Since Britain voted to leave the EU back in June 2016, there has been a sense of uncertainty in the air. This is a huge time in British history, and yet no one seems quite sure what will happen next. Whether Brexit will have a positive or negative effect on our nation is yet to be seen - a lot is set to change over the coming years. In this article we will take a look at what could change in the telecoms industry, and more specifically in regards to call charges to 0330 numbers in the UK.

Will Brexit affect the telecoms industry?

There may well be some changes in the telecoms industry, as specific regulations may no longer be constrained by EU Directives. This may well mean that significant requirements for investment in telecoms could disappear. As the telecoms regulatory regime in the UK is based predominantly on EU Directives which were written with the aim of achieving an EU-wide consistent communication regime, it will be important for the UK to consider the right course of action going forward.

One of the main telecoms issues being discussed in relation to Brexit is European roaming charges. The EU brought in a new law abolishing mobile roaming charges on July 15th 2017, allowing citizens travelling within the EU to call, text and browse the internet on mobile devices, whilst paying the same price they pay at home.

While the news was met with excitement from British travellers, it is likely that Britain will be dropped from the agreement once it leaves the EU, with mobile operators able to dictate the roaming charges themselves. Three have already committed to keeping roaming free, with Chief Executive Dave Dyson branding roaming charges “a rip off", but other operators may not be so kind.

What will happen to existing EU Laws and Directives?

The UK released details of its ‘Great Repeal Bill’ the day after Theresa May invoked Article 50, triggering Brexit. The bill will ensure that European law will no longer apply in the UK. This means that EU legislation will need to be copied across into UK law to make sure of a smooth transition the day after Britain leaves the EU. Parliament will then be able to “amend, repeal and improve” these laws as necessary.

Existing EU Laws and Directives could be abolished, depending on how Parliament see fit. One Directive likely to be scrapped is the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive. It is likely that the UK will focus on its own Climate Change Act, rather than the EU’s defined targets.

So, what about call charges to 0330 numbers?

Currently, calling an 0330 number costs exactly the same as if you were calling a normal landline number to a home or a business for example. 0330 numbers were introduced back in 20017, after Ofcom called for the use of expensive 084 numbers to be reconsidered by large businesses. These numbers were proving to be expensive for the consumer, especially when having to wait in a queue to speak to an operator. 0330 numbers became a great replacement for these premium-rate numbers, especially for the consumer. Call charges to 0330 numbers will remain the same following Brexit.

What about the Consumer Rights Directive?

The EU Consumer Rights Directive was introduced in 2014 to simplify consumer rights. The Directive made it illegal to use premium rate 084 and 0845 numbers for customer service and complaint lines.

The rules state that all calls made to customer support lines must not cost the customer any more than a call to a standard geographic number would. This means that 0330 numbers are a great choice for customer help lines, as they cost the same to call as a standard geographic number.

Luckily for UK consumers, it is highly unlikely that the EU Consumer Rights Directive will be repealed following Brexit. This is due to the legislation that the UK Parliament brought in to implement the Directive, which is now a part of our domestic law.

A Directive is a type of legislation that is ‘directed’ at EU Member States. It gives members an aim that they need to achieve, but it is down to each member state to put their own legislation in place in order to achieve this aim.

What other benefits do you get with an 0330 number?

In addition to 0330 numbers costing the same as traditional geographic numbers, they also come with some great features. 0330 numbers can be pointed at any standard number, helping to give your business a national, professional presence. Also, as 0330 numbers are virtual, it means that if your business moves premises, there is no need to change your number. This avoids any costly amends to your marketing materials.

Using cloud-based telephone number, Number Supermarket can have a new phone system set up for your or your business in minutes. With flexible options such as call recording, online management and even a mobile phone app. Perfect for businesses of any size, packages start at £9.99 per month: if you’re interested, you can buy 0345 numbers from Number Supermarket online here - as well as any other UK number range. Any questions? Call today on 0330 332 0400 and speak to a member of their customer service team.