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PhonepayPlus outlines transition to premium rate regulation of 0871

05 February 2009

Following today's Ofcom announcement that PhonepayPlus will take over day-to-day regulation of 0871 numbers on 1 August 2009, PhonepayPlus has outlined its transition strategy and implementation plan.

PhonepayPlus ensures smooth transition to premium rate regulation of 0871 number range with six month implementation plan

Ofcom has today announced that PhonepayPlus will take over day-to-day regulation of 0871 numbers on 1 August 2009, when numbers beginning 087 - with the exception of 0870 - will formally be recognised as Premium Rate Services (PRS), putting them under the remit of PhonepayPlus' Code of Practice.

PhonepayPlus' implementation plan

Ofcom has also announced a six month transition period, during which providers of 0871 services - which include technical helplines, ticket bookings, road traffic advice lines - must ensure they comply with the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice.

PhonepayPlus has responded with the announcement of an implementation plan which will ensure all stakeholders are fully aware of the changes; any responsibilities they may have under PhonepayPlus' Code of Practice; actions they may need to take in order to become compliant; and which parts of the Code apply to them.

For consumers, the plan will provide greater clarity regarding the cost of calls placed to 0871 numbers, and their options should they have concerns about the promotion or operation of 0871 services.

PhonepayPlus' implementation plan will include:

  • Communication with 0871 Network Operators and Service Providers formally advising them of their responsibilities under the Code of Practice and actions they may need to take to become compliant; Industry workshops to introduce 0871 Network Operators and Service Providers to the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice, its meaning and their responsibilities within it;
  • Media and marketing campaigns to educate consumers and industry about what the new regulatory regime means for them;
  • Online information and registration tools as a resource for industry and consumers to help them understand the changes and what they mean;
  • Publication of supporting materials including Helpnotes, FAQs, and a Statement of Expectation; and
  • Liaison with consumer protection groups to ensure they are fully briefed and able to direct concerned consumers as necessary.


Application, consultation, regulation - background to handover

Ofcom has today announced the outcome of a Review of the 0871 number range, which contained a package of measures to improve consumer protection and pricing transparency. Ofcom has decided to make 0871 numbers subject to premium rate regulation which is defined by the PhonepayPlus' Code of Practice. The Code will also now extend to 09 numbers that are charged at more than five pence per minute (PPM) and less than 10 PPM.

On 13 November 2007, PhonepayPlus published a [LINK:/upload/0871_Services.pdf -> TITLE : Statement of Application ]for the regulation of 0871 numbers, which explained how it proposed to apply the existing requirements of its Code of Practice to services offered on the number range.

Commenting on the change in regulation Paul Whiteing, Acting CEO of PhonepayPlus, said: "Services offered via 0871 numbers are generally very useful and highly convenient, but the cost to call them can vary widely, especially from a mobile phone. Our experience regulating other premium rate services will ensure the necessary safeguards are in place to protect consumers, especially around price transparency,"

"We expect this regulation to be a boon to industry and not a burden, by boosting consumer confidence in these services."

Questions or comments

Those with questions or comments regarding PhonepayPlus' 0871 regulation, or requiring more information on the implementation plan, should contact PhonepayPlus on compliance@phonepayplus.org.uk

For further information, please contact:

PhonepayPlus press office on (020) 7940 7440.