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Premium rate number guide

Premium rate numbers include:

Short text message numbers

Mobile text shortcode numbers are five or six-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 enquiries services.

Costs: Most calls include a charge to connect (can be between 50p and £4)* and then a charge for every minute you use the line (can be up to £5 per minute).

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.

Costs: 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.

“Payforit” or Direct Mobile Operator billing

Direct operator billed services are described differently on your bill depending on your Mobile network.  Often these are in a separate portion of the bill and contain the name of the service provider and or a contact telephone number. Other providers will use a code, sometimes beginning with a 3, or 70 to describe the service. Your mobile network will be able to tell you what the charge to your bill is for.

These numbers are often used to pay for new features in apps, to donate to charity and to enter competitions.