New 0845 number regulations
From 13 June 2014 it will be against EU law for organisations to profit from calls to post-sales lines, where calls are being made in relation to contracts entered into with the trader.
If you are currently using 0845 or similar numbers for your customer complaint lines, you will have to switch to either a more typical geographical number (i.e. 01, 02) or, if you still require the operational benefits of an non-geographic 0845 number, you will have to switch to an 03 number.
Switching to an 03 number is probably the simplest solution, as all you will have to do is substitute the 8 for a 3. For example, 0845 becomes 0345.
The law was passed on 13th December 2013 as part of “The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013” and therefore only applies in a B-2-C environment, where a consumer is calling a trader regarding a product they have purchased. The new regulations DO NOT cover B-2-B contracts.
As part of your contract with your existing provider, you should already own the 03 version of your current 08 number, so it will simply be a case of requesting the switch and upgrading your literature accordingly.
Follow this link to the official policy of the Consumer Rights Directive under UK governance.
Follow this link to the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.
Under part 41 in Help-line charges over basic rate” on page 19, it states:
Where a trader operates a telephone line for the purpose of consumers contacting the trader by telephone in relation to contracts entered into with the trader, a consumer contacting the trader must not be bound to pay more than the basic rate.
(If in those circumstances a consumer who contacts a trader in relation to a contract is bound to pay more than the basic rate, the contract is to be treated as providing for the trader to pay to the consumer any amount by which the charge paid by the consumer for the call is more than the basic rate.