back to article Ofcom grabs reins on premium rate scams

Ofcom has launched a shakeup of how premium rate numbers are governed in the wake of a series of TV phone-in scams. The communications watchdog will apply closer scrutiny to PhonepayPlus, the premium rate regulator. Ofcom has always been ultimately responsible for premium rate regulation under the Communications Act, but …


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  1. jubtastic1

    Another scam.

    A couple of times I've had someone ring my mobile and say "hello, hello, can you hear me?" in a noisy environment and hang up, as an IT support company I expect to get phone enquiries, the number looks like a mobile, so I returned the call, happily Orange intercepted this and informed me that the number I was dialling wasn't a mobile but was a premium rate line, I hung up before the call was connected.

    I'm sick of all the scum that think it's ok to rob the rest of us rather than do an ounce of work, but more than that, I'm disgusted with just how easy Ofcom made it for them by using the same 07 prefix for mobiles and premium lines.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Yes, sort out 070

    Agreed, 070 should be ONLY for mobiles and personal numbers, with a ceiling of about 10p per minute and NO PART OF IT going to the user.

  3. Timbo

    07000 "personal" numbers rip-off...!

    I too share previous posters feelings about the 070 numbers being used for nefarious purposes....a lot of people don't realise that calls to 070 numbers are charged at higher than usual land-line rates....

    So, what with 0870, 090 and 070 numbers all being charged at a premium, it's about time OFCOM did something on the charging side and made them ALL the same rate....

    Then we all know that if it's not a 01 or 02 prefix, that it's more expensive (as we already know with calls to normal mobile numbers).

    If we're going to keep local call rate numbers, then let's start them with say 0500, (like some of them used to be).

    And FREEPHONE can then start 00 - it then gets simpler to know what it all costs

    IYAM, it's all a big rip-off.....!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    You need to do a bit of research.

    03 number are being phased in. For profit 08 numbers are on the way out.

    As a brief guide:

    0800 Free

    0845 Local rate (only telco makes money)

    0870 National rate (called party gets small percentage of money)

    09's are all charged above standard rates

    1's are services charged are special rates above normal.

  5. Nick Drew

    er.... 00 wouldn't work it's the international dialling code. But beyond that, yes, it makes sense.

    Thing is, the idea originally was that 07x would be mobile numbers, 08x non-geographic and 01 and 02 (as they are now) geographic. But it's basically turned into 087x and 084x being money-spinners (even supposedly local rate numbers) and 070x is just a con.

  6. Pete

    Timbo falls at the last fence

    I agreed with everything but the last idea concerning freephone...

    00 is the international dialling code for this country (and a lot of others)

    Why not have it that:

    01 Regular phone numbers

    02 London phone numbers

    03-06 Reserved for expansion

    07 Mobile Numbers

    08 Freephone

    09 Premium Rate

    Since the 0870 and 0845 are just disguising the true costs, using this new scheme forces them to be more transparent.

  7. Tim J
    Thumb Up

    070 personal numbers are moving to the 06 range

    The changes other people are asking for are already on their way.

    'Personal numbering' in the 070 range will have moved to the 06 range by mid-2009, and there will be a ceiling to the cost of calls to these numbers. It will be possible for call charges to these services to cost more than this ceiling, but if they do they will have to start with a free announcement about the cost of the call, giving people an opportunity to hang up and hence making them far less attractive.

    This was all announced in Ofcom's July 2006 report "Telephone Numbering - Safeguarding the future of numbers".

    Both the summary and the full report can be read from this page:

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: "070 personal numbers are moving to the 06 range "

    Fantastic - there's a whole set of new business cards for me, then.

    I go through mobiles like I go through clothes, so I pick up a lot of numbers, and find that putting an 070 number on the business card means I get continuity and no loss of connectivity for when people want to reach me.

    I also put a note on my business cards about how the 070 number is charged at slightly above mobile rates (which mine is) and most people seem quite happy, as I usually phone them back to avoid them paying the bill.

    They're useful, yes. But they should not be used to make a profit. Mine isn't - mine is used for convenience and for portability, and that's all that I use it for.

    So we're not all swines.

  9. Rich Harding

    This stuff isn't hidden, you know

    It's all been planned at least since phONEday in '95 - and available in the Q&As for that for starters.

    This is (formerly) OfTel's The Big Number Q&A from over 8 years ago:

  10. Timbo
    Paris Hilton

    @Stu & @ Pete

    Thanks for the correction - silly me, I forgot about the 00 for international (shows how much I use land-lines for international - in fact I use Skype !!)....but that's not to say it can't be changed...coz international usually costs even more than 090's....

    As you might have guessed, dear reader, I was suggesting it was made simpler, if OFCOM just changed the system so that the higher the prefix number, the more costly the phone call...

    But I was "hoisted by my own petard" a bit....!

    Still....I suppose phoning Paris Hilton on an international call might be worth it...! Anyone got her number??

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  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How on earth did anyone get Ofcom to admit responsibility for anything. In my dealings with them I could not even get them to admit that they were even an entity. I had a basic complaint about depradations from my phone account funds and they were sorry but they could not deal with the likes of me, did I imnagine that they they were in place for dealimg with the likes of "communications?", Well actually, yes. What else does "Office of Communications" indicate? Perhaps I have lost something in the translation but in my simple understanding of the English language I had always beleved (obviously incorrectly) that words mean what they say. Perhaps our universities should be informed of the new rules.

  13. Heinz


    Ofcom are as much use as a chocolate fireguard - AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN.

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