1850 and 1890 Numbers to be Included in Bundles

At long last it looks like Comreg might eventually do something about the charges for calling 1890 , 1850 , 0818 and 076 numbers .

They are planning to  firstly make providers charge the same for all   ‘1850’, ‘1890’, ‘0818’, and ‘076’ numbers  and make  phone companies include these numbers in any bundles of landline call minutes.

These numbers are classed as “Non Geographic Numbers” (NGNs).  They were originally introduced when all we had was Eircom landlines in order to try and reduce call costs for people contacting places such as government departments .

The issue is – that many people have telephone plans or bundles  with inclusive call minutes – but the vast majority of phone providers do not include these NGN calls in the bundles.
This can result in consumers , who think they have paid for unlimited calls , getting unexpected extra call charges when they ring these “lo call” numbers. When the numbers are used for busy call centres such as Water Charges , NCT or Property Tax – the call costs can soon mount up while you are connected and wait to speak to someone.

There is confusion about exactly how much the charges are for calling these Non Geographic Numbers – with some  people thinking they are free and many others thinking they are expensive. In a recent survey 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

Call costs for 0818 numbers

Charges for calls to 1850 numbers
How much to Call 076 Numbers

The proposals from Comreg – published in August 2017 – were as follows :

  1. To keep  ‘1800’  numbers as Freephone numbers  (i.e. free to call from landline and mobile)
  2. Simplify the other charges by setting the same  tariff  for all   ‘1850’, ‘1890’, ‘0818’, and ‘076’ numbers . This would mean that a call to any of those four classes of “NGN” would cost the same as an equivalent call to a “Geographic Number” .
  3. Where geographic calls are provided “in bundle”,  phone companies    must also include NGNs in the same bundle of call minutes.
  4. To eventually do away with  1850 , 1890 and 076 prefixes and  just use 0818 .

It makes sense – the only question might be why didn’t they do this sooner?

The proposals were  subject to a public consultation –  and that ended in October 2017.  This week (July 11th 2018) the results of the consultation were published. Most of the Telecoms companies were not too happy with the proposed changes – but Ofcom are still planning to go ahead with them.
It is hoped that the changes to the tariffs for 1850 , 1890  0818 and 076 numbers will be implemented by the end of 2019 .
It is then hoped that the removal of 1850 , 1890, and 076 numbers and replacement with 0818 will be implemnted by the end of 2021.


4 thoughts on “1850 and 1890 Numbers to be Included in Bundles

  1. We refused to ring non-geographical numbers for a long time now, recognising the extra charges involved; always seeking out the ‘international’ number which would provide the land-line number. Some of the reason for NGNs is the ability to set them up to connect to call centres anywhere on the planet.

  2. I have not used these 1850 /1890 numbers where at all possible so companies using them are loosing out when I ring around for quotes on insurance / etc. I look up say no to 1890 to get standard number for the company

  3. Why do organisations use these costly numbers if they don’t make money from them?

    • They probably started using them because they thought it was cheaper for the consumers to call . Old habits die hard …

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