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Ofcom to make all calls to 'Freephone' numbers free from mobiles

From 1st July 2015 all Freephone numbers starting with 0800 or 0808 will be free for consumers to call from any phone; both landline and mobile phone.

This alteration by Ofcom will affect more than 175 million phone numbers. In addition charges for mobile and landline calls to numbers that start with; 084, 087 and 118 will become clearer as previously callers dialling these 'service numbers' have not generally been told by the service provider how much they can expect to be charged.

Ofcom Logo

Research undertaken by Ofcom has found that callers to these numbers in the UK spend 250 million hours calling these 'Freephone' numbers, costing around £900 million per year.

This is all set to change on July 1st, under changes being bought forward as part of the UK Calling scheme, in which prices will be made clearer on telephone bills as well as in marketing materials and new advertisements.

Ofcom Chief Executive Sharon White has said, "UK Calling is the biggest change to telephone calls in over a decade."

"Together we spend around £900 million a year calling service numbers, so it’s important that people understand the cost before they pick up the phone."

White also added, "Callers will be able to see what they’re paying and where their money is going. You can visit ukcalling.info for more information on the changes, and what they mean for you."

From Wednesday 1st July consumers will be able to:

  • know that when they call a Freephone number from a consumer mobile the call will be free;
  • understand the exact cost of making a call to a service number call by adding the access and service charges together;
  • compare the prices of different service providers more easily; and
  • choose a provider with a competitive access charge when signing up to a new landline or mobile deal.

Changes are being made to ensure that customers are aware of how much they will be charged when calling certain numbers as well as making billing and marketing more transparent.