There's now a bit less to remember when trying to work out how much it's going to cost to call a number from your mobile, with a streamlined charging system arriving on July 1st to make the cost of calls placed when away from a landline a little easier to calculate.
The change sees two new things happen. Instead of the current phone-in small print that says calls may vary etc etc, we'll now have two elements to consider. An access charge is how much your phone network gets in return for connecting the call, plus a second service charge tells you how much the company you're calling makes.
So, from now on, you should see small print that gives you a service charge and access charge cost, then add the two together. That's how much it'll cost, with the changes hitting both landlines and mobiles. Ofcom's UK Calling site explains it with this example:
Say your particular phone company charges you 10p per minute for calls to service numbers – that is their access charge. And let’s say the service charge for a particular number you want to call is 20p per minute. In that case, you would see information like this:
“Calls cost 20p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.”
In this particular example, the call would cost 20p per minute (the service charge), plus 10p per minute (the access charge). So the call would cost you 30p per minute.
Simple. Or perhaps at least a bit clearer than before. It'll probably still work out cheaper to send a letter as no one's worked out how to make them cost money to have one sent back to you, but there you go. [UK Calling]