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Call Charges - How much does a phone call really cost?
Texts and images courtesy of Ofcom. View a pdf version here.

0800, 0870, 090, 020 – there are so many different phone numbers that keeping tabs on
how much they cost to call can be confusing. So what do they all mean?

This is a handy guide to common phone numbers, some of the ways that they are used
and the indicative costs of calling them from landlines or mobile phones.

The prices below are indicative only and should not be used as a defi nitive list of call charges. Actual costs depend on your communication provider and a number of factors such as individual calling plans, time of day and the exact number called. You should check with your provider before you dial.

As well as a pence per minute rate, most fi xed line providers charge a call setup fee to connect calls which is typically between 3p and 12.5p.

Prices correct as at 18/02/2011

01 & 02 numbers - Geographic Numbers


These numbers relate to specific locations in the UK and are used for homes and businesses. For example, Huddersfield is 01484, Bath is 01225, Edinburgh is 0131 and London is 020.

Calls from landlines are typically charged between 1p and 9p per minute and calls from mobiles between 5p and 31p per minute. For landlines there is normally also a call setup fee and call charges are dependent on the time of day. Most providers offer call packages that allow calls free of charge at certain times of the day.

03 numbers - UK wide geographic numbers

Many organisations use 03 numbers as an alternative to more expensive 08 numbers.

Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and must be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way. Calls from landlines are typically charged between 1p and 9p per minute, calls from mobiles typically cost between 5p and 31p per minute. Calls from landlines and mobiles are included in free call packages.

030 numbers - non-profit organisations


030 numbers are specially designed for non-profit organisations, charities and public bodies to offer consumers a single point of contact nationally. The BBC, the Met Police, the RSPCA, local councils, Ofcom and a number of government departments use 030 numbers.

Calls cost no more than calls to geographic (01 and 02) numbers and must be included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way. Calls from landlines are typically charged between 1p and 9p per minute, calls from mobiles typically cost between 5p and 31p per minute. Calls from landlines and mobiles are included in free call packages.

07 - mobile numbers

Calls to mobiles are charged between 12.5p and 32p per minute from BT landlines and are typically not included in free call packages. Call costs from mobiles vary according to the calling plan chose, typically they cost between 8p and 40p per minute. Calls between mobile phones are normally included in free call packages.

070 - personal numbers


These are different from mobile numbers and calls to them are more expensive. They can be used as a “follow me” service where calls are diverted from another number. Small businesses and sole traders use them to make it easy to manage calls.

Personal numbers are also sold on a one-off basis, for example when buying or selling a used car and you don’t want to advertise your private mobile or fi xed line number on a website or magazine.

070 numbers can cost between 11p and 50p per minute if calling from a landline and up to £1.50 per minute from mobile phones.

08 Numbers

0800 & 0808 Freephone


A number of businesses and organisations use 0800 numbers including some helplines and charities such as Childline.

Calls are normally free of charge from landlines but charges may apply from mobile phones. However, the operator must make an announcement before the call is connected telling the caller that they will be charged (the announcement does not state the exact charge). Calls from mobiles typically cost up to 40p per minute.

0500 numbers cost similar amounts as 0800 and 0808 numbers from a mobile.

Chargeable 08 Business Rate numbers


These are used by businesses and organisations for sales, enquiry and customer service lines and for some pay-as-you go internet access services. Businesses and organisations generally receive a share of the call charge.

0843 & 0844 Calls are charged between 1p and 13p per minute for landline customers. Calls from mobile phones are typically charged between 20p and 41p per minute, depending on the provider and the number called.
0845 Calls are typically charged at between 1p and 11.5p per minute depending on the time of day for landline customers . Calls from mobile phones generally cost between 20p and 41p per minute.
0870 Calls from some fixed networks cost no more than a national rate call (01 or 02 between 1p and 9p) and may count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way. Calls from other fi xed networks typically cost up to 10p per minute. From some mobile networks calls typically cost between 20p and 40p per minute. Recently some other providers have also included calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers in call packages, making them free at certain times of the day.
0871/2/3 Calls typically cost between 5p and 12.5p per minute for landline customers. From a mobile phone, calls may cost between 25p and 41p per minute. Services provided on these numbers are regulated by *PhonepayPlus to provide additional protection for callers. You can fi nd out more information at www.phonepayplus.org.uk.

Premium rate numbers

09 numbers

09 numbers are mainly used for competitions, TV voting, horoscopes, chat lines, adult lines, recorded information and professional advice services. You can bar these premium rate numbers from being dialled from your phone, as you can with other numbers. These numbers are also regulated by PhonepayPlus*.

Calls typically cost between 10p and £1.65 per minute for landline customers but can cost a lot more from a mobile phone, up to £2.55 per minute.

*PhonepayPlus (previously known as ICSTIS) regulates phone-paid services in the UK. These are the premium rate goods and services that you can buy by charging the cost to your phone bill and prepay account. You can find out more information at www.phonepayplus.org.uk

 

 

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