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

It’s now free to call 0800 and 0808 numbers from a mobile but 0844, 0845 and 0870 numbers still cost a fortune. So here are some ways to cut the cost of calling 08 numbers from your mobile phone.

Changes to UK call charges

In July 2015 Ofcom overhauled UK call charges to finally make 'freephone' 0800 and 0808 numbers free to call from a mobile phone.

In the past these numbers didn't cost anything to call from landline phones, but mobile users typically had to put up with charges of between 14p and 40p per minute.

The less widely used freephone numbers beginning with 0500 will continue to be chargeable from mobiles, but will be withdrawn from use by 2017.

Ofcom also introduced simpler charges for calls to expensive non-geographic service numbers that start with 08 (including 084 and 087), 09 and 118.

The cost of call is now made up of two parts: an ‘access charge’, which goes to the phone company, and a ‘service charge’ set by the organisation you are calling. For the total cost of the call, simply add these two charges together.

Compare costs to save

To cut costs you should consider moving to a cheaper provider. We’ve compared the access charges of the major mobile providers in the table below.

Provider

Pay monthly access charge per minute

PAYG access charge per minute

Asda Mobile

8p

8p

Talk Talk

25p

25p

Tesco Mobile

25p

25p

Three

45p

45p

BT

30p

n/a

Post Office*

n/a

30p

Virgin Media

36p

36p

EE

44p

44p

O2

45p

45p

Vodafone

45p**

45p**

*Post Office mobile service will no longer be available from 8th August 2016

**Charges will rise to 55p per minute from 23 July 2016

You'll find the service charge wherever the number is advertised.

Ofgem says the service charge for calls to 087 numbers is between 0p and 13p per minute, while the service charge for calls to 084 numbers is between 0p and 7p per minute.

08 Wizard

The 08 Wizard, is a smartphone app available for iPhone, Android and Windows phone users that will help you find a free 08 number.

You just need to enter the name of the company or the expensive non-geographic 08 number and the app will suggest an alternative to dial in the form of a 01, 02 or 03 landline number.

01, 02 and 03 numbers are included in free minutes on pay monthly mobile contracts and are charged at standard rates on pay-as-you-go.

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.

The app is free for Windows phone users, 79p on the iPhone or 99p on Android.

0870

Based on the popular saynoto0870.com website, the 0870 app allows users to insert the 0870 number they’ve been given and search the database for an alternative 01, 02 or 03 number.

It then reveals a number and gives 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 could come up with an alternative.

It’s 79p if you have an iPhone, but a similar app for Google Android phones called 'Say No To 0870  is free.

Compare mobile phone deals at Recombu

WeQ4U

WeQ4U is a free app available for iPhone and Android users.

The service allows you to dial 08 numbers for free, again by seeking out the alternative 01, 02 or 03 landline numbers.

If you choose to dial the number provided by the app and get stuck in a queue, a special function activated by dialling ‘9*’ prompts the app to takeover and wait on hold for you. When an agent answers you get reconnected automatically.

08 Saver

This 79p iPhone app works in a slightly different way to 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, 02 or 03 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, 02 or 03 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.

Get cashback on your calls!

A number of current accounts now pay cashback on a range of household bills, including your phone bill, so no matter what numbers you have to call, you can still get a few quid back. Read The best current accounts for cashback.

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