Gerry1 wrote: »
Pedant's Corner: Although the 03 equivalent numbers are long overdue, it's not quite true that they always cost exactly the same as geographic (01 & 02) numbers.
They do cost the same for the majority of BT network users because local and national calls are all charged at the same "UK Rate" on discounted tariffs such as Unlimited Weekends.
However, some tariffs (e.g. BT's Light User scheme) still distinguish between 'Local' and 'National' calls and still charge them at different rates. 03 numbers translate to 01 or 02 numbers that could be anywhere, so it's not possible to charge the equivalent rate. Instead, an intermediate rate between Local and National is used, which means that 03 will be a bit more expensive if you're calling round the corner but a bit cheaper if you're calling the other end of the country. It's just swings and roundabouts.
Doctors' surgeries, chemists, hospitals, job centres will normally be local calls for Low Users because they're unlikely to be very far away. But if they all changed to 03, vulnerable people might see their bills increase because they would have to pay the intermediate 03 rate rather than the local call rate.
So 03 numbers are good news if they replace rip-off 084 / 087 numbers, but their widespread adoption in place of 01 / 02 numbers could slightly disadvantage some vulnerable users.
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