It seems ridiculous to think that we once enjoyed free calls to freephone numbers on some of the UK mobile networks. Vodafone and O2 (previously Cellnet) always charged, but One2One (now T-Mobile) and Orange launched on the basis of offering value to the consumer.
Then, following huge payments for 3G licenses, they backed down and started to charge like everyone else. Worse still, it wasn’t even a nominal fee. Charges to call ‘free’ numbers can range from 10p a minute to a staggering 25p a minute!
BT Mobile has taken the bold step of making all calls to 0800 numbers free with immediate effect.
BT is even calling on other phone operators to give customers back the £50m a year they charge users for calling 0800 numbers from a mobile phone.
According to BT, a customer on Orange would pay £7.50 to make a 30-minute call to their insurance company or bank, when it could be totally free from a landline.
Head of mobiles at moneysupermarket.com James Parker, says: “This is great news from BT. Following their decision in January to make 0870 and 0845 numbers free from landlines, BT are really forging the way with fairer deals for the customer.
“0800 numbers are often for customer services and people are mostly calling these numbers looking for help from their providers – the last thing they need is to be charged for it. Now BT has set the example its time for all the other mobile providers to step up.”
The question is, will anyone else follow the lead and drop their charges too?
More info: BT Mobile