It took 2 years and various battles with telephone network providers, but finally Ofcom have introduced some clarity about actually how much a call costs when you dial an 08 number.
In a previous article on this subject, we attempted to explain the minefield surrounding the actual cost of calling 08 numbers and in particular 0843 numbers as these are the numbers that are primarily featured on our website. Thankfully, as of 1st July 2015, things are about to change Whilst the official legislation is still slightly confusing to the layman and could itself do with some clarification, it is definately a step in the right direction.
As a provider of customer service numbers and other contact numbers we feel it is our obligation to provide you with the simplified version. And the best thing is that for the first time; we are able to tell you exactly what it costs to call our customer service numbers.
Further details can be found below, but to summarise what you probably want to know about numbers on our website: Calls cost 7p per minute plus you phone company’s operating charge. You phone company impose a connection charge which varies from operator to operator, but this is a small one off charge that does not increase with the duration of your call.
Now for the rest of the information…
Free means free!
0800, 0808 and 05 numbers have always been touted as freephone numbers. But read into the small print and you will find that mobile operators used to charge extortionate amounts to connect you to supposedly free phone numbers. Sometimes up to 20p per minute was being charged by large network operators such as EE, Vodaphone and O2. With the July 2015 changes, 0800, 0808 and 05 numbers will now be free to use for mobiles too.
About time we say!
Call Cost to 0843 Numbers
The official legislation talks about creating a clearer split between access charges and services charges.. blah blah blah. It also talks about how 0843 number operators need to be clear about this split in charges… but what does this all actually mean? Put simply, when you call an 0843 number, you are charged by two companies.
Charge 1: The company that provides your phone line i.e. BT, Virgin Media, EE, Vodaphone etc… charges you to connect your call in the first instance (The Access Charge)
Charge 2: The company whose 0843 number you are calling will charge you per minute for using the number (The Service Charge)
So… How Much Does It Cost?
Previously, both the access changes and the service charges could vary wildly from number to number creating confusion about how much a call costs. Not even the company whose 0843 number you were calling would be able to tell you exactly what the call would cost. The July 2015 changes in legislation help you in 2 ways:
1. Service charges have been capped based on the prefix of the number i.e. 0843, 0844, 0870, etc… In terms of 0843 Numbers, the rate has been set at 7 pence per minute which includes calls from mobiles.
2. Charges need to be clearly communicated to you the consumer.
We are proud to say that our call charges have always been clearly displayed on our website. So whilst the changes do not affect us, hopefully the information provided in this article will stop you from being ripped off elsewhere.
If you are about to call a number displayed on a website, email or marketing literature, ensure that it tells you how much the call costs and make sure you are not being charged more than the 7 pence per minute cap for 084x numbers and 13 pence per minute for 087x numbers.
1. If the information is not displayed, don't call the number and visit Number Connect to see if we have an alternative number for you to use.
2. You may also wish to report the company to Ofcom. They would be interested to hear about companies that are not complying with their legislation!
Number Connect welcome the changes introduced by Ofcom with open arms. Our aim as a business is to provide consumers with a way of contacting their chosen customer service department without having to worry about huge phone bills at the end of the call.
And this continues to be our aim.
The Number Connect Team