3UK banishes unpopular 0800 call charges

Three’s new pay monthly plans make calling 0800 free and 084 and 087 calls 5p per minute

charges often buried in the small print- dyson

It seems than innovative UK MNO [Mobile Network Operator], Three (3UK) has moved to banish one of the most fervent gripes that UK consumers have with the mobile operators. Namely, the cost of calling so-called ‘Freefone’ numbers starting with 0800. By complete contrast, until now for all mobile phone users 0800 calls have proved to be just the opposite – the most expensive calls to make. The same applies to supposed ‘local call’ numbers such as 0845 and ‘non-geographic’ 0870 numbers. In response, 3UK has introduced new plans which make calling 0800 free and 084 and 087 calls five pence per minute.

Such is the anger amongst UK consumers over paying high call costs to phone premium numbers such as 0870, there’s actually a web site called Saynoto0870.com which publishes alternative numbers which are frequently counted as part of mobile customers’ contracted minutes.

To coincide with this move, 3UK announced the findings from some research carried out on its behalf by YouGov.

For example, calls to 0800, 0845 and 0870 numbers cost UK mobile consumers an estimated £600 million a year.

The research also found that 47 per cent of mobile phone users have experienced bill shock, with almost a third (31 per cent) of these users saying this was caused by out of bundle expensive calls such as 0800 or 0845 numbers.

More worryingly, three quarters of people surveyed had no idea how much their operator charges them for an 0800 call and 10 per cent think these are free, as they would be from a landline.

“We asked people what frustrated them most about their mobile bills and confusion around the cost of calling 08 numbers came out top by a big margin,” Dave Dyson, CEO with Three UK, commented.

He continued, “These charges are often buried in the small print and they’re expensive enough to make most customers fear calling them from their mobiles.”

With customer relations in mind, existing  3UK customers can swap over from their existing plan without paying a fee and can keep their existing contract end date.

To celebrate the fact that 3UK users can call 0800 lines for free, 3UK has launched a selection of fun and pointless 0800 numbers.

They are: – Singing Dictionary: 0800 808 5883;Time Wasting Line: 0800 808 5730; Nicknaming Service: 0800 011 9763; 24hr Compliment Line: 0800 808 5602; 24hr Lullaby Line: 0800 011 9865; Sympathy Service: 0800 808 5191.

You can read the full details of these new plans here or visit  3UK’s web site here for  details of its new Pay-As-You-Go tariffs.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
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