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Freephone numbers will soon be free for mobile phones



Ofcom has announced that calls to freephone numbers from mobile phones are finally set to become free.

Despite the misleading title, freephone numbers actually incur a surcharge when you call them from your cellular.

Freephone calls are only ever free when you’re dialling from a landline. Because everybody still uses those, right?

The change is due to come into action from July 1. You’ll still be charged if you make calls until then.

To clarify, a freephone is any number that begins with either 0800 or 0808.

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Ofcom also revealed that all telephone services will now have to be clear on their pricing for premium number calls from both mobile and landline.

Next month, we’ll see the biggest changes to telephone calls in over a decade,” said Sharon White, Ofcom’s chief executive.

She continued: “Together we spend around £900 million a year on these calls, so it’s important that people understand the cost before they pick up the phone.”

Premium calls are to any numbers that start with 084, 087, 09, and 118.

Under the new rules, providers will need to reveal call costs breakdown – that includes access charges and service charges, shown separately.


June 11, 2015, 4:38 pm

'bout bloody time!

Next we need to get 087 and 084 numbers (which, incidentally, are strictly speaking "business rate", not premium rate!) included in monthly call allowances as the "calls to landlines" that they always have been!

It was a historical oversight of OfCom that they got missed off the list that they have been rather reluctant to fix (I suspect because a lot of government departments still use them to make money)


June 12, 2015, 2:07 am

I wonder how categorical this is, I will still double check with my provider.
For instance, Three UK introduced 'free' 0800 calls on new contracts but then diminished all you can data for tethering.
They may be somewhat peed-off, I have one of their older contracts : - )
giff-gaff may not be happy either free 0800s was one of their selling points and it paid to buy a £5 PAYG sim for an old spare phone and just use it for freephone numbers.

I agree with chaosdefinesorder, "bout bloody time!". Very succinct sir.
087 & 084s cost £40 an hour on some contracts, Ofcom are without shame or a sense of urgency.


June 12, 2015, 12:04 pm

It's like giving it with one hand and taking with the other. Now they have added a surcharge to the 084 and 087 numbers, what a con!

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