By Simon Woodhead
We’ve made our views on UK origin surcharges pretty clear: they’re a filthy money grab that we believe is going to harm competition, cause a lot of stress at all levels of the supply chain, and ultimately harm consumers one way or another. Shame on Ofcom for having the bright idea to enable them without any lobbying, and shame on BT, EE, Vodafone and Three for taking advantage of it at breakneck speed with no forewarning.
In case you’re still unclear, Simwood took a position early on that we would not pass these dirty surcharges on to our customers at any level, and would instead rely on our fraud mitigation and real-time network management to ensure we didn’t have to. We maintain that position. We have however started to levy surcharges on other carriers to level the playing field.
From our perspective this is working well. We expected to need to increase rates but so far have not, and with very few exceptions, we’ve seen clean traffic. Keep in mind though that we’ve been rejecting the most punitively surcharged traffic – that with Invalid CLI – since Ofcom asked us to. We don’t need a money grab opportunity to comply with Ofcom’s rules. Notably, those who were so quick to surcharge didn’t and the mind boggles as to why.
However, a few months into this, with accounts payable processes having caught up to what’s going on, we’re aware of significant distress in the market amongst operators of all scales. In the main this seems to be operators hosting number ranges with surcharging networks receiving dirty traffic in from them unfiltered and being mercilessly screwed if sending it back out again. Alternatively, they’re being surcharged for poor CLI having gone overnight from no-restriction to no-restriction with surcharges of Pounds a minute.
A number of those, including some very large networks in the UK and other markets, have found Simwood and we’re onboarding them as quickly as we can. If you know of any that may not have found us, we’d really appreciate you sending them our way, and have no doubt they will. We can’t help with their losses to date, but we can stem the bleed because we will not pass surcharges on to them. Even if your surcharges so far have been modest, modest is still infinitely larger than zero and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out what a few Pounds per minute amounts to in billing cycle liability.
We don’t do hard sell but feel really strongly about this (in case you can’t tell). Vote with your feet people.
Give us a call if we can help!