What are 0808 numbers?
0808 numbers (UK telephone numbers that start with the 0808 prefix) are national non-geographic freephone numbers (similar to 0800 numbers) that are free to call from all UK landline and mobile phones.
- Freephone: 0808 numbers are known as ‘freephone’ numbers as they are free of charge from all UK landline and mobile phones as the organisation that receives the call pays the full cost, so there is no charge imposed on the caller. 0808 numbers were introduced in 1997 to add more capacity to freephone services and are virtually identical to 0800 numbers. As they are free of charge these numbers differ significantly from the vast majority of UK phone numbers, including 01, 02, 03 and 09 numbers, which impose a per-minute or set charge for each call.
- Non-Geographic: 0808 numbers are defined as being non-geographic as they are not assigned to a specific area within the UK, therefore they differ from numbers such as 0161 which are registered to Manchester. Other numbers that share these non-geographic properties are 03, 0800 and 09 phone numbers which are also non-localised, non-geographic numbers.
Special types of 0808 phone numbers
The vast majority of 0808 phone number have no particular usage permission and can therefore be used by any type of business or organisation. However there are a few exceptions which may help you to pinpoint what sort of company owns them; these are provided below for your convenience.
- 08089 numbers are reserved for dial-up internet services which due to the advent of modern broadband technologies are now virtually obsolete and are only used as a back-up system.
- 08080 numbers are numbers which were transferred from the obsolete 0321 prefix in the year 2000.
- The 08085 prefix will soon be the home of all current 0500 numbers which will be transferred to 0808 5 in 2017.
- 080880 numbers are reserved for charities and advice helplines and are administered by the Helplines Partnership.
Examples of 0808 numbers
- 0808 234 9279 – This is the main customer service phone number for AOL, a hugely popular American multimedia & email-hosting company.
- 0808 163 5559 – This is the general enquiries number for Aviva general Life Insurance policies.
- 0808 100 0707 – This is the customer service phone number for Tesco Clubcard Boost, which you can use to get rewards for shopping at the popular UK supermarket.
Cost of calling 0808 numbers
As aforementioned, 0808 phone numbers are free of charge from all UK landlines and mobiles as they are freephone numbers like 0800 numbers. Calling these numbers from a payphone may be free however they may also be blocked as the organisation receiving the call has to pay the full cost of the call which is significantly higher from payphones than landline or mobiles.