back to article T-Mobile not alone in spinning price hikes

T-Mobile isn't alone in its innovative reading of Ofcom recommendations, but at least the company only implied that the regulator was responsible for the increase in its prices: O2 is claiming it outright. 0870 numbers are non-geographic: they are national calls regardless of where the call originates or terminates. Mobile …


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  1. pctechxp

    The O2 sultans of spin are probably

    seeking advice from senior management.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ofcom != Regulator

    Who or what are Ofcom? If they're not supposed to be stopping this sort of ridiculous rip-off activity, why are we "paying their wages"*?

    * generic British activist slogan

  3. PJH

    Read RFCs much?

    FTA: ``The key word here is "should", which T-Mobile interpreted as "don't have to be"``

    What other meaning did the reporter think could be attributed to the word "should"? "MUST"? Perhaps they should take up writing RFCs?

    Clarly the real failing is OFCOM not using the word 'must' instead of 'should.'

  4. Andre Carneiro
    Thumb Down

    Yet another reason to stay WELL away from O2...

    ... if more reasons were actually required. :P

  5. dervheid
    Thumb Down

    They've not completely ignored OFCOM

    They've made a variety of single and double digit gestures, coupled with the phrase "Up your's Ofcom!"

    Business as usual then.

  6. Steven
    Thumb Up


    "This is, of course, bollocks".

    Just spat my tea out all over my desk! Clasic.

  7. Ralph B
    IT Angle


    Sounds like someone has (or has not) been carefully reading their RFC-2119.


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Bastards all !

    Need anyone say more?

    Its free to call 36 countries with Talktalk in inclusve minutes but ripoff to call my mobile operator's customer services/ or my next door neighbour/post office or bank, for that matter!

    How can anyone explain/justify this??

    I give up.

    Paris bcos even she can see the absurditiy and greed of it all!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    08 v's 09

    My understanding was that apart from international calls, anything that cost more that a geographic national call had to be an 09 number.

    Isn't the use of 08 (free and discount) numbers some form of deception / irregularity?

    Giving your bank, ISP, computer helpdesk, etc a number than looks like an unsavoury (Pr0n) or premium information number would soon knacker their little con. We'd soon see whether they still want their share of the inbound minutes......

  10. Jamie Kitson

    Not Named :'(

    He even used my own word, "bollocks" :)

  11. MrQ

    I got my money back from O2

    I have to say I have never really had any problems with O2, however...

    I just rang customer services as last month I was charged almost £20 for calliing 08 numbers, which I believed to be part of my included allowance.

    I simply pointed out to them that there was no mention on my contract that 'national rate numbers' where not included in my monthly allowance.

    Further to that I also pointed out that if they want to change the T&C's of my contract, they should have informed me in advance about the change.

    I also pointed out that the OFFCOM ruling had been interpreted in such a way as to generate extra revenue for them, rather than being in the best interests of the customers as OFFCOM had intended.

    Well they have now credited the cost of those calls back to my account.

    They would not however be drawn on the intepretation of the OFFCOM statment simply stating that from now on, now I was aware of the change I had to accept the fact that I will be charged for calling 08 numbers.

    Thats fine! When my contract comes up for renewal (in 6 weeks) I have the option of moving to another provider that does include 08 in the allowance.

    So If you have been charged on a contract predating Sept 07, ask for your money back.

    Good Luck!

    If they still charge extra for 08 when you contract is up for re-newall Walk away.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Toll free or toll free

    It comes to something when the 0800 number provided by your employers for conference calls costs more than the 0207 equivalent. Thank you Orange!

  13. CockKnocker

    so what can i do

    Barstewards! I just got stung with a £150 bill for exactly this. Burn O2 down!!!

  14. Simon

    It can all be explained with WoW speak

    Client is affected by TMobile's pick pocket skill.

    Client is affected by TMobile's Gouge effect.

    Client is stunned

    TMobile stealths

  15. Sam

    My two cents

    Firstly try this site to find the 01 / 02 number behind the premium rate number.

    really annoys them when you don't use the 0845 / 0870 number to ring them because they don't recoup any of the money spent staffing the call centre.


    Ofcom are introducing 03 numbers that are non geographic but charged at local rates.

    Other than that VoIP all the way.....

    ....Mines the jacket with the Snom logo on the back.

