The website, Say no to 0870 has found a way to get around the high charges of national-rate telephone numbers.
Commonly 0870 customer service numbers used by many businesses can cost up to 9p a minute, but there’s usually a cheaper local geographical number or even a freephone number available.
On the website you just need to enter a company name or a phone number and with more than 5,000 businesses listed the chances are you will find a cheaper alternative number to dial.
AOL and BA
For instance AOL’s helpline 0870 3202020 can be reached on 0117 9191100 and British Airways’ general helpdesk line 0870 8504850 can be reached more cheaply on 0191 4907901.
Many phone packages don’t include 0870 numbers in the ‘free minutes’ allocation, unlike geographically coded numbers.
And many mobile phone packages exclude freephone 0800 or 0808 numbers from your bundled minutes.
Telephone watchdog Ofcom has announced plans to cut the cost of 0870 numbers by stopping businesses from taking a cut of up to 3p a minute.
However it won’t be until January 2008 that calls will cost the same as dialling 01 or 02 numbers.