Premium rate number guide
Short text message numbers - Mobile text shortcode numbers are five digits long and usually begin with 5, 6, 7 or 8. These numbers are often used to pay for new features in apps, to donate to charity, to enter competitions and to download games and ringtones. You may see these numbers in promotions asking you to text a certain word to a number or you may receive promotional texts asking you to reply to them.
118 – directory enquiries - Numbers beginning with 118 are used for directory enquiry services. Most calls include a charge to connect (can be between 30p and £5) and then a charge for every minute you use the line (can be up to £5 per minute). It's commonly misunderstood when a 118 operator 'offers' to connect you that the call charges are often not clear and are substantially higher than if you just called the number yourself.
0871, 0872 or 0873 - These numbers are normally used for customer service lines, such as technical support lines, chat lines, tarot/horoscope lines and sales/booking lines. Costs: Typically between 11p and 15p per minute from a BT landline and between 20p and 41p per minute from mobiles.
070 numbers - Numbers beginning with 070 may look like mobile numbers but they are different and can be more expensive. They are used to divert calls to another phone number. Small businesses and sole traders often used these to avoid giving out their personal phone number. 070 numbers are regulated by Ofcom. However, PhonepayPlus can investigate services on these numbers if they are found to offer premium rate-style services and/or the number is being misused and if the cost of the call exceeds 10p per minute.
09 numbers - These numbers are mainly used for competitions, TV voting, horoscopes, chat lines, adult lines and professional service lines. Calls costs are usually between 9p and £1.69 per minute from a BT landline (other landlines up to £2.60 per minute) or between 50p and £2.50 per minute from mobiles.