  16. Marco van Beek


    Actually, in the UK, they are far more likely to refer back to British Standard 0 (yes, Zero). The latest revision is 2006, and they have the following definitions:

    shall: requirement (within the context of the standard)

    should: recommendation

    may: permission to adopt a particular course of action

    can: possibility and capability

    is: description

    "Must" is not used in standards to avoid confusion with statutory obligations (e.g. in the Electricity at Work Act, equipment MUST be safe). Based on this, either OFCOM wimped out or they do not have sufficient legal powers to use shall or must.

    I got an 0870 number for my business on the basis that it was cheaper for my clients than calling my mobile. That turned out well then...

  17. Anonymous Coward


    Change contract to another provider soonest.

  18. James

    0870 numbers

    Use the web site

    saynoto0870 . co . uk

    to find the real number for 0870 and 0845 numbers and they dial that number not the 0870 number

    I have a little notebook in which i write the real numbers I most often use

  19. Anonymous Coward

    OFCOM- A joke

    Am going against the grain here but....

    As I currently work in the telco industry I must say that OFCOM are a joke! They impose rules and regulations that frequently show no benefit to customers and impose huge additional costs on ISP's, mobile and landline operators. How about OFCOM actually come up with some SENSIBLE and enforceable guidelines that are not draconian on telco's and also benefit customers!

    And while we are on the subejct, thanks to the EU and am sure OFCOM too, the "Maximum of 25p a minute" when calling from abroad has had bad consequences... mobile operators have now slapped additional charges on the 0870 numbers and such like, not to mention if your an O2 pay as you go customer you now have a connection charge of 20p on each call (Or so I believe) to recover the loses caused by this ruling, I dont know about others but I personally use my phone considerably more in the UK!!!

  20. alistair millington
    Thumb Up

    O2 at least were honest

    Must be the arse and elbow departments finally meeting.

    Well done O2, first time for everything.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    What's the issue here?

    On Orange, I only pay 2p/min daytime and 1p/min evening and weekends for 0845 and 0870. And my 0800 is free.

    Oh yes, I work for them. Shows you how much money they make.

    Pingu? Why the hell not?? :-)

  22. Anonymous Coward

    @MrQ Re: I got my money back from O2

    If you really want to, you can end your contract immediately with no penalty because they've significantly changed the terms of that contract.

    I believe you also get 28 days from when they inform you of the change.

    The word significant is important - minor changes to terms I believe are permitted, but who defines what is significant to you?

    Personally, I would take any significant change of contract that penalises me (and rewards shareholders/managers only) as a reason to say "ok then, bye"

    Disclaimer: IANAL etc etc

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm, I wonder?

    If the 08 or 0870 hype constitutes a breach of contract?

    And if so the user can say "OK, we had a contract. You blew it. Terminate this contract immediately because of a contractual breach, you breached our agreement. You did not tell me you were going to do that."

    ps - 11 July?

    Now, I will dial an 0870 number and see if (gleefully) Orange breaks our contract (fingers crossed!)

  24. andy

    not new

    Ignorant O2 customer service staff blaming Ofcom is nothing new at all.

    When charging for 0870 0845 and 0844 numbers was introduced last September, this was the main thrust of the reasoning, that O2 were being forced into line with the other networks, and more than one person said this was due to Ofcom regulations.

    A quick call to Ofcom confirmed that there was not a single grain of truth in these assertions.

  25. Matt

    even orange are in on it...

    after the first report I called Orange CS who told me that on my £40 per month contract calls to 08xx numbers were charged from 20 0r 30p upwards (i cant remeber which) but they certainly were not included in my allowance...

    @ AC who works for orange - i take it your on some special Orange employees contract where the grass is much more orangey-er!!! the res of us minions, we should be so lucky!

    do any phone companies actually include them???

    jolly roger, as, well... we dont have a dick turpin icon yet.......

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm, I wonder? (Part 2)

    Are the telco's really losing muni? How much?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ofcom does do something at last

    as far as i am aware and i work for one of the major mobile companies that they all charge for 08 numbers and when 0370 numbers come out which i believe ofcom have made bt do ,these will be part of the bundled minutes well they will be for the company i work for and companies that have 08 numbers will have the opportunity to move to the 0370 number

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @AC who works for Orange...

