Communications standards watchdog Ofcom have set down proposals to see all 0800 calls become cost-free on mobile phones, just as they are on landlines.
A lack of transparency in current mobile tariffs means that calls many expect to be free can cost as much as 40p per minute. Ofcom are now urging network providers to be clearer on their pricing schemes for such numbers, requesting that the 03 area code be adopted as widely as118 and non-geographic business numbers.
“There is clear evidence of widespread uncertainty and confusion about the cost of calling these numbers,” said Ed Richards, chief executive of Ofcom. “Consumers need to have far more transparency about the price they are going to pay for calls so that they can make more informed choices and so competition can work more effectively.
“Making 0800 free from a mobile and giving people clarity about what they are paying for 118 directory enquiry services will improve transparency, improve competition and enhance trust in these important services”.
New telecoms legislation means that the proposals could yet become a reality, so we’ll keep you posted. Click here to read Ofcom’s full plans.