The UK’s mobile regulator Ofcom has announced that calls to freephone numbers will finally be free from mobile phones.
Calls to Freephone ‘0800 and 0808’ numbers are free from a landline, however calling these numbers from a mobile phone has typically incurred charges.
From July, in what Ofcom chief executive Sharon White is calling “the biggest changes to phone calls in over a decade”, making a call to a freephone 0800 and 0808 number will now cost nothing.
Ofcom is also making the cost of calling radio and TV shows such as X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, which use 084, 087 and 09 numbers easier to understand.
Currently when reading or displaying the phone numbers to call, broadcasters typically say: “Calls cost Xp from a BT landline. Other landlines may vary and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.”
But this gives no clear indication to mobile users of how much the call will actually cost.
So if a call costs £1 and you vote 10 times each week, within a month you could unknowingly increase your bill by £40.
From July the cost of calling these 084, 087 and 09 numbers will be made up of an access charge, which goes to the mobile company and a service charge, decided by the broadcaster.
Mobile phone networks will have to indicate on bills and when a customer takes out a contract how much the access charge will be.
Broadcasters will have to use words like: “Calls cost Xp plus your phone company’s access charge.”
This means viewers will be able to calculate how much a call will really cost.
The ruling applies to 08, 09 and 118 director enquiry numbers.
For more information on the changes visit Ofcom’s UK Calling website.