Dear Simon, I know that BT customers get free calls to 0870 and 0845 numbers on certain packages, but are there any other providers that offer free calls to these premium numbers?
Luke McHamilton, Plymouth, via email, Updated: Monday 14 March, 2011
Hi Luke, thanks for your email to Homephonechoices.co.uk about calls to 0870 and 0845 numbers - I know that calls to these numbers can be pretty expensive.
Using our home phone price comparison service and the postcode you supplied, I have done some research into which home phone suppliers are available to you that offer free calls to 0845 and 0870 numbersÖ
Calls to 0870 numbers can be as much as 10p a minute with some providers, and calls to 0845 numbers can be even more. So if you make a lot of calls to these numbers, youíll want to get a package that includes them free within its inclusive minutes.
The table below shows five home phone providers and the rates they charge for calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers made during the day, in the evening and at the weekend:
|Provider and packages||0845||0870|
|Sky Talk Unlimited(www.sky.com)||6.13p||6.13p||6.13p||Free||Free||Free|
|BT Unlimited Weekend Plan(www.bt.com)||2.04p||0.51p||Free||7p||1p||Free|
|TalkTalk Talk UK Evening and Weekend(www.talktalk.co.uk)||6.4p||Free||Free||6.4p||Free||Free|
|Virgin Media Talk L(www.virginmedia.com)||10.22p||10.22p||10.22p||10.22p||10.22p||10p|
|Primus Home Phone Saver(Primus review)||4.5p||1.4p||1.4p||8.5p||4.5p||4.5p|
All the packages mentioned above are unlimited evening and weekend calls deals (bar BT, which doesnít currently offer an evening and weekend deal), so therefore the ones that include free calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers are only free in the evening and at the weekend. If you sign-up to an unlimited anytime call plan, calls to 0870 and 0845 numbers will be free anytime of the day.
Unfortunately calls to other numbers, such as 0843, 0844, 0871 and 0872 are not included in the free minutes, and can still cost as much as 50p a minute. So, be vigilant when you are making calls to customer service lines in particular.
If youíre on a BT call plan, calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers are included in your free calls. So calls to these premium numbers will be free at the weekend for customers on the Unlimited Weekend Plan, and free at any time of the day with the Unlimited Anytime Plan.
However, customers should remember that a fair usage policy applies to this offer; you can make 1000 minutes of calls a month, or 150 calls a month - whichever comes first.
If you exceed this fair usage policy youíll receive an SMS to your landline, informing you that youíve gone over the amount of free calls youíre entitled to and will be charged at BTís standard rates for any further calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers.
If youíre about to make a call to a premium number that starts with 0870 or 0845 and itís not included within your free calls, it is worth checking the website "saynoto0870.co.uk". This website lists a whole load of numbers for companies such as British Gas, E.ON and Sony that are charged at local or national rates, meaning youíll never have to pay an expensive call to an 0870 or 0845 number again.
Hope this helps you choose a new home phone provider Luke, and helps you save money on your landline bills.