Premium rate service numbers
What are 09 numbers?
All UK telephone numbers beginning with the digits 09 are service numbers. These phone numbers are charged at a higher rate than normal, with part of the call cost used to pay for the service being provided.
Common uses for service numbers include:
- Competitions and prize draws
- Voting lines for TV and radio shows
- Horoscopes, tarot and fortune-telling
- Chargeable information and support lines
- Telephone dating and chat lines
- Adult entertainment
09 number call costs
The cost of calling an 09 number includes a service charge of up to £3.60 per minute and/or £6.00 per call which is used to fund the service provided, on top of a standard access charge made by the caller's phone company.
Whenever a service number beginning with 09 is advertised, the service charge that applies should be clearly shown.
The Phone-paid Services Authority regulates 09 numbers that have a service charge of more than 7p per minute or 7p per call, as well as all 09 numbers used for chatlines, adult services and internet dialers. Their website can identify premium rate numbers and advise further on costs.
Regular service numbers
Adult service numbers
History of 09 numbers
Premium rate numbers beginning with '09' were introduced in 1998, eventually replacing a variety of older prefixes such as 0331, 0660, 0891, 0898 and 0991. The first prefixes issued in 1998 were 0900, 0901, 0906, 0907 and 0909.
Adult services with sexual content were originally confined to the 0909 prefix, later expanding into 0908. Since 2005, all new services of this type use numbers beginning with '098', to aid recognition.