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News for Members

04 September 2015

Complaints Handling - New FCA Call Charges Rule

The CCA would like to remind our members about the new FCA rules which aim to limit the cost of telephone calls which consumers make to firms. 

The rules will make it cheaper for consumers when they need to speak to a firm and will help prevent consumers being discouraged by the cost of a call from addressing an issue or complaining. The rules will also bring financial services in line with businesses in other sectors that are subject to the communications provisions in the Consumer Rights Directive (Directive 2011/83/EU). 

As of the 26th October 2015 a firm which operates a telephone line for the purpose of enabling a consumer to contact the firm in relation to a contract that has been entered into with the firm, must not bind the consumer to pay more than the basic rate for the telephone call.

For the purposes of the call charges rule, the basic rate is the simple cost of connection and must not provide the firm with a contribution to its costs or revenues.

 

The following numbers, if used by firms, would comply with the call charges rule:

(1) geographic numbers or numbers which are always set at the same rate, which usually begin with the prefix 01, 02 or 03;

(2) calls which can be free of charge to call, for example 0800 and 0808 numbers; and

(3) standard mobile numbers, which usually begin with the prefix 07, provided that the firm ordinarily uses a mobile number to receive telephone calls.

 

The following numbers, if used by firms, would not comply with the call charges rule:

(1) premium rate numbers that begin with the prefix 09

(2) other revenue sharing numbers in which a portion of the call charge can be used to either provide a service or make a small payment to the firm, such as telephone numbers that begin with the prefix 084 or 0871, 0872 or 0873; and

(3) telephone numbers that begin with the prefix 0870 as the cost of making a telephone call on such numbers can be higher than a geographic cost and will vary depending on the consumer’s telephone tariff.

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