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Flextel "close" 0870 (Read 7,244 times)
irrelevant
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Flextel "close" 0870
Apr 30th, 2009 at 9:12pm
 
They are blaming ofcom, of course, for being unable to continue offering 0870 numbers except in a few limited ways.

Quote:
service.update@flextel.com to me 20:49


As you may be aware, proposals made last week by Ofcom will effectively close our 0870 service from 1st August 2009.

We know that Ofcom have massively underestimated the cost that this closure will have on the many small businesses that rely on 0870 numbers. However, you still have an opportunity to warn Ofcom of their mistake, by responding to their consultation, outlined below.
______________________________________________

The Ofcom Statement

Last week Ofcom suddenly issued a revised statement, delayed for over a year, on the future of the 0870 service, giving users only 3 months notice:
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/0870calls/0870statement/

Ofcom also published consultation proposals deciding the new rates for 0870:
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/resolve0870calls/

The proposed below-cost rates imposed on FleXtel by Ofcom, appear to slavishly support BT, in its well publicised attempt to destroy the 0870 market:
http://business.scotsman.com/business/BT-calls-on-Ofcom-to.2642029.jp

The 184 page statement (and 108 page consultation) do not make easy reading to the general public, nor do they clearly highlight what the implications of their proposals will be to businesses using these numbers. However, once you have waded through the spin and jargon, it becomes clear that Ofcom is proposing rates to the industry that are below cost (i.e. loss making) to all but the few largest operators, like BT. (Ofcom have used an antiquated model, seeded by BT, in their cost calculations and have not factored in the cost of international call extension and the loss of EU and international trading).

Despite the damage done to FleXtel and other small operators, mobile operators will still be free to charge what they like for 0870 calls, so consumers will still be unprotected from rip-off 0870 charging.
______________________________________________

But what does all this mean to you?

The Ofcom decision means that on 1st August:

* The 0870 service cannot continue in its present format.

* 0870 calls can no longer be extended to UK destinations, Ireland, US or to the many EU countries that are currently supported. In simple terms the 0870 service, as you know it, will be closed.

* It is not clear whether porting 0870 numbers is feasible under the new rates.
______________________________________________

What can FleXtel do to help?

* FleXtel will continue to allow 0870 calls to the FleXtel voicemail and faxmail services.

* FleXtel will provide a free Change Number Announcement to allow migration over to alternative FleXtel numbers.
(A scheme to provide customers with alternative desirable or personalised numbers is being developed).

* FleXtel is working to enable 0870 to VoIP(SIP) destinations, by the Ofcom imposed deadline. This may help some hi-tech customers to continue to use 0870 in a limited manner.
______________________________________________

Responding to Ofcom

Ofcom have proposed these changes must happen by 1st August 2009. However, the closing date for responses to the consultation is next Thursday, 7th May 2009.

Details of how to respond are available at:
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/resolve0870calls/howtorespond/

It is FleXtel's view that it is definitely beneficial for you to respond to the consultation and make Ofcom aware of how these proposals will affect your business, especially in these particularly challenging times.

Remember, it is only a few months since common sense lobbying by FleXtel customers successfully forced Ofcom to rethink proposals for the closure of the 070 service. Last year Ofcom also had its knuckles rapped by the Competition Appeal Tribunal, and it is likely that a similar appeal may be made against this ill advised and wholly unnecessary intervention. However we have no choice but to plan for closure now.
______________________________________________

Engaging with Ofcom

FleXtel has been actively engaged with Ofcom for a number of years and will continue to battle to create a better and fairer marketplace for all. Our philosophy and previous interactions with Ofcom are available at:
http://www.flextel.co.uk/ofcom/

You will understand FleXtel is deeply disappointed that Ofcom has refused to listen to our constructive arguments, failed to protect innovation and appears to remain firmly within the shadow of BT.

Finally, thank you all, for your continued support and as always we are keen to hear your suggestions and feedback.

______________________________________________
Kevin Archer
Marketing Manager
ask@flextel.com
Main +44 870 3210 100
______________________________________________
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jgxenite
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Re: Flextel "close" 0870
Reply #1 - Apr 30th, 2009 at 9:30pm
 
Flextel always seem to give the impression they are so hard done to, and yet they must be making a fortune out of the call revenue from 070, 0844 and 0871 numbers (and obviously 0870 numbers up until Ofcom stops the revenue share on them).
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Re: Flextel "close" 0870
Reply #2 - May 1st, 2009 at 9:32am
 
I expect I've misunderstood but wouldn't this be a good thing?  If not, could someone explain please?
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Re: Flextel "close" 0870
Reply #3 - May 1st, 2009 at 9:47am
 
It is a bit confusing, I'll give you that. From what I can tell, yes, it is a good thing.
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Re: Flextel "close" 0870
Reply #4 - May 1st, 2009 at 10:21am
 
From a business perspective any limitation to legitimate trade is a bad thing. The fact is that the 0870 business (along with all other use of revenue sharing numbers) is based on a model that does not work fairly in the context of competition on telephone tariffs.

When 084 was tied to the "local call rate" and 087 to the "national call rate" all was well. These rates no longer apply, although the fiction that they do is maintained. From the day when the cost of making a local or national call fell below that for making a call to a 084/087 number these numbers became "premium rate".

Sadly, neither Ofcom, the providers nor the users of these numbers took the trouble to make this clear to consumers. The anger that has been generated in response to this situation has been cynically exploited by BT. If Flextel and others had been effective in promoting the alleged benefits of lower-premium-rate numbers to consumers (of the numbers and of their services) in a clear and transparent manner, then neither this campaign, the action by Ofcom, nor the clever intervention by BT would have been necessary.

Perversely, this campaign and the recent move by BT have raised awareness of the dangers of calling 0870 numbers to a level that may not exist for the alternative 0871 and 0844 ranges. For this reason, and also if Ofcom's objectives for 0870 were to be achieved (which is far from clear), then 0870 is not the problem that it once was. If Flextel is simply moving customers on to the alternatives then perhaps this cannot be said to be a good thing!
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Re: Flextel "close" 0870
Reply #5 - May 4th, 2009 at 12:11am
 
What is really confusing is 087 is soon to be classed as premium rate, except for 0870, which will cost the same as 01, 02 and 03 numbers and much cheaper than 0844 and 0845, unless your calling from a mobile in which case you'll pay possibility up to 50p/min. Wow! Ofcom have really simplified things. Wink
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« Last Edit: May 4th, 2009 at 12:12am by DonQuixote »  
 
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Dave
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Re: Flextel "close" 0870
Reply #6 - May 4th, 2009 at 12:14am
 
DonQuixote wrote on May 4th, 2009 at 12:11am:
What is really confusing is 087 is soon to be classed as premium rate, except for 0870, which will cost the same as 01, 02 and 03 numbers and much cheaper than 0844 and 0845, unless your calling from a mobile in which case you'll pay possibility up to 50p/min. Wow! Ofcom have really simplified things. Wink

Indeed. Those who went for 0845 numbers because they were local rate (back in the day) now find themselves at a disadvantage to those on 0870 who deliberately set out to charge a premium.
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