At long last, after many years, Comreg has done something about 1890 and 1850 numbers.
From December 1st 2019, you won’t need to worry about extra charges when calling any phone numbers with the following prefixes.
- 1890 numbers
- 1850 numbers
- 0818 numbers
- 076 numbers
These numbers prefixed ‘1850’, ‘1890’, ‘0818’, and ‘076’are classed as “Non-Geographic Numbers” (NGNs).
All the changes apply to calls from mobiles and landlines.
We wrote previously about the charges for calls to numbers with these prefixes: – see Cost of calls to 1890 numbers
Summary of the Changes to Call Charges
1. From 1st December 2019 there is a new ‘Geo-Linked’ retail tariff condition for 1850, 1890, 0818 and 076 NGNs.
2. The cost of calls to these numbers will be no more than the cost of calling a Geographic number.
3. IF calls to Geographic Numbers are included in a user’s bundle of ‘call minutes’ then calls to these NGNs will also be included in their bundle.
4 By the end of 2021 – the plan is to reduce the number of NGN ranges from five (1800, 1850, 1890, 0818 and 076) down to two (1800 and 0818) With 1800 being free to call.
The numbers prefixed ‘1850’, ‘1890’, ‘0818’, and ‘076’are classed as “Non-Geographic Numbers” (NGNs).
They were originally introduced when all we had was Eircom landlines. These numbers were used in order to try and reduce the cost of calls for people outside Dublin contacting places such as government departments or ESB etc. in Dublin.
The issue was that many people now have telephone plans or bundles with inclusive call minutes – but the vast majority of phone providers did not include these NGN calls in the bundles.
This resulted in consumers, who thought they hade paid for unlimited calls, getting unexpected extra call charges when they rang these “lo-call” numbers.
When the 1890 numbers were used for busy call centres such as Revenue, Water Charges, NCT or Property Tax – the call costs could soon mount up while you are connected and wait to speak to someone.
There was also confusion about exactly how much the charges were for calling these Non-Geographic Numbers – with some people thinking they were free and many others thought they were more expensive than normal calls.
In a survey last year about 1850 and 1890 numbers, 41% of respondents stated that they believed that organisations can make money from customers dialling those numbers. (They don’t).
We have written previously about the potential high charges for calls to numbers with these prefixes: –
Cost of calls to 1890 numbers
Charges for calls to 1850 numbers
How much to Call 076 Numbers
ComReg is the statutory body responsible for the regulation of the electronic communications sector in Ireland (telecommunications, radio communications, broadcasting transmission and premium rate services) and the postal sector.