ofcom has today set out its planned programme of work for the next financ...

28/11/2018

New price cap on 118 numbers

New price cap on 118 numbers Add to Your Pages 28 November 2018 Ofcom to cap cost of calling directory enquiry services Move will cut 118 charges for...

22/11/2018

Tech shoppers ditch desktop PCs and DVDs

Tech shoppers ditch desktop PCs and DVDs Add to Your Pages 21 November 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday set to see shoppers flock to digital devices...

16/11/2018

EE and Virgin Media fined for overcharging customers

EE and Virgin Media fined for overcharging customers Add to Your Pages 16 November 2018 Ofcom fines EE 6.3m and Virgin Media 7m for breaking consume...

13/11/2018

Ofcom appoints new Chairman of MG ALBA

Ofcom appoints new Chairman of MG ALBA Add to Your Pages 13 November 2018 Ofcom has today announced the appointment of Allan MacDonald as the new Chai...

08/11/2018

Charles Gurassa re-appointed as Channel 4 Chair

Charles Gurassa re-appointed as Channel 4 Chair Add to Your Pages 08 November 2018 Ofcom today announced that Charles Gurassa has been re-appointed as...

06/11/2018

Ofcom submits interactive report to Welsh Language Commissioner

Ofcom submits interactive report to Welsh Language Commissioner Add to Your Pages 06 November 2018 Ofcom has today (Tuesday 6 November) submitted its ...

03/11/2018

Supporting fibre investment: unrestricted duct and pole access, and the BCMR

Supporting fibre investment: unrestricted duct and pole access, and the BCMR Add to Your Pages 02 November 2018 Companies laying high-speed fibre cabl...

25/10/2018

Ofcom reports on performance of the BBC

Ofcom reports on performance of the BBC Add to Your Pages 25 October 2018 Amid changing media landscape, BBC is generally delivering remit for audienc...

02/10/2018

New rules to combat high call costs and scams

New rules to combat high call costs and scams Add to Your Pages 01 October 2018 Phone users will be protected from high charges for calling 070' ...