0800 numbers to be free to call from mobiles

Ofcom swoops in again to defend consumers, 10 years too late

TODO alt text

0800, 0808 and 116 numbers will be free to call from mobile phones, the independent regulator for UK communications industries, Ofcom, announced today.

Previously 0800, 0808 and 116 numbers were only free from a BT landline, while mobile customers paid for the pleasure of being on-hold with their bank for hours.

However, as of June 2015, mobile users will not be charged. Or, as Ofcom put it, "Freephone will mean free". Ofcom said on its website that it is developing a national campaign to inform customers when the changes are implemented.

Sweeping changes

Ofcom has also fixed its regulating gaze on premium rate numbers. Companies will now have to disclose a 'service charge' when a user calls it, detailing exactly how much the call costs.

Similarly, phone service providers will have to detail how much it costs to connect users to these premium rate numbers by detailing its 'access charge'.

The hope is that this will increase competition because customers will be able to shop around for providers offering the best access charge rates.