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UK Calling - everything you need to know


Posted on 18 June 2015

How 08, 09 and 118 numbers are charged

Telephone numbers starting 08, 09 and 118 are called service numbers or special numbers. You might use them to make calls to organisations such as banks, travel services, government departments, or even to vote in TV shows.

From 1 July 2015, the regulator Ofcom is changing the way you’re charged for these numbers. The changes are designed to make the cost of calls clearer, and they’re being shared through a campaign called UK Calling.

084, 087, 09 and 118

Numbers beginning 084 and 087 are general service numbers for contacting organisations. Those beginning 09 are premium rate service numbers, and those beginning 118 are directory enquiry numbers.

From 1 July 2015, the cost of calling any of these numbers will be split into two parts:

  • The access charge: This is what you are charged, per minute, for connecting the call. You’ll be able to find out your access charge by checking your tariff. We’ll be communicating this charge to you later in June 2015.
  • The service charge: This is the rest of the call charge. The organisation you’re calling decides the service charge, and must communicate it. For example, if the service charge was 20p per minute, the organisation you’re calling might say "Calls cost 20p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge".

By adding together the access charge and the service charge, you’ll know exactly what the call will cost you.

0800 and 0808

Freephone numbers starting 0800 or 0808, which are generally already free from landlines, will be free for consumers to call from mobile phones from 1 July 2015

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