UK COMMUNICATIONS WATCHDOG Ofcom announced plans today to make 0800 numbers free to call from mobile phones as it looks to clear up the confusing surrounding 08, 09 and 118 numbers.
Some phone providers, especially mobile phone networks, charge for calls to 0800 numbers. This is confusing for consumers, said Ofcom on Monday, given that they are called "freephone" numbers.
To clear up this confusion, Ofcom said that it intends to make 0800 numbers free no matter where you call from. It said, "Ofcom also intends that calls to 080 (Freephone) numbers will be made free from all telephones. At present some phone companies, particularly mobile providers, charge for calls to such numbers."
Ofcom didn't elaborate or say when this change will be rolled out, with it first having to be presented to stakeholders. However, Ofcom said that it expects to publish its final decision by summer, when we'll find out when freephone numbers will actually become free to phone.
That is not the only change Ofcom announced its intention to make today. The regulator also explained that there's a lot of confusion surrounding phone numbers beginning with 09 and 118, with consumers having no idea how much it will cost them to call those numbers.
Because of this, Ofcom said it will introduce a single "access charge" for calling such numbers, along with a "service charge" that will be paid to the company that is called.
Ofcom said, "Currently, unless using a BT landline, callers to these numbers cannot easily tell how much they will be charged. Under rules which Ofcom today confirmed it expects to introduce, consumers will pay a single 'access charge' to their phone company for all calls to these numbers, plus a 'service charge' to the company or organisation they are calling."
Yep. That's definitely less confusing. µ