More to come from Ofcom ... we hope
BT has made a noble attempt to do Ofcom's job for it - assuming of course that BT was intending to hand back all this extra cash to the customers who paid it in the first place.
It is now for Ofcom, when the outcome of the current review is seen in the Autumn, to do its own job properly. With the "NTS condition" lifted from BT, regulation of the surcharges levied on PRS and "revenue sharing" calls will have to applied across the market - Yes Ofcom has at last discovered that BT's rates are not universally copied because of its market dominance.
In my submission to the Ofcom "call for input", I propose that regulation would have to be against a tariff-specific base rate, with banded limits for each call type. Discounting of 01/02/03 calls against the base would be permitted, e.g. through inclusion in packages.
The vital issue is for the extent of the surcharge to cover the cost of paying over money to the call recipient to be limited and known by the caller. We will then be able to see whether we are being ripped off by our bank, our doctor, HMRC or our telephone company - or perhaps all of them, as at present in some cases.
It is for Ofcom to ensure that we can see what is going on, not for BT to collect penalties from those who it believes are being greedy (even if we agree with its judgement. Under present regulations BT can do almost nothing about what it charges for 084 calls, it can however increase its rates for chargeable 01/02/03 calls at the constant rate of 30% per annum, so they now cost more than the most expensive 084 call.
Ofcom must act firmly to end this madness. Thanks for trying BT, but get ready to sort yourself out when your shackles are removed - that is when we will see your true colours.