Important update to service numbers starting 08

Following our recent notification about UK Calling changes due to take place on the 1st July 2015. Ofcom, the communications regulator, is making changes to the way consumers are charged for calling services beginning 08. Research carried out by Ofcom has shown that people are confused about how much it costs to call these service numbers, and as a result avoid using them. The changes being introduced will make the costs more transparent and easier to understand.

The key changes being introduced on 1st July 2015

  • Freephone numbers will become free to call from mobiles as well as landlines – as a result there will be an increased cost of operating an 0800 or 0808 number, but the size of the increase will depend on the balance of calls that are received from callers dialling from a landline or a mobile, there will be a surcharge for all callers dialling from their mobile
  • The cost to call service numbers (that’s those starting 084, 087, 09 & 118) will be split into two parts:
  1. an access charge, which will be stipulated by the caller’s phone company, and
  2. a service charge, which will be promoted by the organisation offering the service

From the 1st of July, calls to your Freephone number(s) that originate from mobile phones will attract a cost of 8 pence per minute. The impact on your organisation will depend on the amount of calls that originate from mobile phones. Calls to your Freephone number(s) that originate from landlines will generate a cost of 5 pence per minute.

You may wish to consider changing your numbers to geographic or 03 numbers which offer a 2 pence per minute charge. If you would like to change your numbers contact us before 1st July and you can use both sets of numbers at no extra cost for 3 months before removing your current 08s.

If you would like to speak to someone about this, please call 0333 222 8333.

Changes to your service number tariffs

We are now in a position to confirm what our updated service number tariff charges will be going forward.

What you need to do

  • Review all your promotional materials, website and advertising. When the new system comes into effect, companies and organisations that provide services using 084, 087, 09 or 118 numbers will be required to communicate charges clearly. Wherever you advertise or promote one of these numbers, you must ensure that the relevant service charge is displayed in a prominent position, and in close proximity to the telephone number in all cases.
  • Check the wording, as an example, a statement along the lines of “Calls will cost XX pence per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge” is likely to be considered compliant – but we recommend you seek individual advice from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), and visit the CAP (Committee of Advertising Practice) website for information about the types of marketing materials you need to update.

Your new pricing information must be ready to go in your advertising, promotional material and communications from the point of change, which is expected to be 1st July 2015.

We’ve published some blogs on our website to answer any questions you may have and provide more information about the changes:

Ofcom Announce Clear Call Rates for Everyone

Ofcom Changes to Non-geographic Calls

If you wish to review the changes in more detail there is a useful website that can be accessed by going to:

This is a major change within the industry, and our carriers have been working closely with Ofcom and other communications providers in determining the new system. We’re confident this will provide a fair and simpler system for consumers.

From your perspective it’s also a good opportunity to review the way your customers contact you and make some changes if necessary.

Please do share this information with anyone else in your organisation that will need to know; marketing and communications teams, finance, or any other teams in your organisation that actively use service numbers, so they can start preparing themselves for the changes too.

We would be delighted to help you with your review, please call us on 0333 222 8333 for advice or to arrange a meeting.

About the author - Natalia Selby

Marketing Executive at Mediahawk, with 20 years experience in analytics and content management.