Mobile Calls To 0800 Numbers To Be Free Of Charge

Ofcom has announced plans to ban mobile operators from charging customers who call 0800 numbers from their handsets .
Mobile users in the UK currently pay up to 40p a minute to call 0800 numbers, despite the fact they are free to call from landline phones and are used by many public bodies, including councils and the NHS.
However, following a change in European telecoms legislation, Ofcom intends to ban this charging practice within weeks and introduce rules to clarify other charges for so-called non-geographic numbers beginning with 08 or 09.
Ofcom is also planning to clear up the confusion surrounding the cost of using 118 directory enquiry services.
Under the regulator’s proposals, phone companies will be required to spell out the standard charge for calling a 118 service, as with 09 premium numbers.
Chief executive Ed Richards said: “There is clear evidence of widespread uncertainty and confusion about the cost of calling these numbers.”
“Consumers need to have far more transparency about the price they are going to pay for calls so that they can make more informed choices and so competition can work more effectively.”
“Making 0800 free from a mobile phone and giving people clarity about what they are paying for 118 directory enquiry services will improve transparency, improve competition and enhance trust in these important services.’