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Posted By Michelle Quinton 27th January 2015

Freephone Number Shake-up

At present calling a Freephone number from a mobile phone can mean a large, unpleasant surprise on your phone bill, but not for much longer. Back in 2013 Ofcom announced it planned a shake-up of how Freephone and non-geographic numbers (such as 0844) were going to work. The date that this change was to be fully implemented is almost upon us, July 2015.

News to you?

Well for more information on both the Freephone and the non-geographic numbers and what changes are occurring read on.

When it comes to Freephone and non-geographic numbers we?re all aware that prices vary, it is a phrase seen and heard on many commercials ?costs may vary for non BT phone lines? or ?calls may be charged for mobile users? etc. The variations, differences in costs and the all the different forms of numbers available to call has made the world of telephones a confusing one for consumers. Ofcom claims that this confusion has led to people going out of their way to find alternative methods for contacting companies, often in ways that end up being less cost effective and more time consuming. When consumers are calling from mobiles, the costs are often detrimental, especially to those on a lower income who may not be able to afford such high call charges. This led to a complete rethink on the way phone numbers such as the 0844 and 0800 numbers and how they work.

So how will things change?

For Freephone numbers, Ofcom wanted to end call charges entirely, they argued that mobile phone companies needed to stop charging for these calls, after all, they are Freephone numbers, that cost a small fortune to call from a mobile phone. Seems a little counter intuitive. So this would mean all 0800 , 0808 and 116 numbers, whether dialed from a landline or a mobile phone will carry no calling charge for the person dialing the number.

All numbers starting with 01, 02 or 03 will be charged at a local rate, no real change here, but a point worth making, that an 03 number is charged at the same rate as all other local rate numbers and should be included in your mobile phone minutes or your phone package.

How 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers are charged will be made more transparent, this should allow a greater understanding of the cost of the call. Adverts will no longer simply be able to announce that "costs may vary from other networks" as costs must become more easily understood.

The Mobile provider O2 has already published an extensive list of currently Free 0800 numbers (which you can see here) as well as a guide to how the costs will look after July this year (click here for more info) in addition to their normal call costs.

The Telegraph - Freephone Calls Extended To Mobile Phones Ofcom Says.

Ofcom - Simplifying Non-Geographic

The Guardian - Ofcom Free 0800 Mobile Telecoms Overhaul

This Is Money - Now Freephone Will Mean Free Says Ofcom