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Provide a customer helpline? What you need to know…

May 30, 2014

Courtesy of Duncan Laker – Welcome Telecom – a Bristol Business Network member.  This post came about as a result of a conversation during a networking event!

The consumer legislation refers to post completed contract communications for consumers. It means that you cannot charge more than “standard” rates to a customer if you provide telephone contact numbers for help lines. E.g. a customer buys something from one of your stores and you give them a number to call if they have any problems or queries. Confusingly it does not apply to sales lines or technical support lines where they form part of the contract.
As ever the legislation is not terribly clear, so many of our customers have sought advice on their options, especially for advertised contact numbers. I’ve attached a copy of the legislation that may help. The relevant section is in PART 4, clause 41, page 19.
Clause 41
This comes into effect in June this year, but Ofcom, in the interests of clarity will be bringing forth new regulation on the charging structure for 08 numbers in June 2015. This won’t have any impact on the consumer regulations, but will change how some numbers are charged. For example currently 0870 numbers should not, by regulation, be charged to the caller at a rate that is higher than that charged by a provider for non-geographic calls. From June 2015 these will revert to numbers that can generate revenue for the recipient, the caller paying an enhanced rate to provide that revenue.
Full details and implications will probably be more available by the end of the year.
Clear? Mmmm.  More details here

Click on image for the full copy

Or for expert advice contact
Duncan Laker
Managing Director
Welcome Telecom Ltd
Unit 13, Salmon Springs Trading Estate
Cheltenham Road
T: +44 (0)1453 704 821
F: +44 (0)8081 293 505

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