Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Ian011
    • By Ian011 21st Sep 16, 4:40 PM
    • 1,241Posts
    • 617Thanks
    Ian011
    Who sets the call charges for various numbers?
    • #1
    • 21st Sep 16, 4:40 PM
    Who sets the call charges for various numbers? 21st Sep 16 at 4:40 PM
    I often see comments such as "HMRC are charging me 40p per minute to call them" or "Vodafone are charging me £7 per minute to call directory enquiries". Such comments reveal the caller does not fully understand who it is that sets the charges for the calls they make.

    Call charges can be set by the caller's phone provider, the called party in their initial choice of number, or dictated by Ofcom. This varies depending on which number is being called.

    All calls are chargeable to someone, telecoms companies do nothing for free!


    Geographic numbers starting 01 and 02

    Calls charges are set entirely by the caller's landline or mobile provider.

    Landline providers offer the choice to pay around £8 per month for an unlimited number of anytime calls or to pay a per-call connection fee and high per-minute rate for each call. These non-inclusive rates are often around 15p to 19p per call plus 10p to 12p per minute. At these rates, a soon as you are making more than about ten to fifteen minutes of weekday calls per week, deals with inclusive calls at the weekend and chargeable calls during the week will usually work out very expensive.

    Mobile providers offer bundles of inclusive allowances both on contract and on pay-as-you go. The more you pay, the larger the allowance. On SIM-only contracts, around £15 can secure almost unlimited calls. On pay-as-you-go, £5 gets a few hundred minutes and £10 gets a lot more, and so on. If you exceed the allowance, or choose a pay-as-you-go deal with no inclusive allowance, you'll pay a per-minute rate for each call. This can vary from 3p to 55p per minute depending on which provider and tariff you choose.

    If you are paying a high rate for these calls, you are on the wrong deal.

    Inclusive allowances usually exclude landline numbers allocated in Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man. There are ways of calling these numbers at a cheaper rate by using alternative dial-through providers.


    Mobile numbers starting 071-075 and 077-079

    Calls charges are set entirely by the caller's landline or mobile provider.

    Landline providers used to charge high rates for calls to mobile numbers. Ofcom has intervened in the market for 'mobile termination' and set rules that should result in calls to mobile numbers costing no more than calls to geographic numbers.

    Accordingly, most landline providers now offer deals with inclusive calls to mobile numbers. BT is most conspicuous in NOT (yet!) having such a deal. Outside of inclusive allowances, calls to mobile numbers can be expensive, up to around 19p per call plus up to around 20p per minute.

    Mobile providers have always offered inclusive calls to mobile numbers. Most modern contract and pay-as-you-go deals include an allowance of calls to geographic numbers, 03 numbers and mobile numbers. The more you pay, the greater the allowance. If you exceed the allowance, or choose a deal with no allowance, you'll pay a per-minute rate for each call. This can vary from 3p to 55p per minute, depending on the deal you choose.

    If you are paying a high rate for these calls, you are on the wrong deal.

    Inclusive allowances usually exclude mobile numbers allocated in Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man. There are ways of calling these numbers at a cheaper rate by using alternative dial-through providers.


    Non-geographic numbers starting 03

    Calls charges are set entirely by the caller's landline or mobile provider.

    Ofcom regulations require all landline and mobile providers to charge calls to 03 numbers at no more than whatever the caller pays for calls to 01 and 02 numbers.

    If you are paying a high rate for these calls, you are on the wrong deal.

    030 numbers are reserved for use by government departments, public services, charities and healthcare organisations.
    033 numbers are for use by any organisation needing a brand new number.
    034 and 037 numbers are reserved solely for organisations migrating from the matching 084 or 087 number.

    These numbers are non-geographic and the provider of the 03 number also has to be paid for their services, such as queueing and forwarding calls. This fee is paid by the called party and is usually much less than 1p per minute.


