Ever called a 0800 number from your mobile phone, only to realise that you are paying to call the “free” phone number? Ofcom are on the case to help eradicate this problem.

The UK communications regulator announced this week that they intend to make UK call changes simpler for both fixed lines and mobile phones; including make free phone numbers just that, no matter what type of line is used to call them.

Currently, calls to 0800 numbers made from mobile phones can cost a huge 21p a minute, whereas calling that number from a landline phone is completely free. Ofcom plan to “clarify and simplify” the call charges associated with 08, 09 and 118 numbers, the prefixes usually used for banking, directory enquiry and entertainment services. Operators will be required to make all information regarding these charges both clearer and more transparent to customers.

The regulator is also targeting 0845 and 0870 numbers, attempting to remove the confusion surrounding their charges, as well as emphasising the new 03 number range which charges  the same price as geographic numbers (such as numbers starting 01 or 02).

Ed Richards, CEO of Ofcom, said:

Consumers are often confused about how much they will pay to call these number ranges. Under our proposals, people will have much clearer information and there will be greater competition on prices.

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.”

The final decision regarding new rules is due in early 2013. The related consultation will be open until 27th June 2012.

If you are looking at buying new phone numbers for your business, whether it be geographical, 08 or a special memorable number, but are confused by all the options and charges, talk to our sales team on 01225 800 123 or email us at sales@gradwell.com.

(Image by darren_ck)

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