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08 Confusion

There has been a lot of confusion over the cost of 08 numbers recently and Tynan O’Hara, MD of 08UK, is a man on a mission to do something about it. Ofcom states that people are actually put off from making important calls because they are unsure of how much it will cost them. Tynan has put together a questionnaire to illustrate the knowledge, or sheer lack of, surrounding 08 numbers here in the UK. Comms business urges you to take part and perhaps together we can all put the pressure on Ofcom to start implementing some changes. Please go to to take part.

Comms Business (CB): What are you trying to achieve with your research? Can you give us a brief outline as to why you decided to do this?

Tynan O’Hara (TO): I want to show that a) no-one is clear about how much they pay to call 08 numbers and we believe suppliers should be offering clear concise pricing that covers minimum connection figures too – where relevant. By choosing to ask the questionnaire to sample 1 (industry professionals) & sample 2 (general public) the results we believe will be exactly the same – i.e they will help to prove that no-one is clear about 08 pricing – not even telecom industry professionals!

CB: Tynan, why is the pricing of 08 numbers so misunderstood? 

TO: The descriptions do not accurately reflect the call costs, a “Freephone number” – surely it should be free?! Callers are not always given a breakdown on their phone bills of SRS/NGN calls & rates per minute & any connections that apply additionally to that rate/minute. It was only recently when you called and 0800 from a mobile the network decided to actually advise us of the actual cost for calling. Previously they used to say “this call is charged at standard network rates – if you do not wish to continue please end the call now”…. E.g On one network it now says the charge is 14p/minute. Why? When the call is already being paid for? May I add here in the UK a 8.65ppm 0871 number is classed as premium rate – yet a 14ppm call to an 0800 from a mobile is not???

CB: What should Ofcom be doing to clear up the confusion? 

TO: Enforcing clear & accurate descriptions of the various 08 number ranges – now. Perhaps they could look at enforcing a unification of ALL rates across ALL networks for NGN & SRS & Premium Rate Numbers.

CB: Are we all being taken advantage of? 

TO: Yes – in particular in my opinion by ‘the mobile networks’ who are charging us ridiculously high rates for certain calls that are charged at much reduced rates by ‘fixed line network carriers’.

CB: What can consumers/ businesses do to make sure they aren’t losing out through lack of knowledge? 

TO: Demand clearer, more competitive & more accurate descriptions on costs to call numbers – that should include connection charges too. Plus, put a lot more pressure on Ofcom to ensure this happens.

CB: Why has it taken so long for them to act? fact we are still waiting.

TO: I’m not sure – they are very slow to respond to public anti-08 feeling, has been going/around for years. Recent announcements say we may have to wait up to 18 months for an announcement following end of a consultation right now.

CB: What is the opportunity for 08UK here? Are you ready for when/if Ofcom act? 

TO: Owner / Users of existing 08 numbers –when faced with Ofcom changes to 0800 will be faced with an increased bill, that hopefully will prompt them to look around at a potential new supplier.

The UK is one of the few countries in Europe – where a (0800/0808) Freephone number range – Is currently not free – why is that Ofcom?

To complete the survey please follow this link:



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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine
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