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Telephone charges to be simplified

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Millions across the UK will benefit next month when clearer telephone charges are introduced by Ofcom.

Under a new initiative called ‘UK Calling’, landline and mobile charges will become clearer for calls to numbers starting 084, 087, 09 and 118 from 1 July. Moreover, Freephone calls from mobiles will now be free.

According to Ofcom research, callers in the UK collectively spend 250m hours calling ‘service’ numbers annually, spending around £900m in the process. However, callers to these numbers are not generally told how much they will be charged for the call  by the service provider. Currently, callers are only given specific pence per minute information for calls from a BT landline – charges for calls from other landlines and mobiles aren’t outlined.

Now, call charges will be clearer on telephone bills, and in marketing/advertising material – and callers will have the cost of a call clearly explained to them in pence per minute terms.

Also from the start of next month, Freephone numbers (beginning 0800 and 0808) will become free for consumers to call from mobiles, as they currently are from landlines.

“Next month we’ll see the biggest changes to telephone calls in over a decade,” said Sharon White, chief executive of Ofcom.

“From 1 July, callers will be able to see how much they’re paying and where their money is going. The website has more information on the changes, and what they mean for you.”


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