Ofcom scraps 070 pre-call warningMessage was causing burglar alarm problems

18 December 2007

A close-up of a telephone cord a man is using to make a call.

A warning message informing callers about the cost of 070 'personal numbers' has been scrapped just months after it was introduced.

The move follows complaints that the call-cost warning was preventing burglar and personal alarms, which also use the 070 number prefix, from working properly.

In September telecoms regulator Ofcom ordered that all 070 numbers costing more than 20p in total should include a free message at the start explaining the costs.

But it says the pre-call announcement (PCA) sometimes left insufficient time for automatic calls from burglar alarms and personal safety devices to be completed before automatically timing out.

Alarms

These alarms trigger an automatic call to monitoring centres which sometimes cut out and re-dial if they are not completed within a set time.

Ofcom said: ‘This potentially endangers the life and security of people who depend on the reliability of such services.’

Numbers starting with 070 are known as ‘personal numbering’ services which enable the holder of the number to be contacted whatever their location.

But scammers have targeted 070 numbers to try to fool consumers into thinking they had a missed call from a mobile phone number, which also commences with ‘07’.

Telephone scams

Ofcom added: ‘We continue to have major concerns about telephone number abuse, and remain committed to the identifying and reducing scams and other abuses by appropriate means.

‘We will take appropriate enforcement action where we identify abuse on 070 numbers.’