Archive for the ‘freephone’ tag
Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said that enforcing free calls to numbers beginning with 0800, 0808 and 116 is a milestone move that will influence customers as nothing else in the last ten years. Ofcom made the decision to impose free calls to 0800 numbers from mobile phones, because a lot of customers were confused about the rate of such calls. This comes from the fact that those ‘Freephone’ numbers are really free from landlines but not from mobile phones. Ofcom also emphasized that for some Brits having an opportunity to call certain organisations is still the main communication method rather than using the Internet, emails or apps.
Apart from guaranteeing that 0800 numbers are free to call, Ofcom has also implemented a limit for the call costs to 09 numbers and will try to clear the confusion when calling 0845 numbers.
All of the announced changes will be implemented in the next 18 months, so customers will have to wait a bit before they can call ‘Freephone’ numbers for free.
Ed Richards said: “Freephone will mean free for all customers, and the cost of calling other services will be made clear. Telephone users will be able to see how much they’re paying, and where their money is going.”
Cost of calling companies on numbers starting 08, 09, and 118 has so far been a mystery and customers are often pulled the wool over their eyes hearing that calling these numbers is free. It will change under new plans from Ofcom, however, customers will wait for it over a year and a half.
Ed Richards, Ofcom’s chief executive, said: “Consumers need to have far more transparency about the price they are going to pay for calls so that they can make more informed choices and so competition can work more effectively making 0800 free from a mobile and giving people clarity about what they are paying for 118 directory enquiry services will improve transparency, improve competition and enhance trust in these important services.”
Under these new plans calling the numbers customers will pay a single access charge to their phone company and a “service charge” to the company that provides the service. Customers will be informed about the charges by phone companies when they sign up to a new service and will see them on bills. Service providers will have the onus to inform about the charges wherever they advertise or communicate it.
Some experts claim that the telecoms regulator’s solution won’t heal the situation and charges will still be confusing. Until changes are implemented Ofcom gives some guidance for customers:
0800 and 0808 Freephone – calls are free of charge from landlines and from mobiles they typically cost up to 31p per minute but before the call is connected the operator must inform the caller about charges.
0843 and 0844 – charges are between 1p and 13p per minute for landline customers and between 15p and 41p per minute for mobile phones.
0845 – for landline customers, depending on the time of day, charges are between 1p and 10.5p per minute and for mobile phones – between 12p and 41p per minute.
0870 – calls from some fixed networks cost no more than ordinary numbers beginning 01 or 02. Calls from other fixed networks cost up to 10p per minute. For mobile networks calls cost between 12p and 41p per minute and some providers have included calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers in call packages.
0871/2/3 – charges are between 5p and 12.5p per minute for landline customers plus a call set-up fee and between 25p and 41p per minute for mobile phones.
09 numbers – charges are between 10p and £1.53 per minute or per call for BT landline customers but from other landline providers – up to £2.60 per minute. For mobile phones charges range between 50p and £2.55 per minute or per call.
118 numbers – calls can cost a fixed one-off charge of up to £2.50 for one or more searches plus up £3 per minute for landline customers and fixed one-off charge of up to £2.55 plus up to £2.55 per minute or £1.50 to £4.50 per minute for mobile phones.