A good day to bury bad news about phone charges for non-geographic numbers

 In Telecoms

Today, OFCOM – regulator of the communications industry for the United Kingdom– has announced 20 new price points for ‘non-geographic’ numbers. ‘Non-geographic numbers’ is an umbrella term that means that these telephone numbers don’t start with a code that tells you whereabouts in the UK that you are calling  i.e. 08, 09 and 118 telephone numbers. These charges will be introduced on July 1st 2016 – in just seven short days time.

With the results of the Brexit announced early this morning and the resignation of the Prime Minister following shortly after, it has been a day full of news. Whether you were Brexit or Remain, the media is going to continue speculating about the many different outcomes from the results of the EU referendum today, next week and long into the future. What you might have missed in the news was this timely announcement by OFCOM regarding these changes to non-geographic telephone numbers. We shall leave the conspiracy theorists among you to make what you will of this.

Since 1 July 2015, the cost of calling non-geographic numbers had been made up of two parts:

An access charge: This part of the call charge goes to your phone company, charged as pence per minute. They will tell you how much the access charge will be for calls to service numbers.

A service charge: This is the rest of the call charge. The organisation you are calling decides this, and will tell you how much it is.

The lowest cost service introduced one week from today for the non-geographic numbers will be ‘NGCS 92’, which costs 7p for the connection and first minute (including VAT) and 7p per minute thereafter (including VAT). So that’s not too bad. NGCS 92 could be an 084, 087, 09 or 118 number. However, most of the new ranges are in the order of £3.60 connection & first minute and then £2.00 per minute thereafter, such as NGCS 99, which has been introduced for the new numbers that begin with 09 and 118 numbers.

If someone in your organisation or household is daft enough to dial an NGCS 91 number (118 only) then this will cost you an exorbitant £15.98 for the connection & first minute and then £7.99 per minute thereafter. So a call lasting just 5 minutes will end up costing a mammoth £47.94 (including VAT). We have seen some customers’ bills including calls which have obviously been connected by the 118 operator, costing an absolute fortune.

Our advice? Do NOT use 118 services. Use the internet instead, it will be much more cost effective for you, only using a few pennies worth of bandwith. And if you ARE tempted to use 118 services (such as those offered by 118118 – the same people who have just introduced the 99.9% APR loans) definitely DO NOT take up their very kind offer to be put through to the person or organisation you are looking for, just search the web for their telephone number and dial it yourself.

These figures are guaranteed to be more accurate than any Brexit or Remain statistics.

If you have any further questions regarding call charges that are to be introduced shortly get in touch with us on a number that is not being affected by these price hikes.

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