PhonepayPlus highlights importance of industry monitoring of 087 number ranges
1 September 2009
One month to the day since PhonepayPlus took over regulation of 0871/2/3 numbers, it is reminding 087 network operators to remain vigilant about the threat of consumer harm from services operating on their 087 number ranges.
PhonepayPlus has already seen evidence of a potential missed-call scam operating on 0871 number ranges. It identified the threat early and has worked with the networks involved to stamp it out before it became a problem for many more consumers.
Over 40 people have complained to PhonepayPlus about the service – operating on 20 separate 0871 numbers – which has subsequently been voluntarily suspended by the networks concerned pending investigation.
The numbers were used to call consumers’ mobile phones, largely at night, registering missed calls. Complainants who returned the call were greeted with a prize draw message asking them to leave personal details.
PhonepayPlus’ Director of Standards & Communications, Simon Bates, said: “In this case, we were alerted to the issue via complaints, but we would prefer operators to put safeguards in place to identify potential harm occurring on their ranges and bring this to our attention before a single consumer is affected. In doing so, they will also help prevent damage to their reputation caused by association with potential scams.”
Calls to 0871 numbers typically cost 8 pence from a BT landline but can cost up to 35 pence if called from a mobile phone.
PhonepayPlus’ new rules came into effect on 1 August and ensure that the price of the call is made clear and that, if there is to be a delay, the consumer should be able to make an informed decision about whether to stay on the line.
PhonepayPlus is the organisation that regulates phone-paid services – the goods and services that you can buy by charging the cost to your phone bills and mobile pre-pay accounts. Further details of its work can be found at www.phonepayplus.org.uk
For further information, please contact the PhonepayPlus Press Office on 020 7940 7440.