Ofcom makes mobile calls to freephones numbers ‘free’

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UK Telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced Brits will be able to make calls to freephones from their mobile number for free starting July.

Currently, calls to Freephone ‘0800 and 0808’ numbers are free from a landline, however calling these numbers from a mobile phone costs customers up to 20p a minute. Ofcom has ruled out that from July onwards, calls to freephone numbers ‘0800 and 0808’ from both landlines and mobile numbers will be completely free of cost.

Furthermore, the telecom regulator has also asked TV companies to change how they advertise phone-in and mobile voting competitions, in order to offer a better understanding of actual charges incurred per call. These will include calls made for voting in popular shows like X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing.

For instance, while calling voting lines at 084, 087 and 09 numbers, people get to hear that “calls may vary from other landlines and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.”

Under Ofcom’s new rules, to be implemented from July, broadcasters will have to specify call rates for each landline or mobile service so that callers can calculate exactly how much they will pay for making these calls. It will have to be stated clearly on bills and when a customer takes out a new phone contract.

Under the new system, the wording will be similar to: “Calls cost Xp plus your phone company’s access charge.”

The ruling applies to 08, 09 and 118 director enquiry numbers.

Ofcom CEO Sharon White said “In July we’ll see the biggest changes to phone calls in over a decade, affecting 175m phone numbers.

“The changes are important for people who enjoy interacting with their favourite shows, but also for everyone calling companies and organisations on 08, 09 and 118 numbers.

“People can look out for more information from their phone company, or visit the UK Calling website.”