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Ofcom tackling free UK numbers, releases videos to help avoid massive bills

Windows Phone Store

Good news for those who reside in the UK. Telecoms regulator Ofcom is looking to finally tackle the confusion over dialling 0845 and similar dialling codes used by many businesses from mobile phones. Not only that but the organisation has also released a number of videos to help avoid accumulating a huge bill from apps and stores.

The former will be warmly welcomed by consumers. This could help remove those expensive charges for customer service, directory inquiries and other freephone numbers. Changes to the rules are on the table around call charges to numbers starting 08, 09 and 118. Said numbers are for shops, banks, utility companies, directory inquiries, public bodies and more.

The charges in question are often expensive. We're talking as much as 10p per minute from a landline, or an astonishing 40p per minute from a mobile phone. Ofcom aims to make it more transparent just how much consumers have to pay to ring such numbers, as well as making 0800 numbers free for mobiles. For the time being, the cost can vary enormously depending on the mobile operator.

Ofcom wants to standardise and simplify the pricing. Ofcom's chief executive, Ed Richards, said the following:

"Consumers need to have far more transparency about the price they are going to pay for calls so that they can make more informed choices and so competition can work more effectively. Making 0800 free from a mobile and giving people clarity about what they are paying for 118 directory enquiry services will improve transparency, improve competition and enhance trust in these important services."

Ofcom's consultation closes on May 28th this year. The regulator will allow mobile operators 18 months to implement any changes to call charging after the conclusion of the review is published.

 

Tackling those big bills

Have kids that own Windows Phones and enjoy using apps, or do you wish to try and keep that bill down each month? Ofcom has published an array of videos for multiple mobile platforms, including Windows Phone.

The Guardian also reports that the Office of Fair Trading will be looking into apps and games on smartphones, which have led to parents enduring massive bills from kids performing in-app purchasing. Luckily, Windows Phone sports Kid's Corner, a unique feature of the platform that enables parents to lock down exactly what kids have access to. Be sure to add a Wallet PIN too.

Have you experienced an expensive bill on Windows Phone?

Source: The Guardian, Ofcom

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Reader comments

Ofcom tackling free UK numbers, releases videos to help avoid massive bills

8 Comments

Indeed, but still the best option is to just call these numbers from Skype (on PC or on Phone) thats what I always do since I don't have a landline, and I am not wasting my money doing it from mobile.
 

There's an app called 0800 wizard that searches for geographical ones if you have inclusive mins it makes the calls free

Similarly,In an emergency i had to use 118500 from my mobile a month ago, and a call that took no more than 20 SECONDS cost me over £5.00. The number was not connected by 118500 either-just texted to me. Totally disgusting. Unfortunately, the number listed by my previous bing maps search was incorrect...

Got a shock when my 920 fell a few feet on the floor (tiled) with a jangling noise due to sleepiness on my part. Survived without a scratch although i do admit it has a casemate transparent back cover. Must have fallen on the power button coz it restarted

I have noticed that in app purchase's using ms points aren't secured with the wallet pin number, as my son spent some on coins in fragger.