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0800 numbers free to call on mobile, and it's about time

National communications regulator Ofcom is making some big changes to commercial calling, with new rules telecom and service companies must adhere to when providing prices for service numbers.

The new rules mean the telecom provider and service have to provide single prices for a call, rather than saying “calls from mobiles will be considerably more”, which is a common phrase for almost all TV shows and campaigns that have a phone-in section.

The new prices will be made of two parts, an access charge from the telecom provider and a service charge from the company. Both must be disclosed by July 1st, to avoid any issues with Ofcom.

For anyone wanting to call a service number, they need to add up the access and service charge. Ofcom has left little room for companies to be coy with the pricing, meaning mobiles should start to receive the same rates as landlines.

Ofcom has also made all calls from 0800 and 0808 numbers free from mobile, meaning a lot of these service charges will be removed. This may force some commercial programs to move to 0900 numbers.

This is great news for anyone that has been burned by the cost of calling service numbers from a mobile in the past, something that happens all too often. It should also shut down some of the dense competitions on daytime TV, which are only used to rake in money from service charges.

For companies that want to receive customers through these adverts, the new change from Ofcom should make a lot of mobile users feel safer calling in, while also limiting the cost of the call.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.