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Changes to use of 084 and 087 numbers for customer queries

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will force some organisations to migrate away from 084x and 087x number ranges that they currently use for inbound customer service contact in June 2014.   How will the changes affect you? Not all types of organisations will be affected. There are exclusions such as financial services, the property sector and government department helplines that are not covered by the proposals. BIS are also seeking further views on whether to apply all the provisions to the travel and timeshare sectors.   Organisations that are affected include retailers who will need to review how the changes impact them and whether they need to make alternative arrangements for customer service and complaint telephone numbers.   We cannot advise you specifically on whether you will be impacted so we recommend you seek legal advice as to whether the changes will impact you.   What do you need to consider if you are affected? If you have been advised by legal counsel that these new regulations will affect your organisation then there are several considerations to discuss:

  • You will have to change your customer service and complaints phone numbers to ones that charge no more than the geographic rate
  • As a result of changing your phone number you will also need to update all your promotional material
  • You will also need to plan for the loss of income that may result from switching to a zero or geographic charge number.

Please note: The impending changes only apply to customer service and complaint lines and your customers will still be able to use 084/087 numbers for sales lines, business to business calls and technical support lines.   Primarily we want to make sure you are aware of this impending legislation and encourage you to discuss the changes as soon as possible.   If you have any questions about the impending changes proposed by BIS, or would like more information on alternative numbers then please contact the Customer Support Team on customer-service@directnumbers.co.uk or call 08000 755 755

What number are you currently using for customer service and complaint lines?What’s the impact of the Consumer Contract Regulations?
  01 & 02 geographic numbers e.g. London 020No changes necessary
  03 non-geographic numbers charged at a geographic rateNo changes necessary
0800 & 0808No changes necessary. These numbers are already free to phone from landlines (and Ofcom should soon make these free from mobiles too).
0843 0844 0845 0870 0871 / 0872 / 0873  From 13 June 2014, it will be a legal requirement that these numbers are no longer used for customer service and complaints lines. They must be switched to a geographic (01/02), or a non-geographic 03 or 080 number.   Changing to a 03 non-geographic number is probably the easiest solution, as migration ranges exist for this purpose. For example 0845 becomes 0345. Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than calls to geographic numbers.   Please note: 084 & 087 numbers can still be used for sales lines, business to business calls and technical support lines.

Kind regards   Customer Support Team Direct Numbers