Virtual free phone numbers beginning with 0800 or 0808 are now free to call from any UK mobile telephone or landline or payphone.
The move is part of an update on business phone number services and charges by Ofcom which has now come into power.
Ofcom said the expense of so called service numbers, beginning with 084, 087, 118 or 09, had now been simplified too. Yet, there are warnings of confusion over the exact cost of these calls and that the pressure on businesses may rise.
"This is Fabulous News" - Tynan O’Hara, Director of 08UK.
The changes, initially declared over a year ago, will influence million phone users calling habits. Mobile phone users will no longer be charged to call free phone business numbers. The cost of calls to service numbers has been split into an "access" charge going to the telecoms provider and a "service" charge set by the organisation or business being called.
This has incited numerous businesses to move from 08 numbers to less expensive 03 numbers. Ofcom said that UK shoppers spent a sum of £900m a year on 250 million calls to 084, 087, 09, or 118 service lines. Calls to virtual 03 numbers cost the same as calls to geographic 01 and 02 numbers.
The cost of calls to the remaining service numbers will be broken down into an "access" charge going to the telecoms provider and a "service" charge set by the business being called.
In any case U-switch, observed that these access charges ranged from 10p up to 44p across the various fixed line & mobile networks.
People could get caught out if they are not wise to their provider's new charges. Ofcom have indicated that, in a competitive market, prices could begin to drop.
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