Guide to the 0844/0845 and 0870/0871 number changes

From June 2014, it will be illegal to provide a 084*, 087* or similar number for a customer complaints line. The law was passed on 13th December 2013 as part of “The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013″ and is coming into force on 13th June 2014. The reason behind these changes is simply because Customers should not be made to pay extra for attempting to rectify problems which are not their fault Call centres are expected to experience the biggest change. Companies will have to update all their literature and plan for the loss of income which will result from switching to a zero or standard-charge line. David Hickson of The Fair Telecoms Campaign says, “Businesses should focus on the benefits of making these changes, such as improved customer satisfaction, and try to implement them as soon as possible.” It is important to note that these impending changes only apply to customer complaint lines. Companies will still be able to use 084*/087* numbers for business to business and support services such as technical advice, so long as the charges are clearly advertised. Services specifically paid for through the cost of the call and sales lines are also unaffected. Still unsure? Please take a look at the table below.

What number do you use for your customer service line?

Effect of the business


You will be able to keep your 0800 number for customers calling in from landlines. However you will also have to provide a clearly-indicated 03 number alongside it – for customers calling in from a mobile phone. This is because 0800 numbers dialled from a mobile phone still incur premium rate charges.

01 numbers

e.g. Swansea 01792

No changes necessary.

02 numbers

e.g. London 0203

No changes necessary.


From 13th June 2014, it will be a legal requirement that these numbers are no longer provided for customer helplines. They must be switched to an 01, 02 or 03 number.




(or any other number beginning with 084 or 087)

Premium numbers beginning with 09