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Calls to ‘freephone’ numbers to be free from mobiles

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Calls to 'freephone' numbers will become free from mobile phones as well as landlines, the regulator Ofcom has announced.

Under a raft of new measures to telephone charging unveiled today, calls to 0800, 0808 and 116 will always be free.

Premium rate 09 number call charges will also be capped, protecting consumers from the risk of rogue operators imposing “extremely high charges”, the regulator said.

Additionally, confusion around 0845 will be addressed, with the charges associated with calling 0845 numbers no longer tied to where the call is being made from or to.

The changes will be implemented in the next 18 months’ time and Ofcom said it is planning a national campaign to explain how they will affect UK telephone users.

Ed Richards, chief executive of Ofcom, said: “These changes will be the biggest for UK telephone customers in more than a decade. We expect them to restore people’s confidence in using phone services, and to increase competition.

“Freephone will mean free for all consumers, and the cost of calling other services will be made clear. Telephone users will be able to see how much they’re paying, and where their money is going.”


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