Making 0800 Calls From a Mobile Phone

by - Last Updated on September 12, 2016

It might surprise you to know that not all 0800, 0808 or 0500 calls are free if you’re calling from a mobile phone. Whilst you can call these numbers free from a land line phone, mobiles are a different story, and you could end up with a very surprising mobile bill at the end of the month. So how can you call these numbers for free?

Your first stop should be your mobile operator. Not all operators charge for calling free numbers, and some operators only charge for some free numbers. For example, a government number may be free, whilst an 0800 number to somewhere else isn’t. You’ll need to check with your operator to find out the rules for your provider. You can probably find this info on your operator’s website or in your contract, if not, customer service should be able to help you.

You can also use a service that connects to 0800, 0808 and 0500 numbers for you, though you may have to pay for this. These services generally let you connect to the number you want by using a land line number, this means that you’ll either be charged the same rate as for local calls or that the minutes used will be deducted from your regular mobile phone plan. It’s up to you to find out whether or not this will be cheaper than just directly calling the number yourself though (and in some cases it’s not). Services that will do this for you include 0800 Wizard and 0800 Buster. You can also download apps that will do the same thing.

Some 0808 numbers are free no matter where you call from. These numbers usually begin with 0808 80 and are assigned to non profit agencies. Helplines usually fall under this heading, including things like the NSPCC and the Rape and Sexual Abuse hotline. You can find out whether a number is non profit and therefore free to call by checking the helpline website at

Finally, do remember that not all 08 numbers are free, even from a land line. Numbers that begin with 0845 or 0870, for example, aren’t free at all. Just because you see the 08 doesn’t mean you won’t be adding to your phone bill.

Calling 0800, 0808 or 0500 numbers from your mobile phone can end up being extremely expensive, particularly since most people tend to spend a long time on the phone when calling these kinds of numbers. If you don’t want to get a huge phone bill at the end of the month then you will need to do your research before calling any number that you think might be free. And do be sure to read the fine print. Often numbers will advertise themselves as free, but will then state that mobile numbers will be charged.

But the good news is that a little forward thinking, and a couple of minutes on line may be all it takes to save you from a terrifying phone bill this month!