Purpose of this Code of Practice
This code informs you, our domestic and/or small business customers, about our policies on providing information about Premium Rate Service (PRS) and Number Translation Service (NTS) calls and on our charging policy for calls to PRS and NTS numbers.
Premium rate services
Premium rate services (PRS) are telephone numbers that offer some form of information or entertainment that is charged to your phone bill. UK-based PRS numbers are normally prefixed by “09” or “118”. Numbers starting 087 are also designated as Premium Rate numbers and subject to PRS regulation when they cost 7p per minute or more. Typical services include TV vote lines, mobile ringtone downloads, technical helplines, charity fund-raising and adult entertainment.
Charges for these services are made up of two parts, a service charge and an access charge and the total is added to your telephone bill. You will see the service charge advertised by the company providing the service alongside the number and this can be between 7p and £3 per minute, or £5 per call or per text (excl. vat). The access charge is kept by us, your phone company. Our access charge for calling these services is shown in our price list, which is available on request from our sales team on 01271 370707.
If you have a problem with PRS, we can help. We can provide advice on checking the telephone number of any PRS charges that appear on your bill and will try to help you identify the premium rate service provider. We can use call barring to restrict access to “09” numbers. Please call our support team on 01271 370707 for advice on this. We can give you a factsheet on PRS.
You can also ask for help from Phone-paid Service Authority (PSA) which is the industry-funded regulatory body for Premium Rate Services. PSA operates a Code of Practice that sets out standards for the operation of PRS. You can use the PSA website at psauthority.org.uk to check PRS numbers direct and find contact details for the company in question or to submit a complaint. PSA has legal powers to require a provider of PRS to amend its service or promotional material (or both) and can also order refunds and impose penalties on service providers for breaches of the PSA Code. For other ways to contact Phone-paid Services Authority, see the “Useful addresses” section below.
Number translation services
Number translation services (NTS) are based on numbers that are normally pre-fixed “08”. For example, 0800 and 0808 are used to provide Freephone services (some Freephone services are also provided on 0500 numbers). Numbers starting 084 are normally used for customer service helplines. 087 numbers are used for information services, technical helplines and telephone banking. They are also used by organisations to help them provide call-management features such as intelligent call routing and fax-to-email services. Numbers starting 087 are also designated as Premium Rate numbers and subject to PRS regulation when they cost 7p per minute or more. Personal numbers prefixed 070 are also used for providing NTS such as “follow me” type services.
Charges for calling services on NTS numbers are made up of two parts, a service charge and an access charge and the total is added to your telephone bill. You will see the service charge advertised by the company providing the service alongside the number and this can range from free up to 10.8p per minute or per call (excl. vat). The access charge is kept by us, your phone company. Our access charge for calling these services is shown in our price list, which is available on request from our sales team on 01271 370707. We can also give you a factsheet on NTS.
If you are unhappy with the help you have received from us on a problem with PRS or NTS, please contact Nathan Lindsay on 07471 033033, who has responsibility for compliance with our code of practice for PRS and NTS. You may also complain using the complaints procedure set out in our complaints code including, ultimately, referring your complaint to The Communications Ombudsman/CISAS.
If you use the Internet, it is possible for software to be placed on your computer without you knowing – using the same methods as for computer viruses. This type of software (known as Internet or rogue diallers) can then make calls to PRS and NTS numbers without your knowledge. Software is available to detect this activity and we can help you to access this – please contact our support team for details. Phone-paid Service Authority has been given responsibility for policing this type of activity and you can contact them via psauthority.org.uk to ask for help or to report examples of this type of abuse. For other ways to contact Phone-paid Service Authority, see the “Useful addresses” section below. We can also help by barring calls to 09 numbers.
The Telephone Preference Service
If you don’t want to get sales and marketing calls you have not requested, you can add your details to a list run by the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). If your number is on the list, it is illegal for a company to call you for marketing purposes. You can contact the Telephone Preference Service via www.tpsonline.org.uk or by telephoning 0845 070 0707.