With most people now using mobile phones to make their calls, the use of 08 and 09 numbers has decreased significantly since we first set up this website in 2013.
As more forward thinking businesses converted to 03 numbers, which are free to call from a mobile, the companies left using 08 numbers are few and far between.
Strangely, however, those that do remain seem intent on keeping them as they for a rather nice income stream for them, even though it costs their customers to ring them. In fact, back in 2016, there were a series of scams with firms using 08 numbers to generate premium revenues from unsuspecting customers, who would be kept on hold for significant amounts of time to rack up the call charges.
These days, you will find most of the firms using them are in the events sector, particularly ticket booking services and a selection of delivery companies who use these for their parcel tracking service. The aim, of course, is to discourage you from phoning them but if you do, they want you to at least contribute something towards their staff costs.
The good news, however, is that since 2014 it has been illegal to use them for customer service lines and that, at least, spares hard pressed consumers from parting with even more money.
In terms of how the users of these numbers make their money, it is through a very simple mechanic whereby the cost of calling 0843, 0844 and 0845 numbers are made up of two separate parts. The first part is an access charge which goes to your phone provider, and the second part is a service charge set by the organisation you are calling. Is it most often the first part which is where the premium rates apply.
The service charge for calls to 084 numbers is set anywhere between 0p and 7p per minute and whatever they choose to charge, the cost MUST be clearly displayed wherever the phone number is advertised or promoted. This is the money that a business will receive if you call them from your mobile or landline.
The access charge however is where the real costs rack up, and this goes directly to your phone provider. Rates can vary from 25p to 70p a minute, but they will vary across providers. To make it easy, we’ve compiled the following table of the top six UK mobile phone providers to help you make sense of their charges.
|Provider||Service Charge||Access Charge|
|BT||All six providers charge between|
0-7p per minute
|31.41p a minute|
|EE||67p a minute|
|Giffgaff||25p a minute|
|O2||65p a minute|
|Three||65p a minute|
|Vodafone||70p a minute on contract|
50p a minute on PAYG
As you can see, prices vary dramatically across providers with 0845 calls being as cheap as 25p a minute on Giffgaff and as expensive as 70p a minute on Vodafone.
If you regularly need to make calls to these types of numbers it’s worth checking with your provider if they do any kind of discounted bundle or perhaps, changing your provider. We’ve included links to the call charge pages of each of these providers within the table – just click on their names for more details.
For even more detail on other providers, please visit Ofcom’s guide page for current rates