How to Find a Cheaper Number to Dial

Need help with your broadband service? Want to call your energy supplier about a problem on your bill? Easier said than done, as you’ll often find you’re calling an 0845, 0844 or 0870 number that won’t be included in any ‘free’ minutes you get with your home or mobile phone package. And calling these numbers generates extra cash for the companies concerned, as they can get a cut of call costs!

0845 and 0870 numbers are often used by big companies like banks, hospitals and businesses. Known as ‘non-geographic’ numbers, you can’t tell which area of the country you’re calling.

  • These numbers are often used for call centres, as it saves changing numbers if they move location.
  • Ten minutes is the average wait time on these numbers, according to the Consumers’ Association, which means you can quickly run up a hefty bill.
  • – Charges vary according to which phone you’re calling from. Dialling 0870 from a landline can cost l0p a minute, and around 35p from mobiles. BT has recently abolished charges for dialling 0845 and 0870 numbers for customers signed up to its inclusive minute deals.

So, find a cheaper way to call:

  • Look for the 03 numbers – calls to these numbers cost the same (or less) than the standard 01 and 02 prefixes and are included in any free-minute bundles.
  • Avoid 0870 numbers – don’t automatically dial the 0870 number that’s given. If you’re calling your bank or credit card company, look on the back of your statement for a ‘calling from overseas’ number. This is usually always a standard landline number, so if you knock off the 44 code (needed to dial the UK from abroad) this cuts the cost of your call. It may even be free if you’ve got inclusive minutes to landlines as part of your home or mobile deal.
  • Check out the website – this lists alterna­tive lower-cost landline and freephone numbers for lots of companies. Type in the company you want and it lists alterna­tive numbers. Or use an online free directory enquiry service like to find standard landline numbers for a branch or head office of the company. Then ask to be put through to the relevant department.
  • Call in using the ‘new customer’ line – I bet they’ll answer the phone faster and you’ll often find numbers for new customers are free or cheaper than the customer service number. Once you’re connected, ask to be put through to the right depart­ment and this time you won’t pay the 0870 charge when you’re on hold!

Filed Under: Computers & Technology


About the Author: Justin Belden is a freelance web & graphic designer with over 15 years' experience. He is also an Avid member of the Design/Development community and a Serial Blogger who loves to help people by sharing interesting and informative tips and trick related to computer and technology.

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.