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Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan (Read 273,789 times)
bbb_uk
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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #180 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 7:33pm
 
Dave wrote on Jun 18th, 2006 at 6:29pm:
I also notice that throughout these consultations, service providers such as insurance companies and banks that operate large call centres have kept silent.
This could be down to them not being aware of Ofcom's (many) consultations on this.  The only people that most likely know about the (many) consultations are the actual teleco's themselves, forum members of this site and MSE forum members.  As we know, Ofcom don't advise anyone (except maybe their telco chums) of their consultations except for those that subscribe to their consultation announcement emails.

I agree that some service providers such as insurance companies, banks, Sky, etc may be aware of the consultations but have chosen not to respond in which case, as you rightly say, this is basically their own fault.

I wouldn't be surprised if some teleco's don't bother informing their customers in case it results in loss of custom and more importingly revenue the teleco's receive.  This could well be true in the case of 0870 users if they migrate to a 0844 which results in reduction in revenue to both the teleco and their customers.  I also assume that some teleco's only inform their customers of ofcom's intentions as and only when necessary and will of course, like ntl:Telewest, recommend migrating to 0844 or 0871 numbers.
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Dave
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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #181 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 7:57pm
 
bbb_uk wrote on Jun 18th, 2006 at 7:33pm:
I wouldn't be surprised if some teleco's don't bother informing their customers in case it results in loss of custom and more importingly revenue the teleco's receive.  This could well be true in the case of 0870 users if they migrate to a 0844 which results in reduction in revenue to both the teleco and their customers.  I also assume that some teleco's only inform their customers of ofcom's intentions as and only when necessary and will of course, like ntl:Telewest, recommend migrating to 0844 or 0871 numbers.

And this is where the citizen-consumer should be put first!

Different parties (members of Ofcom included) appear to and do in fact have their fingers in the pies they are baking. Is that a proper saying or have I just made that up?

Anyway, how can Ofcom possibly ask the telcos what they think is the best way to structure numbers and expect an answer that isn't based around them maximising their profits?

The reality is that convincing the regulator to do A B and C because it "furthers your existance" is just another part of operating a telecommunications company. All that is happening is Ofcom is there to justify its own existance and the telecoms companies do what they please.

The farce with Patientline (discussed here) not complying with 'deadlines' and then being let off only serves to emphasise the fact that Ofcom is as much use as a chocolate fireguard. It may help signal to others who want to make a quick buck that they should enter the telecommunications market because they don't need to know anything about telecoms; just know about spin and telling your customers only what they need to know, i.e. what you want them to know. If you fail, well you won't fail because the 'regulator' won't let you fail...
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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #182 - Jun 19th, 2006 at 3:13pm
 
I took up with my local MP the question of 0870 scams and the Ofcom questionnaire putting people off replying.  She looked into it and sent back a very good reply, and perhaps we should all try this, despite the reservations some may have about our traditional democratic process.  After all, Parliament is where the power to do something about it resides.

Needless to say, she is not one of Conman Blair's placemen/women!

John
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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #183 - Jun 29th, 2006 at 10:21pm
 
It is five weeks since this consultation closed and all responses have yet to be published on the Ofcom website here. To date, the total stands at 168.

I have received an e-mail stating that Ofcom has received a "large volume" of responses to this consultation. Whilst I can understand that responses cannot be published on the website before they have been checked that they don't contain profanaties or libelous statements (at least I assume this), is anything been done with them in the meantime as far as Ofcom coming to a conclusion? Or does this wait until responses have been 'processed' and published online?
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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #184 - Jul 9th, 2006 at 9:56pm
 
It's now six weeks and all responses are still not there. Mine isn't and BT's isn't. I have had confirmation from Andy Montaser that mine is waiting to be processed. Is Ofcom just not cut out to handle large numbers of responses?
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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #185 - Jul 12th, 2006 at 1:18pm
 
Just read Job Centre Plus' response to this consultation.

In particular I liked this:-

Quote:
Although not addressed directly within this consultation, generally customers originating calls via mobile networks who are seeking services offered by Jobcentre Plus are discriminated against due to the mobile tariff transparency and the proportion of calls inflated, on what is intended as a low cost call.

A significant proportion of citizens contacting Jobcentre Plus are some of the most vulnerable in our society, who are either in receipt of state benefits or applying for benefits, which makes them some of the least able to pay for inflated call tariffs in order to access basic Government services.
I believe this is only because my FOI to them highlighted this and did therefore discriminate against those that are unemployed and can not afford to have a landline.

Although not their (JobCentre Plus) fault, I also mentioned that mobile networks do not actively inform their customers or in most cases even display on their website that calls to these numbers are not "local" rate, or even charged anywhere near local rate, but are in fact charged upto around 35p/min.

Ofcom have obviously no interest in making the networks that want to charge 35p/min for these numbers inform their customers beforehand.  Instead Ofcom stated it would cost too much for the networks to implement.  So as is the case with Ofcom, the Teleco's come first and somewhere near the bottom of their priorities is us end consumers.

