How will calls to 08, 09 and 118 numbers be charged from 1 July 2015?

Telephone numbers starting 08, 09 and 118 are called 'service numbers'. You might use them to make phone calls to organisations such as banks, travel services, government departments, or even to vote in TV shows.

From 1 July 2015, the regulator Ofcom changed the way these numbers are charged for. The changes are designed to make the cost of calls clearer, and they are being communicated through a campaign called UK Calling.

084, 087, 09 and  118 calls

Numbers beginning 084 and 087 are general service numbers for contacting organisations. Those beginning 09 are 'premium rate' service numbers; while those beginning 118 are directory enquiry numbers.


From 1 July 2015, the cost of calling any of these numbers has been split into two parts:

The Access Charge: This is what we charge you, per minute, for connecting the call. We will be charging you 6.3p. (BT's access charge is 10p)

The Service Charge: This is the remainder of the call charge. The organisation you are calling decides the service charge, and must communicate it. For example, if the service charge was 20p per minute, the organisation you are calling might say "Calls cost 20p per minute, plus your phone company's access charge".


We strongly advise all our customers to check if the company you are calling has alternative contact number that starts with 01, 02 or 03. 

The following website can also be used to try and find an alternative contact number.

A summary of other service providers access charges can be found here.

Further information about these changes is available from Ofcom.

Please note – These changes have been imposed by Ofcom and Exchange Communications (UK) Ltd (along with all other service providers i.e. BT) have no control over the service charges.

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