UK Calling​: call charges to be made clearer and cheaper

Phone charges change
Phone charges change

When you make a telephone call to a service number – beginning 08, 09 or 118 – it’s not always clear how much it will cost.

That will soon change under a new system that will make the cost of calling service numbers clear for everyone.

It affects all calls from consumer mobiles and landlines to 08, 09 and 118 numbers.

How it works now

Sometimes you might see information about the cost of calls, which may look like this:

“Calls cost 20p per minute from a BT landline. Other landlines may vary and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.”

This makes it hard to know the cost, unless you are calling from a BT landline.

How it will work in future

From 1 July 2015, the cost of calling service numbers will be made up of two parts:

An access charge - This part of the call charge goes to your phone company, charged as pence per minute.

They will tell you how much the access charge will be for calls to service numbers.

It will be made clear on bills and when you take out a contract.

A service charge - This is the rest of the call charge. The organisation you are calling decides this, and will tell you how much it is.

These rules will apply to all consumer calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers across the UK, delivering clearer call rates for everyone. The changes do not affect calls made to ordinary landline numbers (01, 02), 03 numbers or mobile (07) numbers. Neither do they affect calls made from payphones, international calls, or calls to the UK when roaming overseas.

In addition, all Freephone numbers (which begin 0800 or 0808) are being made free for consumers to call from all phones, whether mobile or landline.

Find out more information at