Changes to the cost of calling non geographic numbers

By Alan

The cost of calling non-geographic 084/087 numbers is changing.

From 1 July 2015, the regulator Ofcom is changing the way that Telephone numbers starting 08, 09 and 118 are charged by network operators like vivi®, and also including mobile phone operators. These changes are designed to make the cost of calls clearer, and these are currently being communicated by Ofcom through their campaign called UK Calling.

vivi® have always advocated that the cost of calling non geographic telephone numbers should be charged at the equivalent BT landline rate wherever possible, however mobile phone companies, as well as some other VoIP networks have often charged for 0800 freephone numbers as well as inflating the cost of non geographic numbers.

The new Ofcom ruling means that this is about to change.  This is a good thing for UK businesses and consumers, many of which have been left feeling ‘ripped off’ by calling a non geographic telephone number from their mobile phone, when it was actually their mobile phone company that inflated the call charges, not the company that they were calling.

Changes to the charges

The changes being introduced are to calls being made to ‘service numbers’.  These are non geographic telephone numbers used for contacting organisations such as ourselves. They start with the prefix 084, 087 and also 118 for directory enquiries, and 090 for premium rate services.

Service numbers

From 1 July 2015, the cost of calling any of these numbers will be split into two parts:

  • The access charge: This is what we charge you, per minute, for connecting the call. vivi® will be communicating our access charges to existing customers before 1 July 2015, and will also be displaying these on our website under the PRICING page, which contains details of our call costs.

  • The service charge: This is the remainder of the call charge. The organisation you are calling decides the service charge, and must communicate this. For example, if you were calling an 0844 number, and the service charge was 5p per minute, then the organisation you are calling might say “Calls cost 5p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge”.

By adding together the access charge and the service charge, you’ll know exactly what the call will cost you.

Freephone numbers

Numbers beginning 0800 and 0808 are normally free to call from landlines (dependent on your service provider), and have always been free to call using a vivi® phone.  From the 1st July 2015 they will also be free to call from your mobile phone.

Find out more

All these changes apply across every landline and mobile phone – including your vivi® VoIP phone.

Find out more at the OFCOM webite


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