Sever the cost of calling mobiles

in Phones & TV
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MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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What's it all about?

Most home phone providers charge around 13p/min for calls to mobiles yet there is a way you can slash this down to as little as 4p/min. The two top override providers 0844calls and PhoneCheap both currently offer calls at 4p/min.


This is massively cheaper than the likes of BT which charges can be up to 13p/minute to call mobiles during the day.

How does it work?

You simply dial its access number (PhoneCheap 08444 280 004 or 0844calls 08444 282525 from your home phone, which is billed at 4p/minute to your normal phone number (and with your normal providers minimum charge).

This then connects you through to its network, where you then dial the mobile number you're calling without any further charge, or a need for an account.

The provider gets a cut of the 4p/min from your normal phone provider and this is how it makes its money.

IMPORTANT MUST READ! How can it do it so cheaply?



There are a number of reasons why these providers can offer such cheap rates, and it's important to understand it - as if you have problems with them - they'll probably be why.
  • It doesn't need an infrastructure. It's very likely it's actually routing your call through the internet. Also this is a no-frills service, it has no customer service and billing.
  • If the price drops use the next cheapest. Providers often offer cheap rates for a short term to build up a share in the market and then hike the prices up soon after. These two providers have been pretty stable for a while but if should they go up in price just use the UKCallChecker to find the new cheapest (it's a free daily updated comparison service).
  • You don't always get connected. These two companies are pretty reliable. But if you find you don't get connected, scrap it and use the next cheapest, which is 5p/minute (details on the UKCallChecker)

    These ultra cheap companies tend to underbuy capacity so that their lines are always used up - thus why you may not be able to be connected.
  • It makes money as soon as you're connected. Remember you start paying the 4p/minute immediately, before you even dial the mobile number, and it will get this cash even if the mobile you're calling is engaged or not working - this helps to off-set the cost somewhat.
  • It wants you to use it for other calls too. It also offers cheap calls internationally and for other UK numbers. Yet don't automatically use it - these companies work by having varying prices - i.e, as it's cheap for calling one country people assume it's cheap for calling others. That's not true. Use the free UKCallChecker and International CallChecker to find the actual cheapest.
BIG WARNING!!
These prices have been pretty stable for a while. Yet they can change at any time. Always listen to the announcement and if the price goes up simply use the UKCallChecker to find the new cheapest (you'll see it in the left hand menu on every page of the site).
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
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Replies

  • I use both the International and UK CallCheckers regularly - it's a great piece of kit. Thanks Martin.
  • I must agree with you there - it certainly is a great piece of kit. Just got my first BT bill in for my work number and found £14 of it were to mobiles - now through phonecheap hopefully will be much less :) Thanks Martin!
    Everyone has a photographic memory, it's just some of them don't have film.
  • themadbird wrote:
    I must agree with you there - it certainly is a great piece of kit. Just got my first BT bill in for my work number and found £14 of it were to mobiles - now through phonecheap hopefully will be much less :) Thanks Martin!

    If you havent already done so have alook at https://www.18185.co.uk consistent all round cheap prices including geographical,non-geographical,mobile,intl and you get an itemised bill handy for the tax man.Plus you dont pay if you dont get through where as you do on 0844.
  • HeinzHeinz Forumite
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    If you havent already done so have alook at www.18185.co.uk consistent all round cheap prices including geographical,non-geographical,mobile,intl and you get an itemised bill handy for the tax man.Plus you dont pay if you dont get through where as you do on 0844.
    That's an online only facility though - so you have to convince HMRC to accept your own printout.
    Time has moved on (much quicker than it used to - or so it seems at my age) and my previous advice on residential telephony has been or is now gradually being overtaken by changes in the retail market. Hence, I have now deleted links to my previous 'pearls of wisdom'. I sincerely hope they helped save some of you money.
  • Originally Posted by mobilegossip
    If you havent already done so have alook at https://www.18185.co.uk consistent all round cheap prices including geographical,non-geographical,mobile,intl and you get an itemised bill handy for the tax man.Plus you dont pay if you dont get through where as you do on 0844.

    Note that there is a 4p connection charge for every call. Great for long chats with friends & family on mobiles or abroad. If you make lots of short calls this will not be such a good deal.
  • If you make lots of short calls this will not be such a good deal.


    How do you come to that conclusion?

    Short call using 0844 via BT. (You start paying when you hear announcement,and your charged even if you dont get through,and believe me a lot of these cheapo 0844 mobile calls dont get through), will cost 3p connection fee plus 4p a minute,so by the time you get through,leave message, your possibly looking at at 5p call charges. Total 9p.

    Short call using 18185 .(You dont pay until you are connected).Connection 4p . 5p for one minute call. Total 9p. Plus at weekends call will only cost 2p. So weekend short call would be 7p.

    Plus with 18185 the prices have been consistent,no continued chopping or changing,and their is no need to keep remembering the 0844 number flavour of the day/week,and you dont have to keep fiddling around with your Orchard Dialer if you have one.
  • hi,i just phoned my brother-in-law in spain on his spanish mobile 3p per min by using the prefix 08444399898 what a bargain!!!! If i was stupid enough to still be with B T (Big Tarif) it would cost me more than that to phone next door!!!
  • HeinzHeinz Forumite
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    micktsb wrote:
    hi,i just phoned my brother-in-law in spain on his spanish mobile 3p per min by using the prefix 08444399898 what a bargain!!!! If i was stupid enough to still be with B T (Big Tarif) it would cost me more than that to phone next door!!!
    Oh, the wonders of the MSE International Callchecker!
    Time has moved on (much quicker than it used to - or so it seems at my age) and my previous advice on residential telephony has been or is now gradually being overtaken by changes in the retail market. Hence, I have now deleted links to my previous 'pearls of wisdom'. I sincerely hope they helped save some of you money.
  • Cumbrian_MaleCumbrian_Male Forumite
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    How long a delay is there between dialing the PhoneCheap! access number and getting you second dial tone?

    I would need to program the delay into my phone, as the wife would never remember to use an access number.
    I have a cunning plan!
    Proud to be dealing with my debts.

  • Call mobiles via the Discount Dial access number:0844 566 3 566 and pay as little as 5p per minute. Thats cheaper than 18866 and various other prefix dial services.
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