Review of the Premium Rate Services Condition
Ofcom are looking into call connection services and are proposing stronger regulation for 084 numbers (which often catch HMRC callers out). It is LITRG's view that these services are designed to mislead people. Despite our warnings and the warnings of other consumer protection bodies, there is clearly still the potential for call connection services to generate high levels of revenue, otherwise the services would not continue to operate. So more definitely needs to be done.
We have submitted a short response to Ofcom basically supporting their proposals and commending their approach of focussing their analysis of harm on the information gathered from different sources (rather than just on consumer complaints).
For an extra layer of protection for consumers (including HMRC callers), we suggest (in line with the Fair Telecoms Campaign), that call connection operators be required to broadcast a message – that is free to the caller – explaining the call charges. This would give those who decide to not use the service adequate time to hang up without being charged.
Our respons can be found here: Review of the Premium Rate Services Condition – LITRG response