IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Mobile phone operators hike up access charges

The price increase affects calls to 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers

Mobile wallet

Mobile users may end up paying more for calls to certain premium rate numbers after mobile phone operators increased access charges to these numbers.

The call increases have come after Ofcom moved to make call prices more transparent by separating service and access charges in July this year. While the move was supposed to make things clearer for mobile users, it has had the consequence of mobile operators raising charges.

These service numbers are used by organisations for business purposes, especially for popular TV shows, such as Strictly and X Factor.

While businesses set the service charge, mobile operators set the access charge. This November sees mobile operator Three increase access charges by as much as 80 per cent with an access charge of 45p per minute for each call to a service number. This figure was previously 25p per minute.

Calls to Strictly Come Dancing currently cost 40p but will rise to 80p in November.

In August, O2 and Vodafone increased their access charges following Ofcom's new policy. At the time, the regulator said the separation of charges would benefit consumers.

An Ofcom spokeswoman said that as some prices have changed, people should "shop around for a tariff that's right for them."

"Phone providers are now offering a range of pricing options for these numbers, including per-minute access charges as low as 1p per minute," she said.

"Ofcom actively encourages organisations to use 03 numbers, which we set up to cost no more than a normal 01 or 02 number. They must also be included in a customer's inclusive minutes and discount schemes in the same way."

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said that since the new system was introduced by Ofcom in July, some charges have increased by 96 per cent.

"Ofcom's new system relies on people keeping an eagle eye on what they will be charged before they pick up the phone.

"The charges are meant to be more transparent than before, but with significant price hikes since the new system was introduced, consumers need to be savvy to make sure they are not left out of pocket."

Featured Resources

Four strategies for building a hybrid workplace that works

All indications are that the future of work is hybrid, if it's not here already

Free webinar

The digital marketer’s guide to contextual insights and trends

How to use contextual intelligence to uncover new insights and inform strategies

Free Download

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Free Download

Building a modern strategy for analytics and machine learning success

Turning into business value

Free Download

Recommended

EE, Vodafone delay post-Brexit return of roaming charges
mobile networks

EE, Vodafone delay post-Brexit return of roaming charges

6 Jan 2022
Vodafone to roll out self-sufficient masts powered entirely by renewable energy
mobile networks

Vodafone to roll out self-sufficient masts powered entirely by renewable energy

25 Nov 2021
Vodafone sues UK government after missing out on £184m Foreign Office contract
public sector

Vodafone sues UK government after missing out on £184m Foreign Office contract

22 Oct 2021
Vodafone to add 7,000 software engineers in digital services drive
Careers & training

Vodafone to add 7,000 software engineers in digital services drive

21 Oct 2021

Most Popular

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack
hacking

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack

16 May 2022
Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies
Server & storage

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies

12 May 2022
IT admin deletes company’s databases and is jailed for seven years
Policy & legislation

IT admin deletes company’s databases and is jailed for seven years

16 May 2022