Service charges and access charges
The cost of calling 084 numbers, 087 numbers, 09 numbers and 118 directory enquiries numbers is made up of two parts: an Access Charge and a Service Charge.
The Service Charge amount varies according to which organisation you are calling, while the Access Charge is what your own phone company charges you for calling these numbers.
To find out the total cost of a call, add the advertised Service Charge to your phone company's Access Charge.
What is the Service Charge?
The Service Charge is the part of the call cost that is passed on to the organisation you are calling and/or their telecoms supplier. It is intended to help cover the cost of the service being provided and organisations can select from a range of different charge rates.
Wherever a chargeable 08, 09 or 118 number is publicised, the Service Charge that applies should also be given. The same rate applies to calls from landlines and mobiles on all networks.
Service Charges vary depending on the number you are calling. The maximum rates are:
- 084 numbers: up to 7p per minute, 7p per call or a combination of both.
- 087 numbers: up to 13p per minute, 13p per call or a combination of both.
- 09 numbers: up to £3.60 per minute, £6.00 per call or a combination of both.
These are the maximum possible Service Charges; many numbers charge much lower rates.
What is the Access Charge?
The Access Charge is a fixed, per-minute rate charged by your own phone company for calls to all numbers starting with 084, 087 or 09, as well as for calls to '118' directory enquiries services.
Different rates apply depending on which operator you use and the tariff you have chosen.
Companies should take care to include a clear pricing statement wherever they publicise a chargeable service number.