My recent bloggings

Describing the cost of calling 03 numbers - some progress at the BBC

Use of 03 numbers offers a perfectly acceptable solution for public bodies (and others) who do not wish to impose a "Service Charge" on callers to a non-geographic number.

For this to be recognised however, it is imperative that where a call cost statement is made it is both accurate and not potentially misleading. A user of a number can never give a total call cost in absolute terms because some element is always set by the caller's chosen provider.

There has been, and there remains, a problem with the BBC using potentially misleading statements. I am however pleased to report that some of these errors are being corrected.

This blogging celebrated the adoption of a 03 number by BBC Question Time in 2010, but noted the misleading call cost statement used initially, on which I comment.

I am delighted to provide an illustration of the new, and perfectly proper, statement which is now being used. It was introduced for the broadcast on 6 October 2011 (part way through the current series).

I have also created a scruffy little animated gif to show the developments on Question Time:

Let us hope that, in time, a more standardised form of calls cost announcement, as well as rules for when these are necessary, will emerge into general use.

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