Frequently asked questions
doing business online
I'm not happy with the service provided by my telecoms supplier. What can I do?
Many equipment operators, installers and maintainers have signed up to the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) code of conduct. If you feel your listed supplier has not complied with the code, contact the TIA who will investigate your complaint.
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We are moving our business location. Can we take our fixed line numbers with us?
There are technical limitations on fixed line number portability but Ofcom are encouraging as much flexibility as possible. Generally with a landline you can only move within the same exchange area but VoIP and hybrid fixed-mobile services are bringing more options. You can have an existing number forwarded to a new number, working at the same time as the new number until your contacts have got used to using it. You can also have a recorded message which gives the new number while the caller is being redirected and continues after the redirection service has been discontinued. If you start in temporary premises and know you will be relocating some time in the future then you could use a non-geographic number.
What can I do about junk fax messages?
It is unlawful to send direct marketing faxes to individuals including 'sole traders' and (except in Scotland) partnerships unless the sender has received prior consent. Companies can register their fax numbers not to receive unsolicited faxes. You should:
1. contact the company faxing directly stating that you do not wish to receive any further faxes
2. contact the Fax Preference Service (FPS) on 0845 070 0702 or through their website.
There is a 28 day grace period to allow companies time to update their records. If you continue to receive junk faxes outside this period, keep a copy of the fax(es) and complete the FPS' complaint form.
The Fax Preference Service is run by the Direct Marketing Association. Regulations relating to unsolicited faxes are enforced by the Data Protection Commissioner.
What can I do about unwanted telephone sales calls?
Individuals, including 'sole traders' and (except in Scotland) 'partnerships' can opt out of receiving unsolicited telesales calls via the Telephone Preference Service. To register your request not to receive telemarketing calls you should:
1 contact any company making such calls directly stating that you do not wish to receive any further calls
2 contact the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) on 0845 070 0707 and give your telephone number. There is a 28 day grace period to allow companies time to update their records.
The Telephone Preference Service is run by the Direct Marketing Association. Regulations relating to unsolicited sales calls are enforced by the Data Protection Commissioner.
What is the convention for presenting phone numbers on business stationery?
Considerable benefit can be obtained from consistent forms of number presentation. Recommended formats for ten-digit numbers are:
01AB CDE XXXX - 01 range with seven-digit local dialling
01ABC DEX XXX - 01 range with six-digit local dialling
02A BCDE XXXX - 02 range with eight-digit local dialling
0SABC DEX XXX - general use without local dialling
If appropriate the national dialling codes may have brackets inserted preceding the local numbers:
(0SAB) CDE XXXX, (0SA) BCDE XXXX and (0SABC) DEX XXX The International code for the UK can be included with a '+' sign in front indicating that the caller has to also predial the local country's international access exchange i.e. +44 (0)SAB CDE XXXX
Why does my mobile company charge me for freephone numbers - shouldn't they be free?
The costs of making and receiving calls over mobile networks is higher than those for calls made over fixed networks, due to the greater technical complexity of mobile networks. As a result some mobile operators charge more for calls to other operators' services than the published retail price.
There is no requirement on operators other than BT to offer freephone calls at no cost to the caller, although in practice most do so unless it is to a number which is designed to route calls at lower charges.
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