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Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

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IXG011
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Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

While numbers starting 071 to 075 and 077 to 079 are mobile numbers and generally count towards inclusive allowances, numbers starting 070 are defined as Personal Numbers and currently attract much higher call charges and do not count towards inclusive allowances. In some cases, calls to 070 numbers are effectively charged at premium rates.

All that is about to change.

From 1 October 2019, Ofcom has directed that the "termination rate" (aka wholesale rate) for numbers starting 070 will be reduced to be the same as that for calls to UK mobile numbers. This means a reduction from around 40p (£0.40) per minute to less than 0.48p (£0.0048 ) per minute.

The practical effect of this will be to allow retail providers to offer inclusive calls to personal numbers starting 070 on the same basis as calls to UK mobile numbers, or otherwise charge calls to personal numbers at the same rate as calls to UK mobile numbers.

Providers of 070 numbers will have to change their business model. Currently, an 070 number can be used to forward calls onwards to almost anywhere in the world and it is the caller that pays the additional fees for that. From 1 October 2019, it will be the user of the 070 number that will be responsible for paying for the call forwarding, not the caller.

This move should see cheaper calls to personal numbers starting 070 and the eradication of a variety of scams on this number range, not least the Wangiri scam. It will also make identity fraud more difficult.

Currently, 070 numbers are effectively untraceable call-forwarding numbers with no record of who they are registered to other than the telephone number of where the calls are forwarded to. This could be an unregistered mobile number in a far-flung country.

The requirement for the number user to start paying the call-forwarding fees means the user now has a traceable financial path and may need to provide ID to set up those payments.

As these changes are now only seventeen days away, announcements should start to appear soon. These will be from two main sources. One will be from providers of 070 numbers detailing the changes as to how these numbers will work and how they will be paid for. The other will be retail landline and mobile providers updating their tariff sheets with new call charge rates as well as changes to the list of prefixes that count towards inclusive allowances.

Landline and mobile providers already offer inclusive calls to UK geographic numbers starting 01 and 02 and to non-geographic numbers starting 03. Many providers also offer inclusive calls to UK mobile numbers starting 071 to 075 and 077 to 079. From 1 October 2019, providers should be able to offer inclusive calls to personal numbers starting 070. Deals usually exclude landline and mobile numbers allocated in the Channel Isles or Isle of Man, and that will likely continue to be the case for some considerable time.

Calls to numbers starting 080 and 116 are free-to-caller on landlines and mobiles.

Calls to numbers starting 084, 087, 09 and 118 are premium rate. Callers pay an Access Charge to the benefit of their own phone provider and a Service Charge to the benefit of the called party and their telecoms provider. The premium is the additional Service Charge. Usage of these numbers is now banned for most purposes.

The changes to 070 numbers are another step in Ofcom's long running review of non-geographic call services (NGCS). Previous steps have made multiple changes to numbers starting 03, 080, 084, 087, 09, 116 and 118, among others. Very few anomalies remain. Future steps may include changes to the 055, 056 and 076 number ranges, all of which incur non-standard call charges (but are not premium rate). The 0500 range was discontinued several years ago.


In the last few weeks, Ofcom has made a number of updates and corrections to their call charges page at:

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/costs-and-billing/how-muc...

In particular, the section for 070 numbers now includes the additional wording:
"From 1 October 2019, we will cap wholesale charges for connecting calls to 070 numbers. We expect this will allow phone companies to price calls to these numbers or include them in call allowances in the same way that they do for calls to mobiles."

Moderator's note by Dick (Strat): Post released from Spam Filter.

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IXG011
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Re: Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

Given all of the above, what will plusnet be doing on 1 October 2019?

IXG011
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Re: Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

Two weeks has elapsed since the question was asked. There is now just one week to go to find out what Plusnet will do on 1 October 2019.
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

Hi @IXG011

 

We're sorry that it has taken longer than expected to get back to you.

 

Any information that may be relevant to this query or any changes that we make as a Business will be communicated to customers or published on our website. 

 

Kind regards

 

 

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 OllieC
 Plusnet Help Team
IXG011
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Re: Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

Since changes to pricing are normally announced at least 30 days before they come into effect, and given that 1 October 2019 is now just seven days away, is it safe to assume that Plusnet has decided to not comply with Ofcom's expectation that calls to numbers starting 070 will be charged at the same rate as calls to UK mobile numbers and included in allowances on the same basis as calls to UK mobile numbers?

