Changes to 084/087 numbers will have a limited impact on the not-for-profit helplines sector

The rules have changed regarding the use of certain numbers, but the impact on helplines providing advice or emotional support is likely to be minimal in most circumstances.

New rules affecting numbers beginning with 084 and 087 have come in following changes to European legislation. Organisations and businesses that use a 084 or 087 number to run a customer service line for consumers to call if they have a problem or query with goods or services that they have purchased, need to look at changing this number to an 080, 03, 01 or 02 number.

Most not for profit or charitable helplines are likely to fall outside of the new rules which are designed to protect consumers. Helplines that sell their services or sell merchandise should look at the new rules. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has issued some guidance.

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The new rules are creating some confusion as helpline is a term used by many businesses to describe a line for customers to resolve a problem, which is the focus of the changes. The use of ‘help-line’ in the legislation refers to organisations who are selling a service and acting as traders, and where they are running a complaint/customer service operation on the number in question.

What’s really important to note is that the changes to 084 and 087 are highly unlikely to affect most helplines and are far more likely to affect businesses or large charities that have trading operations linked to their work. If you do have any queries or concerns, or would like to talk about numbering issues for helplines please

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