Charged 0800 - but why?

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OK, so I know about looking up non-0800 alternatives to 0800 numbers, in order to avoid paying a high rate to call them.

But what I am curious about, and can find nowhere, is why these calls are charged by mobile networks.

My own mobile network is EE. They give me 'unlimited' calls, they say, within the UK. Whether or not it is truly unlimited or has some sort of fair-use limitation, I don't know. But either way, the limit is not one I have ever run into.

Each time I make a UK call, even though they don't charge me per minute, as I understand it, EE must pay an interconnect fee or 'termination fee' to the operator they are putting the call through to. Whether that is BT or another mobile operator.

Now, with an 0800 call, presumably this termination fee is either higher, or lower, than a normal call. What I don't understand is what the termination fee is set at.

If it is higher, it would explain why EE would like to charge me for dialling an 0800 number, but not a mobile number or a landline number. But, if the termination fee is higher, how do for example calls from pay phones to freephone numbers work? Does that mean the network operator of the pay phone is swallowing this extra-high cost? And similarly for calls from landlines - each time we make one, does our own landline provider pay out a punitive rate on our behalf?

If the termination fee is zero, or a low rate, the call will cost EE much less to transfer than a non-0800 call. But in this case, why do they charge for the 0800 call, but not for the non-0800 call?

Does anyone know why this is?
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  • enfield_freddy
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    because they are money grabbing !!!!!!s , giff gaff and others are free
  • thomathy
    thomathy Posts: 46 Forumite
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    because they are money grabbing !!!!!!s , giff gaff and others are free

    Yes, I suppose that was my first thought. But I had an idea in my head there would be some sort of half-hearted justification that was wheeled out. Is the awful truth just that it's a mean-spirited way of charging people when they least expect it?
  • 2010
    2010 Posts: 5,372 Forumite
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    Freephone numbers are to become free of charge from mobiles under an overhaul designed to clarify telephone call charges and dialling codes, the regulator, Ofcom, has confirmed.
    The telecoms watchdog said that from June 2015, "freephone will mean free" for 0800, 0808 and 116 numbers – which at present are free only when used in a landline, and which cost mobile phone users between 14p and 40p a minute.


    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/dec/12/ofcom-free-0800-mobile-telecoms-overhaul
  • spannerzone
    spannerzone Posts: 1,549 Forumite
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    was it to stop people using their mobile to call 0800 calling cards to make cheaper calls by dialling the 0800 access number? so they could make cheaper calls on their mobile, thus 'robbing' the network of their income.

    Never trust information given by strangers on internet forums
  • AlecEiffel
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    was it to stop people using their mobile to call 0800 calling cards to make cheaper calls by dialling the 0800 access number? so they could make cheaper calls on their mobile, thus 'robbing' the network of their income.
    this was my understanding too
  • leeroy2009
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    another joy of been with 3 0800 already free and live, 0345 also come off your inclusive minutes.
  • redux
    redux Posts: 22,976 Forumite
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    Freephone numbers are not free of charge to everyone along the chain.

    Apart from the special cases of calling cards and so on, other uses mean that the call is charged to the destination rather than the caller.

    So if a company advertises using a freephone number, they are paying their provider for the calls they receive.

    Past disputes have arisen because mobile companies wanted to charge more to connect the call than landline providers were doing, and the destinations weren't willing to pay more.

    You'd have thought that as mobile tariffs have dropped to the same or lower than rates from landlines, this conflict would have diminished.

    Back to callthrough providers. In such use, some would charge slightly more to their customer depending on the source of the call, more from mobile networks and public call boxes, and would feed this back to the mobile or call box network. Thus they are less prone to being barred.

    When freephone calls become actually free from mobile networks in the near future, perhaps we will see such outcomes.
  • enfield_freddy
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    [QUOTE=leeroy2009;66794313]another joy of been with 3 0800 already free and live, 0345 also come off your inclusive minutes.[/QUOTE]


    contract only but not on PAYG , why?
  • leeroy2009
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    contract only but not on PAYG , why?

    not sure, but to be honest there is no reason to be payg on 3, a monthly rolling or 12 month sim only is the way to go, maybe you will have a look in to this?
  • oldharryrocks
    oldharryrocks Posts: 533 Forumite
    edited 21 October 2014 at 5:02PM
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    leeroy2009 wrote: »
    there is no reason to be payg on 3, a monthly rolling or 12 month sim only is the way to go, maybe you will have a look in to this?

    Of course their is a reason many people dont make enough calls to justify taking out a contract.

    I believe 3 charge approx 10p a minute to call a 0800 number on payg. This can be reduced to 3p a minute by using http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/cut-cost-0800-mobiles. Or look them up on https://www.saynoto0870.com and use the alternative 01/02/03 number.
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