Monthly Archives: March 2014

Mobile Operator Three Scraps 0800 Charges

More good news in the telecommunications industry this week as the UK’s smallest mobile operator, Three, announced they will be making calls to 0800 numbers free from Today (18th March 2014), and cutting the cost of calls to all other 08 numbers to 5p per minute.

Three Network Logo

The tariff will be offered to all new contracts, whilst existing customers can sign up without having to extend their existing contracts.

It is estimated that mobile networks make £600m a year charging customers up to 40p per minute to call 08 numbers, which are usually free or low cost from landlines.

This news comes not long after the announcement that firms in certain industries including banks, utility services, insurance companies and broadband providers will be required to supply a Freephone helpline for their customers.

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has already announced the plan to end charges for calls to 0800 numbers from mobiles; however this will not come into effect until June 2015.

These proposed changes won’t be altering the cost of calling other numbers in the 08 range however, which are currently charged at up to 41p a minute on mobiles, whilst costing as little as 4p and 8p from a BT landline.

The service charge is typically under 10p, with the majority of the cost to the consumer of a 41p a minute call being pure profit for the mobile operator.

From June 2015, Ofcom will require operators to be more transparent, separating access and service charges on bills.

Three said it hoped other operators would follow suit. Chief executive David Dyson said: “We believe it’s time to make mobile simpler, fairer and better value and calling 08 numbers is something we want to address for our customers.”

Farewell fares – Free phone finally forced for firms

A new consumer law has been passed banning premium rate helplines including 084x and 087x numbers, which will come into effect on 13th June 2014.

This means that customers calling helplines to complain will no longer have to pay more than their standard rate, stopping unnecessary costly calls. The new rules mean that airlines, train operators and major high street and online retailers are required to offer customer service or complaint lines with normal landline and mobile charges apply, ie 01, 02, 03 or 0800.

Consumer Minister Jo Swinson said at the time:

“It really is unfair that consumers are being stung in this way. For too long, some businesses have been trying to extract every extra penny from their loyal customers.

From next year (2014), if something goes wrong with a cooker, or commuters want a refund on their season ticket, they will now pay the same to phone a helpline as they do to call friends or family.

We want consumers to be confident to shop with a range of traders. The new rights announced today will mean consumers are entitled to the same level of protection whether they are purchasing goods or services online, at home or in a shop.”

Although some businesses may be exempt from these changes, including those in Finance, Travel, Public or Charity sector organisations.

Despite this, we highly recommend companies consider using 03 numbers in place of any existing non-geographic number. 03 numbers are generally cheaper to dial, being included in any inclusive minutes on mobile, without any of the stigma’s attached to 08 numbers.

For more information on the new laws visit:

For more information about the benefits of 03 numbers please visit our 03 numbers page at: