0800 Wizard app avoids 'freephone' charges

News Ben Griffin 12:33, 5 Sep 2011

Sick of paying over the odds to ring freephone numbers from your mobile? The 0800 Wizard app is for you

An app has been released to help consumers avoid contributing to the £1.9 billion a year the UK spends calling non-geographic numbers from a mobile.

Telecommunication provider Skycom's 0800 Wizard turns the pricey 'freephone' 0800, 0500, 0808 digits into 01 or 02 numbers, removing the need to pay expensive rates, providing you have minutes remaining on your contract.

James Barrington-Brown, Managing Director of Skycom, said, 'Orange and T-Mobile this week announced reduced fees for calling 0800 numbers via their networks. While this is a step in the right direction for consumers, it is still a far cry from the "freephone" concept such numbers are meant to represent.

'With other providers still stubbornly maintaining long-standing expensive pricing for calls to freephone 0800 numbers, mobile phone customers are often unwittingly paying premium rates of as much as 35p per minute.'

Just how much do networks charge? Based on call charges to 0800 (according to Ofcom):

  • Vodafone: 35p per minute
  • O2: 20.4p per minute
  • Three: 15p per minute
  • Orange/T-Mobile: 7.4p per minute

Whilst many of us can avoid ringing these costly freephone numbers, research by Skycom indicates an average of £1.70 is spent when the need arises as the average call length is a lengthy 5 minutes and 5 seconds, most of which is probably spent listening to music.

This is probably why consumers are turning to cheaper or free alternatives like 0800 Wizard, which now boasts a download number of over 200,000 since its launch in early 2011.

It might seem like a few extra pence here and there isn't too bad, but the £1.9 billion figure represents 10 per cent of revenues for mobile networks and calls to non-gepgraphic numbers represent 12 per cent of all calls in the UK.

Assuming you use the app 8 times a month, as Skycom has found the average to be, you could save between £3.04 and £14.24. Over a year, that's £170 saved, which is a few extra presents for Christmas or your car insurance.

As James Barrington-Brown, Skycom's managing director, puts it, the 0800 Wizard app aims, 'to put the free back into freephone.'

0800 Wizard can be downloaded from the Android Market, Apple App Store and BlackBerry World.

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