Changes are coming to the way some telephone numbers are charged

Every day, telephone users call service numbers for a range of things, from finding out information to banking, government, directory enquiry and entertainment services. But the cost of calling these numbers – which start 08, 09 or 118 – is often difficult to find out.

That has changed, under a new system which will make the cost of calling service numbers clear for everyone.

How it works now

At present, the information you see about the cost of calling a service often looks something like this:

“Calls cost 20p per minute from a BT landline. Other landlines may vary and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.”

How it will work in future

From 1st July 2015, the cost of calling service numbers will be split into two clear parts:

  • An access charge: This part of the call charge goes to your phone company, charged as pence per minute. They will tell you how much the access charge will be for calls to service numbers. It will be made clear on bills and when you take out a contract.
  • A service charge: This is the rest of the call charge. The organisation you are calling decides this, and will tell you how much it is.

Let’s take an example.

Say your particular phone company charges you 2p per minute for calls to service numbers – that is their access charge.

And let’s say the service charge for a particular number you want to call is 20p per minute . In that case, you would see information like this:

“Calls cost 20p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.”

In this particular example, the call would cost 20p per minute (the service charge), plus 2p per minute (the access charge). So the call would cost you 22p per minute.

These rules will apply to all consumer calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers across the UK, delivering clearer call rates for everyone.

Calls to other numbers – those beginning 00, 01, 02, 03, 05 or 07 – are not affected.


In addition, also from 1st July 2015, all Freephone numbers (which begin 0800 or 0808) are being made free for consumers to call from all mobile phones, just as they generally are from landlines.

UK Calling

UK Calling is the name for these changes that are happening to make telephone charges clearer, and the information campaign to communicate them. The campaign is being led by Ofcom, the communications regulator, working together with major phone companies. Further information

Further information

If you have any questions, please speak to your phone company for more information.