Ofcom makes calls from mobiles to Freephone numbers free from 1st July – good news for consumers, but UK businesses need to count the cost

PRESS RELEASE: On July 1st, all calls made from mobiles to Freephone numbers (0800 and 0808) will at last be free. This move from Ofcom is great news for consumers, but will have a financial and practical impact on any UK business that uses on Freephone numbers for inbound calls.

Says Justin Hamilton-Martin, CEO of Ultracomms: “Businesses will almost certainly see the number of Freephone calls (for which they pay, not the consumer) increase; after all, most of us are using our mobiles more frequently. There is an upside to this of course – such as consumers reacting more spontaneously to promotions that they see while out and about – but apart from additional costs, businesses could also see the overall number of calls increase, thus placing more pressure on customer-facing staff.”

Justin Hamilton-Martin lists three steps that companies can take to mitigate the impact:

• Migrating to ‘03’ numbers (which cost no more than a national call rate to an 01 or 02 number)
• Offer customers the option to request a call-back to avoid lengthy hold times)
• Plus promote other ways to contact a company (live chat for instance).