Although some users still think that the 902 or 901 telephones are free for the user, the truth is that they have a high cost that is counted based on the minutes of conversation. To avoid this expense, the Ministry of Consumption approved at the end of last year a rule that obliges companies considered to be in basic service sectors of general interest to eliminate premium rate telephones and offer 900 numbers – which are free – for customers. In this way, no telephone service for consumers of 30,000 companies that commercialize water, gas, electricity, financial and insurance services or parcel delivery, among others, can have a higher cost than a telephone call to a landline or mobile.
Despite this, different consumer associations have denounced that a majority of companies classified as such they are not following the law and, consequently, they face penalties ranging from 3,005.06 to 601,012.10 euros. Some also choose to ‘cheat’ and avoid the obligation with a local or fixed numbering in an alternative way, but the numbering must be completely free for the customer.
But, How much do you pay to call these premium rate lines? From the OCU they denounce that the price for the consumer, who pays the call in full, soars with the use of the 902. A conversation of only five minutes costs around three euros from a mobile and more than one euro from the fixed network, alert from the consumer association. The cost will be added to the telephone bill even in the case of having contracted a flat rate.
Although there is still a lot of confusion about it, the 901 are also paid. When a 901 is dialed, the consumer pays a portion of the call – the amount equal to the cost of a local call – and the owner of the number pays the rest. The problem is that while the 901 rates have been maintained or increased, the rest of the calls to landlines have become cheaper or are included in the flat rates. “The result is that the prices of calls to 901 are very high with most companies and, especially, if you call from a mobile phone,” they criticize from the OCU. Specifically, dialing 901 involves a cost ranging from 0.22 euros to 2.11 euros for five minutes and depending on the operator.
The cost of the 803, 806, 807 and 905
Other numbers programmed to provide services during calls are the 803 (services for adults), 806 (tarot, games …), 807 (professional services) or 905 (televoting). The price paid by the user is usually very high and is shared between the operator and the company that provides the service. Thus, the cost can range from 0.65 euros to 1.3 euros per minute.
By cons, 900 or 800 are free, regardless of whether it was made from a mobile phone or from a landline, because whoever receives the call pays. However, the OCU warns that some companies block calls from certain places in the event that they only offer the service only from certain places.
For companies, the cost can be around 1,000 euros per year for a small company, but reach more than 100,000 euros for large companies, according to data from the telecommunications operator Dialoga Group. Although installing the line does not entail any additional charge, the final amount will be calculated based on the number of incoming calls, which will probably increase when they represent a zero price for the consumer.