    ...shows how much money they make and also how little their staff probably know about IT (customer services, I suspect). That's not Pingu, that's Tux, the Linux Penguin mascot.

    Jennifer Love Hewitt because I don't know what the F' I'm talking about, either...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    O2 T&C's

    Suggest that your O2 T&C's are read from They seem to cover these changes for me.

  30. Mark SPLINTER

    Treasure Island

    It fascinates me that Lithuania has a mobile phone network that costs me about half what I was paying in the UK. How do they do it? Is plastic cheaper in Lithuania? Do they get an EU subsidy for 3G masts? Is the call centre in Uzbekistan?

    No, i guess the truth is that people in the UK pay 200% for everything and moan about how they should get a 10% reduction. Fools and their money...

  31. Ascylto

    @Marco van Beek

    "I got an 0870 number for my business on the basis that it was cheaper for my clients ..."

    Well, Marco, you would NEVER get any business from me. I strictly will not deal with anyone who has an 087 prefix. That's an absolute.

    My nephew and I were both looking for replacement mobiles and our first port of call would have been Carphone Warehouse but every one of their outlets had an 087 prefix. They lost our business. Are they bothered? Evidently not!

    The problem for 087 companies is that they may never know the business they are missing.

    Why, I even check they don't have 087s lurking after the 'come-on' 0800 number, so nerdy am I.

  32. TMS9900


    ... just binned my mobile contract. I now have no mobile at all. Oh the freedom.

    You should try it.

  33. MrT

    O2 used to...

    It annoyed me when I switched to T-Mobile a couple of years ago from O2 that I lost the ability to make 0800 calls as part of my free minutes. O2 used to play a recorded message about this whenever I forgot and dialled 0800, to redial without the leading zero - so '08001234567' became '8001234567' and didn't cost extra so long as enough free minutes were available. IIRC this was to circumvent the 'call disconnection' charge, so kept O2 in the clear as well.

    Mind you, that was back when texts were a novelty - IIRC I had 100 minutes inclusive and paid 3p/text; contracts began in the £9-odd range.

    Now, where's the Werthers? And while you're looking, pass me slippers...

  34. nikos

    15 minute call to 0845, £3

    and it wasn't for bebo either!

    thanks O2!

  35. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Anonymous boffin

    That being so, anyone with an iPhone currently tied into a long-term O2 contract should get their skates on. I would read "with no penalty" as not having to give the handset back. This and one quick jailbreak later.

    Hmm, maybe O2 do have something to be afraid of round here after all.......

  36. Mark Collins
    Thumb Down

    Voda Did it AGES ago

    Vodafone imposed this policy many moons ago. They are worse than ANY provider!

    Thank your lucky stars you are not with them!

    I agree it is absolute ROBBERY!

  37. pctechxp

    Ah stop whinging

    just look up the numbers on saynoto0870 but if you are moaning about being charged for calling an access number for one of these discount telcos I say this to you, if you were in charge at a mobile operator, you would do the same.

  38. Christopher Woods
    Thumb Up

    @ MrQ...

    O2 actually stopped the inclusive 0870/0845 allowances a couple of years ago - I had a contract with them between 2005 and 2006, and I used 0870 dialout numbers to call my friend in Ireland. I left O2 because their service was shocking for other reasons - and Retentions made no attempt whatsoever to keep my custom even though I spent £30 a month with them and bought their flagship smartphone at the time.

    O2 was the last - there are no providers in the UK who offer inclusive 08 minutes, and there haven't been since 2006/2007ish. However, I've started to use Eqo on my WM5 smartphone with T-Mobile - it functions in a similar manner to how the Skypephone establishes skypeout calls - it uses the 3G/GPRS connection to logon to the server and about 1kb of data to establish each call, it dials a London gateway and uses your inclusive tariff minutes - and you can call 0870 and 0845 numbers with it, as well as international numbers, mobile numbers, just about anything. Not _all_ numbers work though, some just don't work for reasons unknown and 09/premium numbers are specifically blocked. (I was having a lengthy discussion with them as to the merits of offering 0844 access via Eqo, and I hope I may have swayed them in favour of offering it).

    ...Put it like this, I currently have £14 of credit on my account (which just stays there until you use it), and it's already saved me probably £20 in call charges from T-Mobile in this month alone. The future, at least until true on-device VoIP clients with acceptable voice quality reach maturity, is pseudo VoIP :)

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