Say no to 0845 and 0870 telephone numbers: how to call them for free

Calling 0845 and 0870 numbers can cost a fortune, so here are some ways to call them for free.

Move to a package that offers 0870 and 0845 calls for free

Many phone providers now offer free calls to 0870 and 0845 numbers. Check what's included in your home phone package and when you can call them, i.e. is it just evenings or weekends or all the time?

Save money on your next home phone and broadband bundle by comparing packages at broadbandchoices.co.uk

Find a free number

The website saynoto0870.com provides a list of alternative 01/02/03 numbers or free 0800 and 0808 numbers that can be dialled instead of expensive 08 numbers including 0842, 0843, 0844, 0845, 0870, 0871, 0872 and 0873. However, it's not fool proof and sadly there are some scammers posting fake phone numbers on there. Tread with a bit of caution.

You could also look on a company's website for numbers that are meant for people to use if they're calling from overseas. Believe it or not, some companies now block these numbers if you're calling them from a UK landline or mobile. Alternatively, you could call a company's sales line, if it's free (and let's face it, they generally are as they want our business), and ask to be transferred at their expense.

You could also use an override provider – this is a phone company that undercuts your regular phone supplier. You just sign up and then dial a prefix number before the phone number you are calling. Popular override numbers include 1899 and 18185, but do an online search to check the best one based on your phone contract.

What about 0871 and 0844?

Calls to 0871 and 0844 numbers are not included in any packages. However, as Ofgem has overhauled how 08, 09 and 118 numbers are charged, it's easy to compare charges.

Since July 1 2015, the cost of calling an 0871 or 0844 number is made up of two parts: an access charge that goes to your phone company and a service charge set by the organisation you’re calling. For the total cost of the call, simply add these two charges together.

For the access charge, look on your phone bill or speak to your phone company. We’ve compared the access charges of major landline and mobile providers in the table below.

Provider

Landline access charge per minute

Pay monthly access charge per minute

PAYG access charge per minute

BT

10.24p*

30p

n/a

Sky

11.5p

n/a

n/a

Virgin Media

10.25p

36p

36p

Talk Talk

7.5p

15p

n/a

Plusnet

9.58p

n/a

n/a

Post Office

30p

30p

n/a

Asda Mobile

n/a

8p

8p

Three

n/a

45p

45p

EE

44p

44p

44p

O2

n/a

45p

45p

Vodafone

9.5p

45p

45p

Tesco Mobile

 n/a

25p

25p

*Unlimited Anytime Calls, Unlimited Evening & Weekend Calls, Unlimited Weekend Calls, No Inclusive Calls and Home Phone Saver. All other plans 10.19ppm.

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

Want to avoid the cost of non-geographic calls made from a mobile? Have a read of How to call 0800, 0844, 0845 and 0870 numbers for free from your mobile

Earn cashback on your phone bills

A couple of current accounts now pay cashback on a range of household bills, including your phone bills. So no matter which numbers you have to call, you can make a few quid back!

Read The best current accounts for cashback to find out more.

Maximise your money:

Ways to get an interest-free loan

Where to earn most interest on your cash

The best 0% balance transfer credit cards

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