By Simon Woodhead
TLDR: All conserved and desirable 020 ranges (i.e. 020 7 and 020 8), and Conserved area codes, will now have a small set-up charge to discourage stock-piling.
For many years we’ve had a recurring issue with pricing UK numbers. If it is too cheap, certain customers will hoover up all free numbers faster than COVID toilet roll, while if there’s only chargeable/premium numbers remaining, certain other customers will be more outraged than a Jeremy Vine listener whose clipboard is full.
Many years ago we sought to resolve this issue by giving the most desirable ranges (020 7 and 020 8) a set-up charge. For those who wanted a London number there were plenty of 020 3 numbers, the code for London being 020, not 0207/8, while for those who absolutely wanted an 020 7 or 020 8 they were available for a charge. This issue has evolved in that 020 3 is now subject to stock-piling while the set-up charge on 020 7 and 020 8 is considered by some to be excessive for anyone who doesn’t need one.
Thus, effective today we’ve made some changes:
- 020 7 and 020 8 will have their set-up charge reduced to £5 from £100.
- 020 3 will have its set-up charges increased from £0 to £2.50
Mechanically, numbers are considered ‘gold’ or ‘standard’ and these one-off set-up charges are levied as an increment to the ‘gold’ number fee. Thus when seeking these ranges in the portal or API you will not find any listed in the ‘standard’ zero set-up charge ranges. Further, when looking at gold numbers specifically the cheapest may be at this rate but more desirable numbers may have a higher charge.
Given there are other ranges around the country which are genuinely conserved by Ofcom, and indeed for which Ofcom levy a fee in excess of what we charge many customers (given our monthly rentals are uniform), the same £2.50 set-up charge will also be applied on those ranges designated Conserved by Ofcom, and any we may determine should be based on customer behaviour (e.g. 020).
Please note, we are making no changes to number rental charges and, as one of the largest hosts of other operator’s numbers in the country, would remind all Virtual Interconnect and Managed Interconnect customers that we will host your own ranges on our many interconnects at no charge save for the separate initial fee to provision the whole range.