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0845 numbers costing UK consumers £1.3bn from their mobiles

Press release   •   Aug 22, 2013 23:00 BST

- One in four consumers call 0845 numbers from their mobile
- One in ten wrongly believes that calls to 0845 numbers are included in their monthly free minutes
- A quarter blame high call rate numbers for unexpectedly high monthly bills

A new study released today by Post Office HomePhone and Broadband, reveals that consumers are spending £1.3billion pounds* each year by making calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers from their mobile phones.

The study, which was carried out amongst 2,025 mobile phone users (both monthly tariff and pay as you go customers), found that one in four (24 per cent) make an average of one call per month to high call rate numbers from their mobile. One in ten (10 per cent) assumed these numbers would be included within their free monthly minutes allowance which has led to a quarter of UK mobile phone users (25 per cent) experiencing ‘bill shock’ when they received a higher phone bill than anticipated.

Reaching for a mobile phone to make these calls adds an average of £25 a year to a consumer’s mobile phone costs.

Over a third of consumers (39 per cent) cite convenience as the main reason for choosing mobile over landline, whilst 23 per cent prefer to use their mobile even though they are aware they may incur a greater cost. One in seven (14 per cent) admit they have never considered the cost implications of calling from a mobile.

Hugh Stacey, Head of Post Office HomePhone and Broadband, said: “It seems that in the age of on-the-go technology, we’re prioritising convenience over cost when it comes to making important calls. Many companies, such as banks and utilities companies tend to use these numbers, so it’s useful to know that many providers, such as Post Office, offer free calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers during evenings and weekends.

“Most UK households have both a landline and mobile phone so by using the free calls on the landline, UK consumers could save up £650million** per year on these calls. We’re urging consumers to think twice before making calls to numbers with a higher call charge on their mobile phones and consider making the most of the free landline calls to ensure they’re getting the best deal.”

Line rental including weekend calls costs just £12 a month with Post Office HomePhone. Customers can also tailor a package to suit their needs and benefit from a range of inclusive calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers.

*Calculations for £1.3billion

- Average call length: 5 minutes

- Average amount of calls per month: 1 per month

- Highest possible call cost per min of calling 0845, 0870 numbers from mobiles: 41p (Source: Ofcom -consumers.ofcom.org.uk/files/2010/01/numbering.pdfOpens in new window)

- Call length (5) x Call cost per min (41p) = £2.05

- Average calls per month (1) x 12 months = 12 per year

- Cost to one consumer per year - £2.05 x 12 = £24.60

- £24.60 x current UK adult population (52,128,682 - indexmundi.comOpens in new window) = £1.3billion

- Cost to UK population per year – £1.3billion

**Calculations for £650million

Percentage of people that call at evenings or weekends, when calls are free = 50%

50% of £1.3billion = £650million

Potential the UK population could save per year – £650million

Post Office HomePhone and Broadband packages

Post Office offers Homephone and broadband packages, which include free evening and weekend calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers.

Post Office HomePhone

Line rental including weekend calls just £12 a month

Post Office HomePhone and Broadband Essential

£8.15 per month plus £12 line rental

10GB monthly usage

Inclusive weekend calls to UK landlines, 0845 and 0870 numbers

Post Office HomePhone and Broadband Premium

£12.80 per month plus £12 line rental

Unlimited monthly downloads

Inclusive weekend calls to UK landlines, 0845 and 0870 numbers

About Post Office: The Post Office, now independent of Royal Mail, is the largest retail network in the UK, with over 11,500 branches. It is also one of the fastest growing financial services companies and is developing its online and telephony services.

It provides around 170 different services and products spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards. Post Office also offers Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

Contact - Gabrielle O’Gara

About the Post Office

The Post Office (Post Office Limited) has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Post Office has made a commitment to maintaining its network of branches at its current size and reach. It provides around 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

The Post Office serves over 17 million customers a week and a third of small businesses. Some 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office and over 97% live with one mile of a post office. For many rural communities, the post office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit http://www.postoffice.co.uk/.

Please note the Press Office team can only deal with enquiries from the media.  Unfortunately they do not have access to customer information so can not help with customer enquiries.

If you have an enquiry regarding any Post Office product or service please visit postoffice.co.uk or call 0845Local call rates apply. Call costs may vary depending on your service provider. Calls may be monitored or recorded for training and compliance purposes. 611 2970.