As part of an effort by Ofcom to sort out phone charges to different types of number, 0800 and 0808 freephone numbers are now totally free on both landlines and mobiles.
Additionally, charges for other service numbers beginning with 084, 087, 09 and 118 have also apparently been made simpler and clearer.
The cost is divided between a service charge (charged by the service provider) and an access charge (charged by the customerís network) Calls to the above kinds of number will now be preceded with a warning that they will cost a certain amount per minute, plus your networkís standard access charge.
This move has been celebrated widely, with Fair Telecoms Campaign spokesman David Hickson claiming this now means that ìthe end of the rip-off numbers is not far offî.
However, the fight against so-called ìrip-off numbersî is not quite over. As Richard Neudegg of Uswitch pointed out, the access charges charged by the network range from 15-44 pence per minute, meaning that customers ìcould easily be caught out if they are not clued up about their providerís new chargesî.
Charges for calls to 03 numbers have also been changed so that they cost at most the same as calls to 01 and 02 numbers.
This overhaul has been in the pipeline for about a year and comes off the bank of Ofcomís report that found that each year, customers in the UK spent an average of £900 million on calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers ñ a total of around 250 million calls.