Today Ofcom released a consultation to begin tackling the problem of call cost confusion for consumers. The aim of the consultation is to clarify call charges to 03, 08, 09 and 118 numbers, as currently they are unclear or not advertised publicly unless calling from a BT line. At the moment, a caller may hear a warning that calls from anything other than a BT landline may vary and cost considerably more, but no figures are actually given. Under the new proposed guidelines, the message will tell you how much you can expect to pay per minute plus a company's access charge. The consultation comes after Ofcom published research on non-geographic numbers late last year.
The new proposals could see 0800 numbers become free from all phones, including mobiles, which at the moment can cost up to 21p per minute.
"By making calls to 0800 numbers free from all phones, we will clear up any uncertainty about making calls, especially from mobiles, to the benefit of consumers and service providers alike."Ed Richards, Chief Executive of Ofcom
Ofcom currently have a rough guide published which can give consumers vague costs of calls. The new proposals will also include a new, standardised structure in to revenue sharing ranges, and remove confusion from 0845/0870 costs.