0871 Numbers

Number type:0871 numbers
Usage:Service numbers with a surcharge
Call costs:Typically 11p to 68p per minute, plus up to 13p per call (see below)
Introduced:January 2000
Similar numbers:0843, 0844, 0845, 0870, 0872

What are 0871 numbers?

Telephone numbers starting with 0871 are 'service numbers' charged at special rates.

Calls to 0871 numbers are typically charged at higher rates than calls to normal landlines due to the inclusion of a surcharge or 'service charge' to pay for the service being provided.

Unlike traditional landline phone numbers, 0871 numbers are not associated with any specific geographic location.

0871 numbers generate an income for either the organisation being called or their telephone company. As a result of this, common uses for 0871 numbers include:

  • Chargeable information and support lines
  • Event ticket and travel booking services
  • Conference call services
  • Pre-sales information lines
  • Horoscopes, tarot and fortune-telling
  • Dating, chat and adult entertainment

Using 0871 numbers for customer service lines is now forbidden by law.

0871 number call costs

Special two-part charging arrangements apply when calling 0871 numbers:

1. Access charge Set by your phone company and charged whenever you call any number starting 084, 087, 09 or 118. Varies from around 12p per minute on landlines to up to 55p per minute from mobiles.
2. Service charge An extra charge that benefits the organisation you are calling. They are responsible for informing you of what charge rate applies. Up to 13p per minute, 13p per call or a combination of both.

Total 0871 number call costs will typically be anywhere from 11p to 68p per minute, plus up to an additional 13p per-call charge.

This means that 0871 numbers will usually cost more to call than a normal landline. They will not be included in any free call allowances or bundled minutes that your tariff offers.
See examples for major phone companies...

Regulation and advice

The Phone-paid Services Authority regulates 0871 numbers that have a service charge of more than 7p per minute or 7p per call, as well as all 0871 numbers used for chatlines, adult services and internet diallers. They can advise on related problems.

Companies are prohibited from using service numbers such as 0871 numbers for post-sales customer service lines. More info.

Further information

All numbers starting 087 are charged in the same manner and have the same technical features. This includes 08710 numbers, 08711 numbers, 08717 numbers, 08718 numbers and all other numbers that start with the digits 0871, regardless of how the number is displayed or what the following digits are.

Numbers starting 0871 0 were orignally reserved for dial-up internet services, while other 0871 numbers were available for general use at a charge of up to 10p per minute from a BT landline.

In July 2015, all 084 and 087 numbers switched to the new two-part charging structure made up of a separate service charge and access charge.

See also:

Telephone buttons