0871 regulation proposed by ICSTIS

Telecoms /

The phone regulator ICSTIS has today launched a pre-consultation which sets out clearly the need for enhanced consumer understanding about the cost of calling 0871 numbers.

Following the decision by Ofcom in April 2006 for ICSTIS to regulate 0871 numbers from early 2008, ICSTIS is today launching a pre-consultation outlining the issues that will need to be addressed to ensure that consumers continue to have trust and confidence in using 0871 numbers.

ICSTIS pre-consultation emphasises the importance of ensuring consumers understand that 0871 numbers can cost up to 10p per minute and may cost more from some mobile phones and other networks.

Paul Whiteing, Deputy Director of ICSTIS said: "Consumer trust in 0871 numbers is crucial. If you are calling a company and they may be charging you up to 10p a minute then you need to know this before you call. We will also want to be clear that any delays in handling that call are not deliberate or designed to make money out of the consumer. Our aim is to create a set of regulations that put the consumer at the heart of the regulatory requirements and to do this we will be insisting on absolute clarity and transparency when it comes to telling consumers what calls cost. This will be backed by tough enforcement powers."

The pre-consultation document has been launched by ICSTIS today. The closing date for comments is Friday 29th September 2006. ICSTIS encourages all companies and consumer bodies with an interest to respond with their views

David Orrell