Over the next few days, tens of thousands of UK businesses are changing their telephone numbers. This is needed in order to comply with new national "consumer protection" laws stemming from an EU Directive published in October 2011. The new laws come into force on 13 June 2014.
This may be an interesting opportunity to see how quickly Google copes with re-indexing these things and how various businesses listings are updated.
The changes affect businesses using premium rate 084, 087 and 09 numbers for their customer service lines. From Friday, they must offer a geographic rate (01, 02 or 03) telephone number.
Some businesses are changing only their customer service numbers, retaining their premium rate telephone numbers for sales lines, while others are changing all of their numbers.
Where a business migrates their numbers, most are swapping their existing 084 numbers over to the matching 034 numbers. There are also a number of businesses swapping their 087 numbers over to the matching 037 numbers.
Other businesses are swapping a variety of 084, 087 and 09 numbers over to completely new 01, 02, 030 or 033 numbers.
Where Google encounters both an 034/037 and an 084/087 number listed for a business, the 034/037 number is the one that should be shown. It will be interesting to see how their systems cope with this change.
Perhaps a few people may like to share their observations here.
Some businesses completed these changes weeks or months ago. The 13 June 2014 deadline has been known ever since the EU Directive was published in October 2011.
Similar new laws apply across Europe from 13 June 2014. However, I am led to believe that premium rate usage for customer service lines isn't as widespread in continental Europe.
Note: 030 and 080 numbers are NOT in any way related.