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Changes to phone numbers to make charging clearer

With effect from July 2015 Ofcom (the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) has stated that call charges must be made clear to customers.

  • Freephone numbers should be free including calls from mobiles 

  • Calls to premium rate numbers will be capped to help protect customers from rogue operators and high call costs

  • 0845 numbers must clearly state the costs involved

Importantly 0845 numbers will be categorised the same as premium rate numbers where currently they are deemed to be a lo-call (local) number.

Ofcom recommends that where organisations wish to publish a non-geographic number that this is to be a 03xx number and this will cost the same as a standard 01 or 02 geographic number. 03 numbers must also be included as part of any call plans including from mobiles.

In addition to Ofcom rules, the FCA has also drawn up recommendations based around complaints lines. They recommend that calls to complaints lines should cost no more than the standard geographic rate.

As a trusted insurer, Ecclesiastical has made the decision to migrate all of our 0845 numbers to 0345 numbers ahead of the regulatory date and you can use these numbers immediately. You simply need to change the 0845 to 0345, the rest of the number remains the same.

To minimise customer impact we will be running both numbers in tandem whilst all our documentation is amended.

Our website has been amended accordingly and a recorded message on the main switchboard will advise callers on the 0845 number of the change and give them the option to redial on the 0345 number.

Our renewal documentation will show the new number from July renewals and our policy literature and other printed documents will be updated over the next 12 months as part of reprints or reissues to avoid unnecessary waste.

If you would like to see the article published by Ofcom, it can be found at:
http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/news/clear-call-rates/.

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc (EIG) Reg No 1718196. Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) Reg No 24869. Ecclesiastical Life Ltd (ELL) Reg No 243111. Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services Ltd (EFAS) Reg No 2046087. Ecclesiastical Underwriting Management Ltd (EUML) Reg No 2368571. E.I.O. Trustees Ltd Reg No 941199. EdenTree Investment Management Ltd (EIM) Reg No 2519319. All companies are registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ. EIO and ELL are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 113848 (EIO) and 110318 (ELL). EFAS and EIM are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 126123 (EFAS) and 527473 (EIM). EUML is an appointed representative of EIO who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 402228.