Telecoms FAQ: 0870/0845 call prices
As you will see from our main call prices, calls to 0870 and 0845 numbers are more expensive than calls to geographic numbers (01, 02, and 03).
Why are they more expensive?
There is a really simple answer to this - they cost us more to route. The carriers we use charge us more for a call to an 0870 number than to an 01 number. Simple as that. The OFCOM rules on numbering costs relating to 0870 and 0845 numbers only apply to retail pricing and not to inter carrier pricing which we pay.
Don't OFCOM insist they are the same price?
You may have heard on the media that OFCOM have made 0870 and 0845 numbers the same price as normal geographic calls. This is not actually the case!
As a telco we have to adhere to National Numbering Plan for use of numbers. This defines 0870 as:
Non-Geographic Number: charged at no more than the caller would pay for a call to a Geographic Number with calls to 0870 numbers counting towards inclusive call minutes to Geographic Numbers if the customer has remaining inclusive minutes to Geographic Numbers and included in any discount structures that apply to Geographic Numbers, except where call charges have been published in accordance with General Condition 14.2 or, in the case of Public Pay Telephones, where call charges are displayed in a manner that is reasonably accessible to a caller before making a call.
You will note that this does say to charge the same as geographic except where we publish call charges in accordance with general condition 14.2
As a telco we have to adhere to the General Conditions. Section 14.2 says we have to publish details in accordance with section 14 annex 2, which says we...
...shall publish the usage charges required to be published under General Condition 10.2(d)(ii) for NTS Calls, 0870 calls and calls to Personal Numbers on its website and in published price lists in a way that gives those charges the same prominence in terms of location and format given to charges for geographic calls, calls to mobiles and call packages, including bundles.
As you can see, on our main call prices we do just that - listing 0845 and 0870 along side 01, 02 and 03 charges.
So, they do not have to be the same price, sorry.