080 charges to change

woman on the phone There's going to be some changes to the way 08, 09 and 118 are charged. The whole thing is going to get simpler for all concerned, hopefully.

So what's the craic? From 1 July 2015, Ofcom is changing the way we're charged and they'll be telling everyone about it through a campaign called UK Calling.

From July, the cost of calling these numbers will be split into two parts.

There'll be an access charge and a service charge. Basically, the cost of connecting your call to the network will be charged in pence per minute, which will be added to the service charge, which is how much the rest of the call will cost you.

One charge is decided by your network, while the other is decided by the organisation you call. Splitting them up helps you to decipher exactly who is trying to rinse you of pennies and pounds when you call them.

Companies have to communicate all this very clearly from July, which means that, if the service charge was 20p a minute, the organisation you are calling might say: "Calls cost 20p a minute, plus your phone company's access charge".

Confused? Watch this video, which has the mandatory 'friendly acoustic guitar music' which is designed to make you feel at ease.

UK Calling - Clear Call Rates for Everyone from Ofcom on Vimeo.


  • Ian
    The requirement to declare the Service Charge should lead to a large reduction in the inappropriate usage of 084 and 087 numbers. These numbers should be used only where a chargeable service is being offered. From 1 July 2015, businesses and organisations will have a much clearer choice of non-geographic numbers: 080 - calls are free from landlines and mobiles. The called party pays the additional call-handling and call-forwarding costs incurred in the use of a non-geographic number. The called party also pays a Call Origination Fee to the caller's landline or mobile provider to compensate them for the fact that the caller paid nothing for the call. Each of these fees are normally a couple of pence per minute. 03 (including 030, 033, 034, 037) - calls cost the same as calling 01 and 02 numbers and count towards inclusive allowances on landlines and mobiles. The called party pays the additional call-handling and call-forwarding costs incurred in the use of a non-geographic number. These numbers were introduced in 2007 and are cost neutral. 084, 087, 090, 091, 098 - The caller pays an Access Charge to their landline or mobile provider to connect and convey the call. The caller also pays a Service Charge which is passed on. The additional call-handling and call-forwarding costs incurred by the called party in the use of a non-geographic number are subsidised by the caller. If there is anything left over, the called party may also receive a revenue share payment. On 084 numbers and on some 087 numbers, the revenue share is rarely in the form of 'cash'. It is often given as a discount off other telecoms services offered by their provider or is put towards paying the lease on switchboard equipment. All non-geographic numbers starting 03, 08 and 09 offer the same technical facilities. The differences between the various non-geographic numbers mostly boil down to who pays the additional running costs associated with these types of number. The forthcoming changes makes all of this more visible. The changes should make people think about what they are doing when they are choosing a number. Things become much clearer from July. Calls to 01, 02 and 03 numbers are 'inclusive' else charged at 'geographic rate'. Calls to 071-075 and 077-079 numbers are 'inclusive' else charged at 'mobile rate'. Calls to 080 numbers are free. Calls to 084, 087 and 09 numbers incur both an Access Charge and a Service Charge. The changes also consign various terms to history. These include: local rate, national rate, business rate, premium rate number, special services, and so on. These terms have been much misused and have led to immense consumer confusion. Under the new system 'Controlled Premium Rate Services' (CPRS) include chatlines and adult entertainment services, irrespective of their call cost. CPR also includes services using 087, 09 and 118 numbers with a Service Charge of more than 7p per minute , or more than 7p per call, irrespective of what they are used for. Once the current mess with 08, 09 and 118 numbers has been sorted out, Ofcom will move on to looking at 055, 056, 070 and 076 numbers. They have already confirmed the closure of 0500 on 3 June 2017. Existing users can move to the matching 0808 5 number at any time. The new number retains the last six digits of the old number. The new number is one digit longer than the old number.
  • Ian
    One typo in the previous message: 'CPR' should be 'CPRS'.

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