In an attempt to make call charges clearer Ofcom has announced changes to numbers used for companies and organisations. It will also be making 0800 free to call from mobiles, at last.
The changes will apply to non-geographical numbers starting with 08, 09 or 118. Bills will be required to break into access charges and services charges so callers can see how much is being taken by the company and how much by their service provider.
Gone will be the old line: “Calls will cost x pence per minute from a BT line. Calls may vary from other landlines and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.” And it’ll be replaced with: “Calls will cost x pence per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.”
And for all mobile users 0800 numbers will be free, as will 0808 and 116 numbers. And the charges made for premium numbers, starting 09, will be capped.
Ofcom is also encouraging not-for-profit organisations to use the 03 numbers which will cost the same as current 01 and 02 numbers.
Ofcom plans to put all these changes into effect from 26 June 2015.
Ed Richards, chief executive of Ofcom, said: “These changes will be the biggest for UK telephone customers in more than a decade. We expect them to restore people’s confidence in using phone services, and to increase competition.
"Freephone will mean free for all consumers, and the cost of calling other services will be made clear. Telephone users will be able to see how much they’re paying, and where their money is going.”