I personally can't see why calls to NGNs can't be priced at upto 15p/min to these numbers (obviously the maximum 15p/min is for when calling 0871 numbers).

Failing that, a call announcement could be implemented as it would/could be paid for by the profit they make from calls to 084/087x NGNs.
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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #186 - Jul 22nd, 2006 at 7:01pm
 
Dave wrote on Jul 9th, 2006 at 9:56pm:
It's now six weeks and all responses are still not there. Mine isn't and BT's isn't. I have had confirmation from Andy Montaser that mine is waiting to be processed. Is Ofcom just not cut out to handle large numbers of responses?
BT's response is now available at

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/BT.pdf

Others of note are:

COI http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/coi.pdf
CMA http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/cma.pdf
FCS http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/FCS.pdf
Flextel http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/FlextelLimited...
3 http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/H3G.pdf
Job Centre http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/JobCentrePlus....
Magrathea http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/MagratheaTelec...
MBG http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/mbg.pdf
OCP http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/ocp.pdf
 (why do they bother?)
Orange http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/OrangeWanadoo....
PRA http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/PremiumRateAss...
Scottish Exec http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/ScottishExecut...
Sheffield CC http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/SheffieldCityC...
South Lanarkshire Council
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/SouthLanarkshi...
THA http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/THA.pdf
Thus http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/Thus.pdf
Trading Std http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/TradingStandar...
UKCTA http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/UKCTA.pdf
Voda$$$phone http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/Vodafone.pdf
Welsh Assy http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/WelshAssemblyG...
RD Feltham http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numberingreview/responses/FelthamRDDr.pd...


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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #187 - Jul 27th, 2006 at 11:16am
 
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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #188 - Jul 27th, 2006 at 1:14pm
 
A very brief mention of 03 numbers made it onto the Radio 4 One O Clock news today.

They didn't have time to cover the other parts though.
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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #189 - Jul 27th, 2006 at 8:10pm
 
Thanks for spotting that idb.

The summary is available here and although I haven't read the whole document (link provided by idb) here is a brief outline of what I read from the summary:-

  • 03 - This range will be created and revenue sharing will be forbidden and also Ofcom mentions that that teleco's will be required to include them in any discounts/tariffs, etc they do.  Also; 0300 memorable numbers will be reserved for government departments and not-for-profit organisations.
  • 06 - Personal numbers - migrated from 070 - see below
  • 06 - Individual numbers - these will be allocated directly to end users and not to teleco's as personal numbers are.  Ofcom have admitted this raises issues which will be looked into further.
  • 070 - These personal numbers, or stealth premium rate as they are used by some scammers, will be capped (no firm commitment given on what the price cap will be) and eventually, in upto 3 years, moved to 06x range.  Any teleco charging more than this cap will have to issue free call announcements.
  • 080 - will remain as freephone numbers (well from landlines anyhow)
  • 084/087 - Ofcom plans on introducing greater call transparency on these ranges where many businesses still refer to these ranges as local/national rate.  New number allocations will be become clearer on the call charges as they will follow a pattern (ie the higher the digit after the the '4', the higher the cost of the call - still upto 5p/min for numbers beginning 084x).  Existing numbers in this range appear to be staying the same as they are so we are still none the wiser as to the cost of these calls.
  • Ofcom hopes(!) to raise consumer transparency by developing tariff descriptions that give information on call costs regardless of the type of line a call is made from.  This will likely involve another consultation because costs from mobiles to NGN's currently cost upto 40p/min instead of upto 10p/min from a BT landline.


This is only a brief outline of what Ofcom intends.
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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #190 - Jul 27th, 2006 at 10:37pm
 
In other words these are more or less precisely the proposals Ofcom announced in their consultation document three months ago totally unmodified in the light of any comments received with the possible exception that there is now a firmer commitment to ensure that 03 are numbers priced at the same tariff as 01/02 calls by any telecoms provider and not just that they can be at the same price as geographic calls

But the basic problem is not overcome that those who were scammed into getting 0845s must get a new 03 number to do the right thing while the business of the telco number salesmen scammers will carry on largely untrammeled.  Also due to the widespread forces of inertia, ignorance and deceit associated with the whole NTS industry clearly people like the Inland Revenue will take forever to change from their current 0845s.  Had 0845 numbers been priced at geographic rates imminently there would have been at least some near term solution.

It is an utter disgrace that the totally incompetent overpaid Stephen Carter stays clear of one of Ofcom's most important issues and allows 0845 which were supposed to be Lo-Call for public services to remain premium rate revenue sharing numbers charged at up to 35p per minute or £21 per hour from mobiles.  This is on the excuse that 0845 dial up calls are still very important when over 8 million uk phone lines now have broadband. Roll Eyes

The whole of this consultation's outcome was in any case completely prejudged by the fact that Ofcom put out its statement on 084 and 087 numbers before responses on this consultation even closed.  As a result we all knew that Ofcom had already made up its mind to maintain the nonsense of the 08 prefix code containing Freephone numbers, lower cost premium rate revenue sharing numbers including 087 controlled by ICSTIS and and 0870 moving to geographic national rate.  A scheme quite deliberately designed to leave most of the business of the scammers undisturbed while forcing anyone decent to get a new 03 number.

