SMEs face 200% hike on 0870 phone bills

August 25, 2017

Thousands of small businesses could see their phone bills treble next month as new Ofcom rules on non-geographic numbers come into force.

Companies that have failed to migrate from 0870, 0871, 0872, 0873 and 09 numbers could face increases on their phone bill of up to 200%.

Research by B2B broadband provider Opal found that up to a third of its customers have not yet responded to the new Ofcom rules due to time and manpower constraints.

Many firms previously received income from incoming 0870 calls.

However, under the new legislation, firms that made £1,500 per month from having an 0870 number could now find themselves footing a bill of £1,200 per month.

“This really could be a black September for thousands of businesses when the first bills arrive,” said Geoff Wilson, Opal finance director.

“Some firms are still calculating the impact of changing their 0870 number to an alternative, working out where the number is currently published and trying to understand the cost of changing literature, websites and so on,” he added.

The new Ofcom legislation that changed the rules on premium rate numbers came into effect on 1 August.

“However, it is not too late to act,” Wilson said.

“Any business still to make the change away from ‘0870’ can do so quickly and easily.”

timyeo

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