From 1 July 2015, calls to Freephone numbers, starting with 0800 or 0808, will be free to call from mobile phones as well as landlines. The changes introduced by Ofcom are part of an initiative named UK calling, which also envisages to clarify charges for consumers making calls to service numbers – starting 084, 087, 09 and 118.
Since the price of calls to service numbers were often difficult to find out by consumers, Ofcom has implemented this initiative to require transparent pricing information on costs to service numbers. The cost of calls to service numbers has been split into an access charge (charged by the operator) and a service charge (charged by the organisation being called). The cost of calls to service numbers must now be explained to consumers as “calls cost x pence per minute, plus operator’s access charge”.
Ofcom believes that the initiate will facilitate the understanding by consumers of the exact cost of making the phone calls. It would also make it easier for consumers to compare the prices of different service providers, and choose a provider with a competitive access charge when starting a new contract with operators.