Are businesses and organisations allowed to make money by using 08 numbers?
Since 1 July 2015, the cost of calling service numbers – those which start 08, 09 or 118 - is now made up of two parts:
An access charge: This part of the call charge goes to your phone company, charged as pence per minute. They will tell you how much the access charge will be for calls to service numbers. It will be made clear on bills and when you take out a contract.
A service charge: This is the rest of the call charge. The organisation you are calling decides this, and will tell you how much it is.
Let’s take an example.
Say your particular phone company charges you 5p per minute for calls to service numbers - that is their access charge. And let’s say the service charge for a particular number you want to call is 20p per minute. In that case, you would see information like this:
“Calls cost 20p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.”
In this particular example, the call would cost 20p per minute (the service charge), plus 5p per minute (the access charge). So the call would cost you 25p per minute.
Which numbers are affected
These rules apply to all consumer calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers across the UK, delivering clearer call rates for everyone.
The rules do not affect calls made to ordinary landline numbers (01, 02), 03 numbers or mobile (07) numbers. Neither do they affect calls made from payphones, international calls, or calls to the UK when roaming overseas.
In addition, all Freephone numbers (which begin 0800 or 0808) are now free for consumers to call from all phones, whether mobile or landline.
You can find out the minimum and maximum charges for a number by using Ofcom's interactive call costs guide.