 

If so, that would be surprising.

These are the numbers that people have to use to call relatives and friends staying in hospital. These are the numbers for the bedside telephones, regularly featured in the media for rip-off call charges. Ofcom is removing the basis (high termination rates) for these high call charges and expects those savings to be passed on. 

 

Superuser
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Re: Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.


@OllieC wrote:

Hi @IXG011

Any information that may be relevant to this query or any changes that we make as a Business will be communicated to customers or published on our website. 


 

I cannot find any information the website.  A URL pointer would be extremely helpful.

 

Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

Fix

@MauriceC, @IXG011,

 

It's worth noting this is a 'recommendation' for providers to reduce costings and not a mandatory change that is being imposed. That said we have been notified this morning that we are as a provider amending our pricing so that calls to 070 numbers are classed and charged in line with Ofcom recommendations as a mobile call and inclusive of any included minutes. We are adding a fair usage policy to prevent any potential abuse. 

 

For any Plusnet mobile call plans or bolt-ons including 500 or more inclusive minutes will now include calls to 070 personal numbering services, with a fair usage policy of 150 calls or 500 minutes (whichever is reached first) a billing month. 

 

For Plusnet Landline services:

 

E&W UK & Mobile Calls package = fair usage limit of 1,000 minutes to mobile and 070 numbers 

Unlimited UK & Mobile Calls package = fair usage limit of 2,000 minutes to mobile and 070 numbers 

 

This will also be applicable for Business package variants. 

 

The below Ts&Cs will be updated when it goes live in October. 

 

https://www.plus.net/help/legal/acceptable-use-policy/

https://www.plus.net/help/legal/#price-guides

 

This is all the information we have on this currently and it could be subject to change before it goes live. 

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Link fixed.
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 Joe
 Plusnet Help Team
Superuser
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Re: Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

For anyPlusnet mobilecall plans or bolt-ons including 500 or more inclusive minutes will now include calls to 070 personal numbering services, with a fair usage policy of 150 calls or 500 minutes (whichever is reached first) a billing month. 

@JOLO  could you clarify that for any Unlimited call plans please ? Are you saying that calls to 070 numbers will have a fair usage limit applied whereas other mobile numbers will not ?

Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

@MisterW,

 

The information we've been provided seems to confirm that unlimited mobile minute plans will have a fair usage policy to 070 numbers of 150 calls or 500 minutes.

 

 

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 Joe
 Plusnet Help Team
IXG011
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Re: Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

Many thanks for the comprehensive answer covering the details of the expected changes. I understand that it can take a while to extract information from the right people, hence the delay of a few weeks. Given there are still a few days to go, the information is still timely.

 

I expect there to be an upside for Plusnet in all this. I guess that complaints about billed charges for calls to 070 numbers are a regular occurrence. With the upcoming price reductions these complaints may well all but disappear after next month. Many people seem to expect calls to 070 numbers to be charged exactly the same as calling a UK mobile number, and included in allowances in the same way, and from next month they will be.

Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

No worries @IXG011.

 

It's worth noting ( @MisterW this might link to your comment specifically), that there's a 12 month introduction period on the mandatory cap from the service number side, so those providers have a contingency of 12 months to implement the changes to their call charges. This is likely why we have a fair usage policy to prevent unscrupulous individuals trying to take advantage, in a similar manner to the 084 issues before fair usage was added to those calls too. 

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 Joe
 Plusnet Help Team
IXG011
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Re: Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

As far as I can see, Ofcom gave the providers of 070 numbers the twelve months notice starting on 1 October 2018 and that twelve month period ends next week on 1 October 2019.

 

Those number providers have had one whole year to implement new billing systems and contact all of their end users to arrange for them to pay for the continued ongoing service of their 070 numbers.

Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

@IXG011,

 

Ah! That makes sense, sorry it's been a very long day. 

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 Joe
 Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

The information we've been provided seems to confirm that unlimited mobile minute plans will have a fair usage policy to 070 numbers of 150 calls or 500 minutes

@JOLO  thanks for the confirmation.

I'm not sure it makes any sense though, since the termination charges will be the same as for normal mobile numbers but then again a lot of decisions by bean counters don't make sense...

Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Changes to numbers starting 070 from 1 October 2019.

@MisterW,

 

Well no comment on that. I'm not sure exactly why it's been imposed but I'm sure there will be a valid reason somewhere that will come to light at some point. 

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 Joe
 Plusnet Help Team