eReceptionist says make 0800 a truly ‘free to use’ service…
eReceptionist, a leading business service provider for voice and phone system services, backed the telecom industry regulator Ofcom’s call to make 0800 numbers free to use on mobile networks in the UK.
The comment follows editorial in The Times (pg 35, August 14, 2013) that mobile phone operators are challenging Ofcom’s proposals: please see the link to the article here
By Rory Whelan, voice marketing manager, eReceptionist.
“Serious opposition from mobile phone operators today highlighted a serious issue facing the Freephone 0800 number in the UK and the efforts by industry regulator Ofcom to make it a truly ‘free’ service on both landlines and mobile phones.
“More and more companies use 0800 numbers as their primary telephone service and mobile phones have replaced landlines as the primary communication device in many households. Why should these consumers be penalised when someone who calls a landline gets to make the call for nothing? And why should businesses paying for Freephone numbers potentially miss out on business due to inflated mobile charges?
“At the moment, many mobile providers are relying on customer confusion to rake in extra profits. Although 90% of consumers recognise 0800 as a Freephone number, many do not realise that their mobile providers continue to charge up to 40p a minute to use the same service that is free to call from their landline. This is sheer profit taking and a cash cow for the mobile phone industry worth tens of millions every year.
“We welcome the efforts by Ofcom to make the 0800 service a truly ‘free to use’ service on landlines and the mobile network. The 0800 number is free to call for landline and mobile users in many European countries – why should UK customers be unfairly penalised?
“Small businesses find 0800 numbers a lifeline – research shows that call volumes for those businesses can almost treble using an 0800 number. But if consumers are confused by call charges, and mobile companies make up to 40p a minute on every call, it undermines the whole concept of ‘free to use’.
“Consumers should have nothing to fear from making a call, and we welcome and back the efforts of Ofcom to protect the integrity of the ‘free’ 0800 service.”
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