The new rules regarding non-geographical numbers in the UK will be coming into force tomorrow. These have so far been well received by consumers and service providers alike.

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As a result of this change though, it is expected that the cost of calling an organisation’s non-geographical number will become more expensive than it was previously.

084x and 087x numbers are the current service numbers that are used to contact an organisation.

It is unlikely that the organisation has intentionally set up their phone number to be expensive, however there is now a solution in place reducing these costs. Any organisation using a 084X or 087X number is now eligible to be allocated an alternative number starting 03 by the original number’s range holder.

For example HSBC BANK’s customer access number 0845-7404404 has now been replaced with 0345-7404404.

Calling numbers starting with 03 costs a similar amount to a normal geographic number 01 or 02, so it may well be worth asking your colleagues or family to try the 03 number before using the 08 version. This may have already been set-up by the organisation you are trying to call and will be much cheaper.

Freephone numbers starting 0800 or 0808 will be free for customers to call as normal.

Ofcom from 1st July has stated that calling these numbers from mobile phones must also be free of charge.