I have also become convinced that the whole deal with making 0870 into national rate on 31st Jan 2008 is in fact a covert way to help the scammers by rendering most of the information in our own database worthless at the start of 2008 and us then having to find out a whole lot of new 0871 numbers that most of the 0870s will migrate over to.

I note how most people have not had the heart to even say anything about this statement by Ofcom because most of us feel so outraged that the regulator can behave this cynically, incompetently and corruptly that it leaves us speechless with indignation and fury.  Also note the 27th July release of this very controversial statement which is clearly designed to ensure that it will get lost in the summer holiday period when most people are busy with other things. Wink

The disgraceful super careerist and quite unprincipled Stephen Carter is paid over £400,000 a year for allowing he and his other overpaid henchmen to kick the public in teeth and to feather bed the interest of Sky, BBC, Capita et al where he no doubt now hopes to get his next million pound job having learned precisely nothing at all about the proper duties of a public sector organisation during his three or so grotesquely overpaid years at Ofcom.

Sorry but this whole thing just leaves me quite speechless with rage.  We ought to do a press  release to express our indignation but most of the press seem to have been got at not to cover this story in any detail and/or Ofcom has left it deliberately impossible for the to understand what is going on by the absurd and illogical complexity of their proposed solution. Wink Roll Eyes Angry Angry

Lastly with BT apparently cutting over uk phone exchanges to its 21st Century Network and Voip only traffic from the start of 2008 onwards are we therefore to assume that most phone calls will still be made using telephone numbers rather than the voip equivalent of email addresses?  If so it seems the business of NGN calls will continue unhindered.
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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #191 - Jul 28th, 2006 at 11:03am
 
I agree NGM.  For your added amusement, Ofcom have incorporated, at page 171, a further consultation!.
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KK
 
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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #192 - Jul 28th, 2006 at 11:51am
 
Just thought I would add the following from BBC1 Ceefax page 122 which I read this morning (omitted 1st para as only introduction:

"New 03 prefix for phone numbers

The numbers starting with the prefix 03 will be charged at local rate.

Calls will cost the same as a landline with an 01 or 02 code but will not be linked to specific geographic areas.

Regulator Ofcom hopes organisations now using 0870 or 0845 numbers will view the 03 prerfix as a more "appropriate" national point of contact."

Maybe I'm dim but I'm now even more confused as I thought the term "local rate" was no longer acceptable as there is no longer any such tariff other than for a small number of BT customers.  Secondly, how will this affect inclusive packages?   I know there is something about telecos having to include calls to 03 nos but how will this work?   What will happen to the term NGN as it will no longer apply only to chargeable numbers?    This whole muddle will allow unscrupulous users (this covers the vast majority of those using 084x/087x numbers) to tie their customers further in knots!   Lastly, what is the value of Ofcom hopes (please don't explode NGM, I'm being sarcastic!)?  And why did the BBC (or do I mean their masters Capita) decide to put the word appropriate in inverted commas - they don't seem necessary to me.

Can anyone explain what this will really mean for the average customer who may need to make a call, particularly to a public organisation (& I include transport etc) in a hurry and just hasn't got time to research volumes of Ofcom pronouncements first?

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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #193 - Jul 28th, 2006 at 12:57pm
 
The Ofcom Press Release says:

Quote ......

2. New UK-wide 03 number range

Ofcom will introduce new UK-wide 03 numbers from early next year. Calls to 03 numbers will cost the same as calls to geographic numbers, and be included as part of any inclusive call minutes or discount schemes for geographic calls. This will apply to calls from any line. No revenue sharing will be permitted on calls to 03 numbers.
The introduction of 03 numbers will enable organisations to offer consumers a single national point of contact without making additional charges for the service. This should give consumers confidence about calling 03 and Ofcom expects public services and many others to view 03 numbers as more appropriate than chargeable 08 numbers.

End quote.

No mention of “local rate”, so the BBC must have invented the term “local rate”.
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KK
 
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Re: Ofcom review of UK Telephone Numbering Plan
Reply #194 - Jul 28th, 2006 at 1:13pm
 
Better get ready to set up some more sites - saynoto0871 and saynoto0844. These organisations who are currently using 0870 and getting a revenue stream from this are not going to sit back and watch this dry up and hence they will migrate their traffic to 0844 (5ppm) or 0871 (10ppm). Thus the consumer will probably end up paying more.  Cry

BTW - if you cannot stop the google ads from appearing then surely it might be benefitial to just close down this site as its just another source of obtaining one of these Non-geographic numbers!!
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