At the moment, some ISPs allow dialling these numbers at no
cost, while others charge. In a nutshell, consumers consider the
whole process confusing, especially when dialling these numbers
from mobiles which can at times set customers back by 21p per
Ofcom also plans to make charges to call 08, 09 and 118 numbers
clear and simple (information, banking and various enquiry
departments) for busy diallers.
Ed Richards, CEO of Ofcom, said in a recent statement that he
understood that consumers found the whole free numbers process
"Under our proposals, people
will have much clearer information and there will be greater
competition on prices.
"By making calls to 0800 numbers
free from all phones, we will clear up any uncertainty about making
calls, especially from mobiles, to the benefit of consumers and
service providers alike."
The telecoms regulator will also rethink 0845/0870 number
calling strategies while reintroducing the 03 numbers which will be
charged for similarly to 01/02 geographical numbers.
While this is something that Ofcom is mulling over now, the
outcomes of this consultation will surface in Q1 of 2013.