Service numbers (084, 087, 09 and 118). Don’t get hit with hefty call charges!

On 1st July 2015 there was a significant change to the way you’re billed for calling numbers that begin with 084, 087, 09 or 118. These numbers, known as ‘service numbers‘ are used by companies of all types. Some conference call providers for example, use an 084 or 087 dial in number (although we certainly don’t – because we want you to be able to make conference calls for free!)

If you’re not sure how service numbers work, read on to find out more and make sure you don’t get a shock on your next phone bill!

Charges for calling service numbers (084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers) are made up of two parts: The access charge and the service charge. The access charge is the charge dictated by the caller’s phone provider. This is a pence per minute charge. Phone providers must make these charges clear on bills and when new contracts are set up.

The ‘service charge’

The service charge is dictated by the organisation being called. This can be a pence per minute, or a pence per call charge. This charge must be displayed, wherever service numbers are advertised.

The information provided with service numbers might read:


“Calls to this number are charged at 20 pence per call (excludes VAT) in addition to your phone company’s access charge.”

From now on, you’ll have to go to your call provider to find out what access charge they have set for service numbers.

Organisations using service numbers should assess which numbers they use, and where they are advertised, whether this be on websites, email footers, or marketing material. Organisations should also make clear to consumers that an additional access charge will exist, and that this is dictated by their phone provider.

The ‘access charge’

The “access charge” comes from your phone network provider and in combination with the service charge, can result in very high call costs. For example, most UK mobile networks have an access charge of around 50 pence per minute! Some even higher!

The access charges for mobile phone networks tend to be particularly high. Make sure you’re aware what your access charge is, so that you can identify the cost of calling an 084/087 service number easily.

For more information see UK Calling.

Conference calls

Sneaky service numbers are one of the reasons the WHYPAY? conference call service was originally introduced. Many conference calling services operate on ‘service numbers’ and conference calls tend to go on for between 30 and 40 minutes. That’s a lot of conference participants with very high call charges.

At WHYPAY? we’re on a mission to make sure no one in the UK is paying through the nose for conference calls. Collaboration over the phone shouldn’t be and doesn’t need to be expensive. Calls to WHYPAY?’s 03 dial-in number are included in your bundled minutes or charged at your bog standard call rate if you don’t have any minutes/free calls included on your phone plan.

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AdminService numbers (084, 087, 09 and 118). Don’t get hit with hefty call charges!
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