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How to call 0800, 0844, 0845 and 0870 numbers free from your mobile

Emma Lunn
by Lovemoney Staff Emma Lunn on 24 August 2013  |  Comments 11 comments

Mobile networks charge a fortune to call 'freephone' 0800, 0808 and 0500 numbers and business rate 0844 and 0845 numbers. But there are a number of smartphone apps that can cut the cost of calling 08 numbers from your mobile phone.

How to call 0800, 0844, 0845 and 0870 numbers free from your mobile

Despite most mobile tariffs offering a certain amount of inclusive minutes, these are limited to UK landline 01, 02 or 03 numbers and other mobile numbers. Calling so-called non-geographical numbers such as 0800, 0844, 0845 and 0870, often used by banks and insurers, will cost you extra.

For example, calling 0800 numbers from an O2 contract mobile phone costs 20.4p a minute. So a 10-minute call to your bank will set you back £2.04. Calling an 0871 number will cost an eye-watering 35.8p a minute.

Other networks charge similar sky-high prices. Vodafone charges 14p a minute to 0800 numbers and 35p a minute to 0871 or 0844. Orange charges a whopping 40p a minute to 0844 or 0871 numbers. This means a 10-minute call to your insurance company on an 0844 number will cost you £4.

Research by the Post Office estimated that calling these numbers added an extra £25 a year to the average mobile phone bill.

But if you grab one of the apps below, you can cut the cost of calling 08 numbers when using your smartphone.

0800 Wizard

This free app works on Android, BlackBerry, and iPhones.

It works by replacing 0800, 0500 or 0808 calls with a 01 or 02 landline number, meaning you can make the call using your free inclusive minutes if you’re on a contract or at a lower rate if you’re on pay-as-you-go (PAYG).

The app itself is fairly basic, allowing you to input a number, view recent calls made with the app and a short information page, but that’s about it. Once you have put the number in it will then generate a number and redirect your call to that number.

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0870

Based on the popular saynoto0870.com website, this app allows users to insert the 0870 number they’ve been given and the app searches the database for an alternative 01 or 02 number which will be included in your free minutes.

It then tells users the number and gives you the option whether to call it or not. However, the database is not particularly comprehensive – I tried several 0870 and 0844 numbers before I found one for which the app came up with an alternative.

It’s 69p if you have an iPhone but a similar app for Google Android phones called 'Say No To 0870 0800 0845' is free.

08 Saver

Costing 69p on an iPhone, this app works in a slightly different way from the others. Users can search categories such as airlines, banks and insurance companies and find alternative numbers for a company’s 08 numbers.

For example if you choose “insurance”, and then Admiral, it lists charged 08 numbers and 01 or 02 alternatives where available for the insurer Admiral. Users can then decide which number to call.

There’s also a search function where you can look up a company and find 01 or 02 alternatives to its advertised 08 numbers. So unlike the other apps, you don’t have to know the 08 number you need to call - just the company name.

0800 Buster

0800 Buster works in a different way to the other apps, in that it isn’t really an app but instead is a landline number you call before dialling the 0800, 0808 or 0500 number you want.

It works in a similar way to landline prefix numbers. First you need to visit 0800buster.co.uk and look for a landline number starting with 01 or 02 on the left-hand side of the page. It has several numbers and a random one is chosen whenever someone new visits the site.

Save the number on your mobile and dial it when you need to call a 0800, 0808 or 0500 number. When you dial the number you’ll be prompted to tap in the freephone number you want to call followed by the hash (#) sign. Do this and you’ll only be charged for a UK landline number which will be free if you have inclusive minutes.

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