Initiative hopes to stop consumers losing up to £1 per minute
Ofcom has capped the wholesale cost of connecting 070 calls in an attempt to protect callers from fraud and unexpected call costs.
The telecoms regulator has capped the price of calling 070 numbers to 0.5p per minute from a maximum of 39p per minute. This is now the same as the cap for calls to mobile numbers.
070 numbers are often used by classified adverts and small businesses. They are often mistaken for mobile numbers, but are more expensive to call, costing between 45p and £1.10 per minute. Usage can mean possible ‘bill shock’ for consumers, who may have thought they were calling a mobile number.
Ofcom also found that at least 20 per cent of 070 calls involved fraudulent activity such as fake job adverts and missed calls.
Ofcom’s competition group director Jonathan Oxley said: “Millions of calls are made to 070 numbers, but people aren’t aware of the high costs of calling them. This can lead to people receiving much higher bills than expected. So, we’re slashing the wholesale cost of connecting 070 numbers.”