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Ofcom offers simplified call charges for consumers
Wednesday 04 April 2012 16:17:35 by Hayley Mitchell

Today Ofcom released a consultation to begin tackling the problem of call cost confusion for consumers. The aim of the consultation is to clarify call charges to 03, 08, 09 and 118 numbers, as currently they are unclear or not advertised publicly unless calling from a BT line. At the moment, a caller may hear a warning that calls from anything other than a BT landline may vary and cost considerably more, but no figures are actually given. Under the new proposed guidelines, the message will tell you how much you can expect to pay per minute plus a company's access charge. The consultation comes after Ofcom published research on non-geographic numbers late last year.

The new proposals could see 0800 numbers become free from all phones, including mobiles, which at the moment can cost up to 21p per minute.

"By making calls to 0800 numbers free from all phones, we will clear up any uncertainty about making calls, especially from mobiles, to the benefit of consumers and service providers alike."

Ed Richards, Chief Executive of Ofcom

Ofcom currently have a rough guide published which can give consumers vague costs of calls. The new proposals will also include a new, standardised structure in to revenue sharing ranges, and remove confusion from 0845/0870 costs.


Posted by roph over 5 years ago
Would be a welcome change. I like the GiffGaff make 0800 calls free.
Posted by awoodland over 5 years ago
0845/0870 is nuts! It's cheaper for me to call customer services of a major airline in the USA than it is for me to call their UK line because of this. 03 is everything 0870 should have been and yet no companies seem to even be aware of it.
Posted by mitchja over 5 years ago
all you have to do is use for geographic alternatives and/or use a freephone dialler access number/smartphone app (there's many available) which overlays the 0800 number onto a 01 geographic number so the call just comes off your monthly allowance.
Posted by mitchja over 5 years ago
sorry that should be
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
I used to have 0800 free on my mobile, until loads of dial-in international etc services opened up using 0800 numbers. I wonder how they'll handle that.
Posted by jchamier over 5 years ago
Some radio stations use 0330 which is local rate from anywhere without the con of 0845. (More like the original 0345 !).
Posted by Discus over 5 years ago
Unfortunately, some of the big companies disconnect their numbers as soon as they appear on sayno, or refuse to deal with you if you don't withhold your number. Some examples are 123-reg, HMRC and Sky.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 5 years ago
Ofcom should introduce a rule that anyone who displays an 0845/087 number should also show an 01 or 03 number.
Posted by viperdudeuk over 5 years ago
I find this quite amusing seeing as how OFCOM have presided over the mess we know have with tariffs across the sector.
Posted by leexgx over 5 years ago
{{{until loads of dial-in international etc services opened up using 0800 numbers}}}
mobile and land line providers charge at local rates when an company does that abusing the 08 number for what it was not intended for (giffgaff do it more pro-actively then other networks so numbers that are free on O2 are not free on GG they have an list of 01 02 03 07 and 08 numbers that are not free)
Posted by leexgx over 5 years ago
i agree on 08 numbers should always have an local number (i seen some companies implementing 03 numbers or offering 01 number to call)

as i seen some local doctors starting to use stupid 0844 numbers so they cant even ring it on there land line or mobiles as cost them a lot of money on hold, as it not be free (0845 and 0870 are some times free on land lines now)
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
They earn money when you call them (0870 etc.).
Posted by chrysalis over 5 years ago
the reason there is call confusion is that 0845 still gets advertised as local rate. VM actually charge more for 0845 than 0870 which is shocking. Also very bad that governnment is using 0845 instead of geographical or 03xx. If ofcom want to end confusion they should require 0845 to be classed as premium rate because thats what it is.
Posted by pbsolo over 5 years ago
Nice idea in principal. Making it stick may prove a little more of a problem than dreaming it up though!(more of a nightmare methinks!
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