118 Call Costs Explode Again - Birchills Blog
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118 Call Costs Explode Again

Cartoon hand with phone and blast shows 118 Calls Cost £96.00 For 10 minutes

From July 2016 Ofcom have just permitted a new series of charging bands to service numbers such as 118 numbers. There are now 100 bands peaking at an eye watering £9.60 a minute or part thereof. We try to explain some of the complexities and recommend you block these numbers.

 
118 COSTS JUST EXPLODED AGAIN

Many thanks to Magenta Systems for this snippet - you can find it here https://www.telecom-tariffs.co.uk/tcomhist.htm
Ofcom and BT are introducing 20 new service charge bands in July 2016, SC081 to SC100, for 08/09/118 calls. The new charges mostly fill in gaps in the previous 80 bands, but include some horrible 118 bands, ranging from £8.98 to £15.98 for the first minute, then £4.49 to £7.99 per extra minute. So 118 calls to that last band will cost £96 for 10 minutes, or £16 for a misdialled number. Just because the new charge bands exist does not mean operators will necessarily use them, but most will have been created to meet specific requirements of operators like 118118, who last raised its cost in March to £6.98+£3.49/min (£34 for 10 minutes).

BACKGROUND

08/09/118 numbers are called Service Numbers. Calls costs to these numbers are comprised of 2 components the access charge set by your telco and the service charge set by the company you are calling. The service charge should be stated on all adverts. The service charges are not well publicised but they are laid out here.

https://www.bt.com/pricing/current/Call_Charges_boo/FrameworkImpl1350581.htm#FrameworkImpl1350581

The bands are designated SC01 to SC100 but the latest lists that we have found only go to SC80.

The bands are not only for a service charge, charged by the minute but also include all other combinations including the one 118118 use which is phrased as - "Prices For Calls Charged By Fixed Fee and Timed Duration (Where the Fixed Fee Is the Charge for the First 60 Seconds of the Call, or Part Thereof and the Duration Charge Applies Following the First 60 Seconds)."

Access charges from BT are around 10p per minute additionally and mobile companies charge around 45p per minute.

So for example calls to 118118 cost Calls to 118 118 cost £3.49 per call plus £3.49 per minute, (minimum 60 second charge applies) plus the Access charge.
BLOCKED BY BIRCHILLS TELECOM

It is impossible to calculate in advance the call cost. You can be faced with horrendous charges for simply not disconnecting properly. Unless there is a very real reason why you would choose to use these services we recommend that you block all such calls.

For full disclosure, by default, Birchills Telecom blocks outward calls to 118 numbers. If you wish to discuss these issues with us, please call us.
COMMENTS

Prior Man 01/07/2016
These charges are truly staggering - who the hell ever calls 118 118, no matter how cute the moustachioed guys are?

Teknicare 06/07/2016
Comment: I looked into a clients huge non itemised phone bills (although I only actually look after their computers) and found staff had the habit of calling 118 to get a phone number and allowing the 118 operator to "kindly put them through" Once 118 numbers were barred the phone bills dropped by a staggering £3200 a Month!
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