Ofcom Wants 0800 Calls To Be Free From Mobiles

As you're most probably aware, an 0800 number is free to call - on a landline that is, but not from a mobile phone.

Currently, mobile owners are charged up to 21 pence per minute for ringing an 0800 number, but Ofcom wants that all to change, and for the freebie to be extended to the mobile sphere.

The thing is, most folks associate the 0800 prefix with a free call, so are shocked when they've rung it on a smartphone and end up being billed. Granted, it's not a mistake you're likely to make twice, but still - it certainly seems unfair to charge mobiles, particularly in the region of 20 pence per minute.

Ofcom's new proposal is part of a drive to clear up confusion regarding charges when it comes to other 08 numbers, and also 03, 09 and 118 numbers. It wants clear guidance provided on the cost of such calls, whether phoning from a landline or mobile, and a breakdown of the price in terms of the cost of the actual call, and charge incurred for the service.

In a statement, Ofcom noted: "Virtually every consumer and company in the country uses non-geographic numbers in some way. People use them to call businesses and government agencies like HM Revenue and Customs and NHS Direct, make payments for services and vote on TV shows."

"However, Ofcom research has shown many people are confused about what non-geographic numbers are for and how much they cost, resulting in a lack of confidence and trust in the services."

"As a result consumers make fewer calls to these numbers, providers are discouraged from using them and there is less innovation that might benefit consumers."

The sooner they push this one through, the better.