Mobile regulatory body Ofcom has confirmed that you will now be able to make calls to freephones from your mobile number for free!
From July, calls to freephone numbers ‘0800 and 0808’ from both landlines and mobile numbers will be completely free of cost.
Calling rates from different landline and mobile services to TV and Radio shows will also be simplified to help you with a better understanding on actual charges incurred per call. These will include calls made for voting in popular shows like X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing.
For instance, while calling voting lines at 084, 087 and 09 numbers, you might get to hear that "calls may vary from other landlines and calls from mobiles may cost considerably more." Once Ofcom's new rules are implemented, broadcasters will have to specify call rates for each landline or mobile service so that you can calculate exactly how much you will pay for making these calls.
This way, says Ofcom, consumers will be shielded from being levied disproportionately high charges by rogue operators and will put a cap on premium calling rates.
"These changes will be the biggest for UK telephone customers in more than a decade. We expect them to restore people's confidence in using phone services, and to increase competition," said Ed Richards, Chief of Ofcom.
Ofcom will also ensure that 0845 numbers will be treated similarly to 084, 087 or 09 numbers, and operators will need to disclose actual access and service charges.
To be implemented from 26th June, the new rules wil also ensure that network operators will have to mention access charges in monthly bills and contracts.
While premium call rates are a major source of revenue for network operators, Ofcom's new rules come at a time when major network operators are slowly losing out precious revenues to web-based chat services which offer extremely popular internet-based voice and video calls to customers.