UK comms regulator Ofcom are reviewing (full document) the rules on non-geographic calls services delivered to consumers using telephone numbers beginning with 03, 070, 08, 09 and 118 "to consider whether and if so how regulation might need to be adapted or reduced, in the interests of consumers. We want any reform to enhance (or at least preserve) the features consumers value, and encourage new services for the benefit of consumers."
As UK readers will know, if a UK user calls a non-geographic number from their mobile phone, e.g. 0845 or even supposedly freefone 0800 phone numbers, they'll get charged for it - and it doesn't come out of your free monthly call time allowance either. This consumer rip-off bugs me so much it was on my Christmas 2008 wishlist, and I've also blogged about an iPhone / Android app that helps you find non-geographical alternative numbers using the brilliant SayNoTo0870 site.
Ofcom now seek views from all interested parties, including consumers, about the main issues relating to non-geographic numbers, before developing detailed options and proposals. The responses will help them identify the issues and frame their thinking and approach to addressing so they "urge all respondents to be as full and frank as possible in responding to this call for inputs."
They've given a surprisingly short time-scale - people only have less than a month to get their views in to Ofcom. There's a contradiction in their webpage says the deadline for when the consultation closes is 30 May 2010, but the full paper says it's 28 May - so I'd get your views in by 28 May for luck.