Switch from 0845 to 0345 | What it means
Changes in BIS regulations mean that retailers, traders and passenger transport companies have to adopt an 01, 02, 03 or 080 number for customer service lines. Government departments have been similarly advised by Cabinet Office Guidance. New FCA regulations will shortly do the same for the financial sector.
For example The Department for Work and Pensions previously used 0845 608 8545 before making the switch to 0345 608 8545 n March 2014
A timeline of 0345 Changes
Published by BIS on 13 December 2013, Regulation 41 of the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 requires retailers, traders and passenger transport companies to use 01, 02, 03 or 080 numbers for post sales helplines. The new rules came into force on 13 June 2014. Where an organisation hasn’t complied, Regulation 41(2) gives the right to a refund of all call costs over and above whatever an equivalent call to an 01, 02 or 0300 telephone number would have cost.
The FCA has recently published similar regulation for the financial sector. From 26 October 2015 banks and insurance companies must provide numbers starting 01, 02, 03 or 080 for customer.contact. This spells the end of usage of expensive 084, 087 and 09 numbers.
The Cabinet Office published guidance for central governmwnt departments, their agencies and other bodies across the wider public sector landscape on 26 December 2013. This suggested they stop using 084 and 087 numbers and instead used 01, 02, 03 or 080 numbers. Most departments have complied by switching to 0300 or 0345 numbers. This includes HMRC, DWP, and most local authorities.
Ofcom published regulations on 12 December 2013 requiring all users of 084, 087 and 09 numbers to declare the Service Charge everywhere their number is advertised. The new rules came into force on 1 July 2015. Those who cannot justify the Service Charge must change their number to stop imposing it. Ofcom made matching 034 and 037 numbers available in 2007 for users of 084 and 087 numbers to migrate. Many are now taking that option. This mainly affects sales and enquiry lines.