Rip-off 0844, 0845 and 0871 customer service numbers are coming to an end thanks to the EU’s Consumer Rights Directive

Posted by Ben Spector on 19-Jun-2014 12:07:18

A shake-up of expensive phone numbers is happening right now thanks to the EU’s Consumer Rights Directive. It signals the end of the line for many ‘rip-off’ 0844, 0845 and 0871 customer service numbers.

The UK legislation, which came into effect on 13th June 2014, requires affected businesses to switch to lower cost “basic rate” prefixes for enquiries from customers. Permitted basic rate numbers include those which start with the digits 01, 02 and 03, mobile numbers and those which are free-to-caller from fixed and mobile telephones.


In summary, the guidance says that these number types are allowed:

  • Geographic rate numbers, which means any number which starts 01, 02 or 03.
  • A number which is free to call from all fixed and mobile telephone services, which will be 0800 or 0808 when the changes Ofcom has in the pipeline are applied in June 2015.
  • A mobile telephone number, which is prefixed 07 (except the 070 and 076 sub-prefixes)

The guidance also sets out those which are not allowed:

  • Premium Rate Service (PRS) ranges which start with 0871, 0872, 0873 and 09.
  • Other numbers that also convey a Service Charge, but which aren’t PRS; these are prefixed 0843, 0844 and 0845.
  • Numbers which start with 0870.

What can you do?

SpecTronics can help you comply by providing telephone numbers in any UK area code or memorable 03 numbers like our own 03333 444 110. If you're not already using VoIP, find out more about the potential benefits for your business.

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