As reported in our January 2014 eZine, the maximum Call Handling Fee (CHF) which the current ECAS operator, BT Communications Ireland (BT) can charge operators for managing the ECAS was increased from €2.93 to €3.08, as from 12 February 2014. According to ComReg, this year’s increase to €3.08 is primarily due to lower than predicted call volumes. The volume of calls handled is a relevant factor for determining the reasonable costs of the ECAS operator and therefore the maximum CHF to be charged. The data published by ComReg shows the overall trend in decline of calls to the ECAS during 2013 and as such lends support for the hike in the CHF. At an annual level, the percentage decline between 2012 and 2013 was -4.2%. A copy of the table showing call volumes for each month in 2013 is available at page 3 of the relevant Information Notice.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, and given the unusually good weather enjoyed last summer, the only month which showed a positive figure was July 2013 (+1.9% up from July 2012). At the other end of the scale however, one would have expected the winter period (and particularly December) to have shown a similar pattern and resulted in a positive figure. Perhaps we all just stayed indoors!