The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 come into force on 13th June 2014.
These regulations affect any trader providing service to consumers, i.e. Business to Consumer relationships. Some activities are excluded, gambling, banking, some areas of property, lettings, package travel, regular food deliveries and timeshare because they are covered by other areas of law. The regulations do not apply to vending machine sales, automated sales or services ordered by phone or internet for a single connection.
The full regulations can be found at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/3134/made
We wish to highlight one part of the regulations because it relates to use of telephone numbers, we will let you read the rest of the document at your leisure.
41. Help-line charges over basic rate
(1) Where a trader operates a telephone line for the purpose of consumers contacting the trader by telephone in relation to contracts entered into with the trader, a consumer contacting the trader must not be bound to pay more than the basic rate.
(2) If in those circumstances a consumer who contacts a trader in relation to a contract is bound to pay more than the basic rate, the contract is to be treated as providing for the trader to pay to the consumer any amount by which the charge paid by the consumer for the call is more than the basic rate.
If you currently provide service or products to consumers and your activities are not excluded you need to consider the numbers you publish for after sales calls.
Numbers beginning 01, 02 and 03 are acceptable because they are classed as local calls so they are not charged more than basic rate.
Premium rate numbers beginning 09, 0871, 0872, 0873 and numbers beginning 084 are not acceptable as they are charged at more than basic rate.
Numbers beginning 080 are Freephone numbers but because they cost more than basic rate from some mobiles you should provide an alternative number for mobile users.
Numbers beginning 07 are mobile numbers, some of these could be free to callers within their mobile call bundles but not all numbers are. The guidelines suggest these are acceptable but you may wish to consider providing an alternative number.
If you currently use 084x and 087x numbers you can request alternative numbers beginning 03 replacing the second digit, 8, for a 3, with the rest of the number remaining the same. This means that the number 0845 123 4567 could be replaced with 0345 123 4567, for example. We class these as reserved numbers as they can only be ordered by the customer with the matching 08 number.
Plum Communications can provide a whole range of 01, 02, 03 numbers including the reserved 03 numbers and we can route them to your choice of destination number. Our hosted services allow use of auto attendant, divert to mobile, voicemail, call recording, time of day routing and in call transfer to alternative destination.
For more information on how to stay compliant and how to use inbound numbers please call:
Plum Communications Tel: 0161 622 3500 or email: email@example.com.
Wednesday, 11 June 2014