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Free Mobile Calls to Freephone Numbers and Clearer Charges for Service Numbers

Published On:Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Communications Commission is pleased to report that Isle of Man telecommunications providers will adopt the new rules being introduced in the UK for calling Freephone and service numbers.

Many organisations use Freephone numbers – starting with 0800 or 0808 – to allow people to call them free of charge from a fixed line. From 1 July 2015, all 0800 and 0808 numbers will also be free to call from Isle of Man mobile phones.

Service numbers starting with 084, 087, 09 and 118 are used by people for getting information, banking, directory enquiries, entertainment and voting services. The charges for calling a service number are unclear, callers are typically informed that: “Calls cost xp per minute from a BT landline. Other landlines may vary and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more.”

From 1 July 2015, the cost of calling service numbers will be split into two parts – an access charge and a service charge. The access charge will be set by your phone company and explicitly stated in pricing plans and phone bills. The service charge will be set by the organization that you are calling and callers will be informed that: “Calls cost xp per minute plus your phone company's access charge.”

Dr Carmel McLaughlin, Director of the Communications Commission, said:

"These changes will result in greater call cost transparency, which is a very positive development for consumers. We are pleased that all licensed telecom operators on the Island have agreed to comply with the new charging structure that is being implemented right across the UK."

Hon Juan Watterson, Chairman of the Communications Commission, said:

“According to Ofcom, the UK regulator, £900 million a year is spent on these calls. It is important that callers know how much they are paying and to whom. I am delighted that the Commission has been able to work with Ofcom (the UK regulator) and our local telecoms operators in the best interests of consumers.”

For more information about the changes go to www.ukcalling.info or see the Commission’s FAQ page.