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News : Ofcom's non-geo number changes arrive this July

Ofcom's non-geo number changes arrive this July

PDF - Ofcom changes

Every day, people use service numbers to make phone calls to companies and organisations.

But the cost of calling these numbers ­ which start 08, 09 or 118 ­ is often difficult to find out.

That is going to change, under a new system which will make the cost of calling service numbers clear for everyone. It's the biggest change to telephone calls in over a decade.

What's happening

A brief rundown of the upcoming changes:

  • Freephone (0800) numbers will become free to call from mobiles, not just landlines.
  • Costs to call 084, 087, 09 or 118 numbers will be split into a service charge, and the telephone operator's access charge.
  • Any businesses using these paid numbers will be required to advertise the costs wherever these numbers are found - be it on a website, in print, or anywhere else.

When your customers make a telephone call to a service number ­ one beginning 08, 09 or 118 ­ it’s not always clear how much it will cost.

That is going to change, under a new system that will make the cost of calling service numbers clear for everyone. It affects all calls from consumer mobiles and landlines to 08, 09 and 118 numbers.

How it works now

Customers sometimes see information about the cost of calls, which looks something like this:

“calls cost 20p per minute from a BT landline. Other landlines may vary and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.”

This makes it hard to know the cost, unless you happen to be calling from a BT landline.

How it will work in future access charge + service charge

From summer 2015, the cost of calling service numbers will be made up of two parts:

An access charge: this part of the call charge goes to your phone company, charged as pence per minute. They will tell you how much the access charge will be for calls to service numbers. It will be made clear on bills and when you take out a contract.

A service charge: this is the rest of the call charge. The organisation you are calling decides this, and will tell you how much it is.

Which numbers are affected

These rules will apply to all consumer calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers across the uk, delivering clearer call rates for everyone.

Calls to landlines and mobiles are not affected. Neither are calls from payphones, international calls, or calls to the uk when roaming overseas.


In addition, all freephone numbers (which begin 0800 or 0808) are being made free for consumers to call from all phones, whether mobile or landline.

Other Information 

It has now been brought to our attention that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are requiring the use of basic rate service from 26th October. For more information on the regulation being brought in by the FCA take a look HERE

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