Telephone numbers in the UK are set out in two sections: geographic (01 and 02) and non-geographic (03, 084, 087, 09, 118). As you would expect, geographic numbers are generally linked to a location. Non-geographic numbers, unlike geographic telephone numbers, and the cost of calling these numbers, is not linked to a specific UK location i.e. a town.
The costs of calling any non-geographic number can vary and you should always check the rates associated with these calls [insert price list link].
What are Non-geographic numbers
Non-geographic numbers include numbers beginning with ’03’, ‘084’, ‘087’, ’09’ or 118 .
Sometimes, these numbers are called ‘Service’ or ‘Premium Rate Service’ numbers and have have a two-part charge for calling them.
Calls to 03 numbers
03 numbers are increasingly used by businesses as their main customer contact numbers and for business to business communication. Calls to 03 numbers have to cost the same as calls to 01 and 02 geographic numbers. So, we’ve included calls to these numbers as part of your package.
What are Premium Rate Services (PRS)?
Premium Rate Services (PRS) are regulated by the Phone-Paid Services Authority and are sometimes known as Phone-Paid Services. These non-geographic numbers (those beginning 087, 09 & 118) can be used to make purchases and the charge is made to your phone bill.
Numbers which support Premium Rate Services are often used to call services such as: recorded information, competitions, voting, directory enquiry information, advice or chat lines.
Those companies providing these services, as mentioned above, are called Service Providers.
It is important to note that calls to these services vary considerably and it is important to check the cost of calling to avoid large bills. Please see our price list [ insert link]. The Service Provider should make it clear in their adverts the cost of making calls to their service.
Sometimes, non-geographic Premium Rate Services are called Number Translation Services and the terms NTS and PRS are used interchangeably.
Other non-geographic numbers begin:
- 0800 and 0808 numbers or ‘Freephone’ numbers are free to the caller from landlines and mobiles. These calls will not be shown on your bill.
- Texts or Short code numbers which can be 4, 5 or 6 digits in length are called SMS (Short Message Service) short codes. These are often used by businesses to allow customers to opt-in to SMS campaigns, alert services, or to enter SMS competitions. Like Premium Rate numbers, these may cost more to call/text than standard numbers. See our price list [insert link].
- 070 referred to as ‘Personal Numbers’. These are often used as a ‘follow me’ service where calls are diverted from one number to another. Therefore, the person being called keeps their number private. 070 numbers differ from mobile numbers which usually begin with 071 to 075 or 077 to 079. See our price list [insert link].
Cost of calling non-geographic and Premium Rate Service (PRS) Numbers
Calls to non-geographic numbers (calls beginning 084, 087, 09 and 118) are charged in two parts – the Access Charge and the Service Charge.
The Access Charge is charged by us for originating and passing the call over our network. This charge is made at a pence per minute rate. See our price list [insert link].
The Service Charge is set and charged by the network operator who terminates the call and enables you to access the service (Service Provider) once your call is connected. This charge should be made clear and advertised by the Service Provider alongside their number. This charge is not set by Pozitive Telecom.
Your cost for making a call to a non-geographic number is the cost of the Access Charge and the Service Charge together. Your invoice will show the charge for both elements. We will pass on the Service Charge to the Service Provider.
You will be able to find all the relevant charges in our price list [insert link].
Further detail regarding the cost of calling non-geographic numbers
084* – these calls will be charged at no more than 7 pence per minute (inc. VAT) or 7 pence per call (inc. VAT) where the Service Charge is set exclusively at a pence per call rate, plus our Access Charge.
087*- these calls will be charged at no more than 13 pence per minute (inc. VAT) or 13 pence per call (inc. VAT) where the Service Charge is set exclusively at a pence per call rate, plus our Access Charge
09* – these calls will be charged at no more than £3.60 pence per minute (inc. VAT) or £6.00 per call (inc. VAT) where the Service Charge is set exclusively at a pence per call rate, plus our Access Charge.
118* – Directory Enquiry numbers these should not be charged at more than £3.65 (inc. VAT) per 90 seconds or £3.65 (inc. VAT) where the Service Charge is set exclusively at a pence per call rate, plus our Access Charge.
Text Messages & SMS short codes. Usually beginning with 2, 6, 7 or 8 and can be 4, 5, or 6 digits long. Sending texts to certain short codes from your landline can be considerable expensive. Call to the following should always be checked:
- 087 business information lines;
- Mobile games;
- Competitions and quizzes;
- Charity donations;
- Adult entertainment; and
- Chat services.
Please check with the Service Provider the cost of a these texts before you send any messages. Alternatively, you can block making calls to these expensive numbers.
*Calls to these numbers may be set at a pence per minute, a pence per call rate, or a rate which combines a pence per minute rate and a pence per call rate. The Access Charge will also be added to any of these variations.
Blocking Numbers calls to these numbers
As the cost of calling these numbers can be extremely expensive you may decide to block the ability to dial them. If anyone then tries to dial these numbers the call will not succeed and the cost will therefore be avoided. It does mean you will be unable to access the types of services highlighted above. To activate contact blocking please call Customer Services by:
- Phone: [ ]
- Email: [ ]
- Webchat: [ ]
- Post: [ ]
Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA)
The PSA is the industry regulator for all Premium Rate charged services and it publishes a Code of Practice for Service Providers and network operators using these PRS numbers. The Code also covers how these numbers should be advertised and how providers are responsible for complying with the Code.
The PSA investigates complaints about the promotion and operation of services that involve the use of a telephone-based connection to access a Premium Rate number. These include connections from landline telephone, Voice-over-IP telephones, fax, Internet, mobile phone (voice and SMS) and interactive TV.
The PSA’s service is free to consumers and is fully independent.
How to complain to the PSA
The first step with respect to any complaint is to contact our Customer Service team, see the ways to contact the team above, to see if they are able to help. Alternatively, you can get in touch with the Service Provide and they should be able to discuss the charges with you.
If you don’t recognise the number there is a service checker available from the PSA which can be found https://psauthority.org.uk/
Alternatively, you can submit a complaint to them:
- Web: Using the online form found at https://psauthority.org.uk/for-consumers/report-an-issue
- Phone: 0300 30 300 20
- Post: Phone-paid Services Authority
2a Southwark Bridge Road
When making a complaint it is useful to provide an information you may have with respect to the service. For example, the promotion or advertisement.
 Calls to 03 numbers should cost no more than geographic 01 or 02 calls