More and more recently, new companies have been buying up premium rate numbers, and forwarding them onto publicly known organisations and advertising themselves on search engines. 95% of organisations have freephone numbers,
As this becomes more frequent, users are advised to be more vigilant when choosing the number they use to call government services, or bigger companies with help desks. Below is a link to the PSA who regulate call charges, and give advice on what to look out for:
Call connection services
What they look like:
These services connect you to specific companies or organisations, such as HMRC, banks or parcel companies. You may come across these when looking for the helpline of a well-known organisation online using a search engine – call-connection services are promoted but are third-parties that often operate on a 09, 087 or 084 number. These services can make it quick and easy for you to reach the organisation you need but can be more expensive than calling the company you want directly. All call-connection services must clearly state the cost, explain what their service does, and make it clear that they are a third party, not the company you might have been looking for.
Be aware of:
Most official helplines begin with 080 or 03. When looking for the helpline number of well-known companies or public organisations, pay attention to the number and your search results. If the search results display paid ads with a phone number, it’s most likely a call-connection service and not the organisation’s official helpline number. Phone number starting with 09, 087 or 084 will incur extra charges.