Free to call you and me – even from a mobile
Freephone sounds like it should be free, but at the moment, if you call a freephone number from a mobile, you could be charged through the nose. Now Ofcom have announced that Freephone will mean free, even if you’re not using a BT landline (and let’s face it, who does?).That means calls to 0800, 0808 and 116 numbers won’t incur any hidden charges from June 2015.
And if you’re calling a premium rate line, like an 08, 09 or 118 number, you’ll get a proper breakdown of your rates. At the moment, the recorded message will only tell you your call rate from a BT landline. That’s because mobile companies add on varying ‘access charges’. So when you call a premium rate number, you usually get the vague caveat that ‘calls from a mobile could cost more.’ Who knows how much? It is written in the wind (and usually on your astronomical monthly bill).
Ofcom say that now you’ll hear a message along the lines of: ‘Calls will cost XX pence per minute, plus your phone company's access charge.’ That way if your provider piles on massive access charges, then you can find out and you have more CONSUMER CHOICE. Which is what we like.
Also, in even better news, call charges to premium rate numbers will be capped. So if you accidentally sit on your handset and phone the I’m A Celebrity Voting line for three hours, you won’t have to remortage your house to pay your phone bill.
Now all they have to do is bring back Tom Baker as the landline text message voice, and we’re laughing.