Press release:

Ofcom to protect vulnerable consumers with cap on 118 numbers

Commenting on Ofcom’s announcement to cap the amount that 118 operators can charge customers, Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at uSwitch.com, says: “The fact that these numbers are mostly used by the elderly and more vulnerable consumers who might not readily have access to the internet means it’s right the regulator steps in.

“118 operators have been losing customers since their heyday as use of the internet for everyday enquiries has become the norm,  and the reaction of some 118 services has been to increase charges for their limited customer base.

“By capping these calls at £3.65 per 90 seconds from next April, Ofcom has put a restriction on excesses. This is a clear signal that there is a limit on how much providers can recoup operating fees by hiking costs to a dwindling number of users, who often are unaware of the charges.”

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Launched in September 2000, uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, broadband, TV services, mobiles and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, car and home insurance. Last year we saved UK consumers over £278 million on their energy bills alone.

Customers can sign up to an account that automatically monitors the energy market and notifies them when they can move to a cheaper tariff, while broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and identify the best deal for their postcode.

The multi award-winning 'Switching Made Simple' app allows customers to compare energy, broadband, credit card, mobile and SIM-only deals – and uSwitch also has a UK contact centre manned by energy and broadband experts. Customers can post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH to receive a free call back and be guided through the comparison process, or they can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details.

uSwitch is owned by ZPG, which operates some of the UK’s most trusted digital brands that help empower smarter property and household decisions including Zoopla, Money, PrimeLocation and SmartNewHomes.

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