Phone Numbers – Call Charges
The cost of calling a phone number depends on the digits it starts with, your phone provider and whether you use a landline or mobile.
The costs below are approximate. Check with your phone provider to find out the actual cost, particularly if you’re calling from abroad. Calls from payphones can cost more.
|Number starts with||Description||Cost from landlines per minute (approximate)||Cost from mobiles per minute (approximate)|
|Geographic numbers for specific parts of the UK||up to 13p||3p to 55p|
|UK-wide numbers||up to 9p||3p to 55p|
|030||Not-for-profit organisations, charities and public bodies||up to 10p||3p to 40p|
|07||Mobile numbers||10p to 20p||3p to 55p|
|070||Personal or ‘follow me’ numbers regulated by the Phone-paid Services Authority||4p to £3.40 (plus a possible 51p per call)||30p to £2.50 (plus a possible 51p per call)|
|Business rate numbers||up to 7p and your phone company’s access charge||up to 7p and your phone company’s access charge|
|Business rate numbers regulated by the Phone-paid Services Authority||up to 13p and your phone company’s access charge||up to 13p and your phone company’s access charge|
|09||Premium rate numbers regulated by the Phone-paid Services Authority||up to £3.60 and your phone company’s access charge, plus 5p to £6 per call||up to £3.60 and your phone company’s access charge, plus 5p to £6 per call|
|101||Police non-emergency number||15p per call||15p per call|
|105||UK-wide power cut helpline||Free||Free|
|111||Non-emergency medical advice||Free||Free|
|118||Directory enquiry numbers regulated by the Phone-paid Services Authority||up to £5 and your phone company’s access charge, plus possibly up to £6.98 per call||up to £5 and your phone company’s access charge, plus possibly up to £6.98 per call|
Get advice from Ofcom if you have problems with call charges or phone bills.
Access Charges- Call Charges
These are charged per minute by your provider to connect your call. Since the introduction of the regulations, each provider sets the same access charge for calls to all types of 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers.
Also, the time of day you call doesn’t dictate the access charge – it’s the same rate regardless. The only time this may be relevant is if you have a home phone package with inclusive calls at certain times that covers 0870/0845 numbers.
If you don’t have such a package, or if you’re calling outside your call plan or from a mobile, here’s a breakdown of the access charge for each one:
ACCESS CHARGES FOR CALLS TO 084, 087, 09 AND 118 NUMBERS
|PROVIDER||HOME PHONE ACCESS CHARGE||MOBILE ACCESS CHARGE|
|VIRGIN MEDIA||10.25p/minute||36p/minute (iii)|
|Table correct as of 1 December 2015. (i) BT says customers on its low-income tariff will not pay the access charge for any call. (ii) Includes Orange and T-Mobile re mobile access charge. (iii) Certain Sim-only and ‘Freestyle’ Virgin Mobile plans will include calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers as part of their allowance.|
These are charged by the organisation you’re trying to call – they must clearly state the charge wherever they advertise or promote these numbers. If you see an 084, 087, 09 or 118 number advertised without the service charge clearly displayed alongside, consider reporting it to the Advertising Standards Authority (or PhonepayPlus if it’s a number with a service charge of more than 7p/min or 7p/call).
Ofcom has capped service charges at 7p/minute for numbers beginning with 084 and 13p/minute for those beginning with 087. Calls to 09 numbers can cost up to £6/call or £3.60/min, depending on how they are charged, while there’s no service charge cap on 118 numbers.
Service charges will vary greatly, so make sure you always check carefully what they’ll be before calling. If it isn’t clear, try to get in touch with the company’s customer service department by email. In any case, the rate shouldn’t be more than the caps mentioned above.