    Non-geographic 'free-to-caller' numbers starting 080 and 116

    The call cost is set by Ofcom. These numbers are "free-to-caller" on landlines and mobiles.

    When you make a call to one of these numbers, the called party has to pay the non-geographic provider for their services and compensate the caller's landline or mobile provider for carrying the call. This fee can be up to around 8p per minute.

    This explains why some organisations have got rid of their 080 numbers and replaced them with 03 numbers.


    Non-geographic 'service' numbers starting 084, 087, 09 and 118

    The call cost consists of two parts. There’s an Access Charge set by and paid to the benefit of the caller’s landline or mobile provider and a Service Charge set by and paid to the benefit of the called party and their telecoms provider. These are premium rate numbers. The premium is the additional Service Charge which pays the non-geographic provider for their call-forwarding services and provides revenue share to the called party.

    The Access Charge can be:
    • up to 12p per minute from landlines or
    • up to 55p per minute from mobiles.
    The Access Charge is set by the caller's phone provider.

    The Service Charge can be:
    • up to 7p per call or per minute for 084 numbers
    • up to 13p per call or per minute for 087 numbers
    • up to £6 per call and/or up to £3.60 per minute for 09 numbers
    • up to £16 per call and/or up to £8 per minute for 118 numbers.
    The Service Charge is set by the called party in their initial choice of number.

    It is only these numbers where the called party is charging the caller. For this reason these numbers are no longer allowed for customer services, financial services, public services and healthcare services. Most organisations have replaced their 084 and 087 lines with the matching 034 or 037 number or with a new 01, 02, 030, 033 or 080 number. Check official websites for new numbers. Breaches of the regulations covering retailers, traders and passenger transport companies can be reported to Trading Standards via the Consumer Helpline on 0345 404 0506. Breaches of the regulations covering financial services can be reported to the FCA via their website.

    Ofcom regulations, the 'Condition binding non-providers', require all users of 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers to declare the Service Charge in close proximity to the number wherever it is advertised or promoted. The recommended format is:
    "Calls cost [Xp per call plus] Xp per minute plus your phone provider's Access Charge."
    Breaches of the regulation can be reported to ASA via their website.

    If you cannot avoid calling an 084, 087, 09 or 118 number, call it from the telecoms provider that levies the lowest Access Charge. In general, Access Charges from landlines are around 35p to 45p per minute cheaper than making the same call from a mobile.

    Several landline providers are still offering inclusive calls to 0845 or 0870 numbers, but these deals are in decline.

    If you have to call directory enquiries, choose one with a low Service Charge. This charge starts at 40p per minute for some directory enquiries services. Well-known services often charge around £6 to £8 per call plus £3 to £4 per minute. The most expensive are double that.
    Last edited by Ian011; 27-09-2016 at 4:13 PM.
Page 1
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 21st Sep 16, 7:40 PM
    • 5,142 Posts
    • 3,121 Thanks
    teddysmum
    • #2
    • 21st Sep 16, 7:40 PM
    • #2
    • 21st Sep 16, 7:40 PM
    You appear to have answered your own question by quoting that lengthy extract.
    • Ian011
    • By Ian011 21st Sep 16, 7:44 PM
    • 1,241 Posts
    • 617 Thanks
    Ian011
    • #3
    • 21st Sep 16, 7:44 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Sep 16, 7:44 PM
    What makes you think it's a quote?
    • The Groat Counter
    • By The Groat Counter 22nd Sep 16, 10:54 AM
    • 400 Posts
    • 169 Thanks
    The Groat Counter
    • #4
    • 22nd Sep 16, 10:54 AM
    • #4
    • 22nd Sep 16, 10:54 AM
    You appear to have answered your own question by quoting that lengthy extract.
    Originally posted by teddysmum
    Er, Ian001 writes and posts this stuff himself in an attempt to be helpful to the wider world.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim's to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

170Posts Today

1,373Users online

Martin's Twitter