Goodbye to my 0870 numbers

August 1st, 2009 by Alistair MacDonald Leave a reply »

As of today my 0870 telephone numbers will no longer work. I have been prepared for this and have changed these numbers on the various web sites and registrations where I use them. This is because Ofcom have changed the regulation on these numbers reducing the termination fee (the fee a the company operating the numbers gets when the number is called) from 6p/minute to 0.5p/minute.

Although I am loosing the use of my 0870 (unless I pay for then) I am very much in favour of this move. People have been told that 0870 is the same as a national call, and this was technically true, it was the same price as a full price call from a BT line, but we almost never pay the full price of that call because of the calling package we are forced to take with a telephone line. All these free and 5p an hour call offers do not apply to 0870 numbers.

So when you called an 0870 number you were paying way over the odds, and the company you were calling was often very happy with this as they normally made a little bit of money whenever you called them. Because of this I refer to 0870 numbers as premium rate numbers.

For reference I have not made any money by using 0870 numbers, but they do have other advantages. They can be mapped to any other number so if I move or go on holiday I can get the calls to follow me, they cost a little bit more so I do not get marketing calls on them, and they cost next to nothing to set up (if you use the correct company) so can be used as disposable numbers for when you don’t want your details to be in the public domain.

Hopefully more telecommunication companies will now include 0870 and 0845 in there calling packages so they are free (BT have already started doing this) and more normal companies will use 03 numbers (that are the same as 01 and 02 numbers but non geographic).

Finally if you need to call an 0870, and 0845, or an 0800 (normally free, but often costs more on a mobile) then check out Say no to 0870 first. You enter the number or company that you want to call and more often than not it will give you a normal (01, 02 or now 03 number) to call instead.

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  1. Noel says:

    Hi, I agree that something needed to be done about 0870 numbers but they do offer massive benefits in terms of network based call routing that some people simply dont appreciate.

  2. Planet Numbers says:

    Keeping 0870 or switching to an 0845 number? Is the 3.5p/minute too much for small business and is it better to switch entirely? Now they've made their ruling on 0870s, Ofcom have got 0845s in their sights… Maybe is switching to an 0844 number the best option…

  3. Terence Eden says:

    You can also use the API provided at – there's also an Android and iPhone application which will intercept any 0870 number you dial and instead dial the geographic number.

  4. Rajiv says:

    Those businesses thinking about the purchase of a 0871 numbers will be affected by the new changes of its regulations. To make sure that the new regulations will be followed, there are certain guidelines provided.

    In February 2009, the new rules for the 0871 numbers were published by OfCom. Being under the remit of the premium rate numbers regulator has been decided by OfCom to all 087 numbers, the 0870 range excluded.

    Giving customers with adequate pricing information is required by PhonepayPlus. The purpose is to make customers fully conscious of all the call-related costs before any actual charges are incurred. Two kinds of pricing information namely written and verbal pricing were proposed to protect customers and improve transparency.

    All service providers are required to give users of all premium rate services with comprehensive information so to make sure that users are clearly and fully informed of the fees before any charges are incurred. Written pricing should be presented in a manner which is understandable, straight, and with no close examination required. All promotional materials advertising 0871 numbers must present clearly the written pricing information. Likewise, before connecting a call, verbal pricing information is required to be played to a caller first in a clear, audible and obvious approach.

  5. Roger White says:

    The issue with 0870 and 0845 numbers are that they are so costly from mobiles. Even “free fone” 0800 numbers cost much higher than standard call rates and aren’t included in call packages. It puts people off and encourages them to seek geographic numbers.

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