09 Numbers

09 NumbersWhat are 09 numbers?

09 numbers are UK telephone numbers that start with the numbers 09 and are premium rate numbers used for a range of over the phone services.  These can range from adult entertainment and horoscope predictions to high-end technical support services for equipment.

  • PREMIUM-RATE: 09 numbers are charged at a premium rate and can cost several pounds for each minute of the call.  This makes them very different from standard geographic numbers that start with 01 and 02 as well as from non-geographic freephone numbers such as 0800 or even local rate 03 numbers.
  • NON-GEOGRAPHIC: 09 numbers are classed as non-geographic and this means they aren’t associated with any particular location within the country.  This makes them different to numbers assigned to a particular area – 020 for London or 0161 for Manchester, for example.  This is the same as 03 and 08 numbers, both of which are also non-geographic and are used to give a company a national presence rather than associate it with any particular region or city.

Different types of 09 numbers

There are two main types of 09 numbers.  These are based on what’s known as reserved usage permissions – basically, this means the only real difference is in how much you pay to use these numbers.  09 number costs are a lot more flexible than other types of numbers and have a general maximum cost set by Ofcom and PhonepayPlus but otherwise, operators can charge what they want.

  • 0900-0907, 0911-0913 numbers are the most common versions of 09 numbers and are used for everything from helplines to competitions, charitable donation services and even for voting for TV shows
  • 0908,0909 and 098 numbers are kept for adult entertainment services that are expected to have sexual content ranging from raunchy chat to dating services.  Any numbers registered for this kind of service since 2005 have to have the prefix 098 on them so you know what they are when you see them.

Examples of 09 Numbers

  • Examples 0906 139 3837 – this is the DVLA Driver Check service that is used by employers to check the driving license information for an employee before allowing them to drive a company vehicle
  • 0905 005 8102 – this is the number for the popular psychics and horoscopes service Mystic Meg, operated by The Sun newspaper

Cost of calling 09 numbers

All 09 numbers are premium rate, but the exact cost of the call can vary.  They are normally higher than all other numbers apart from the 118 numbers.  They can cost up to £3.60 a minute (service charge) plus what’s known as an access charge which is set by your own phone company.  They might also opt for a one-off fee of £6 per call which is charged within the first couple of seconds of connecting to the number.

Before calling any of these numbers, you should always be aware of what they are likely to cost so you don’t get an unexpected high phone bill.

Other 09 numbers charge less than the maximum – the DVLA Driver Check service for example only charges 51p per minute plus the access charge.

How do 09 numbers compare to 087, 070 and 118 premium-rate phone numbers?

At the bottom of the cost, scale is 070 numbers but these aren’t used much.  the more common 087 numbers can cost up to 13p a minute along with the access charge and some 09 numbers will be around that level where the charge is 14p plus the access charge.  118 are another commonly used number that cost more than the basic 13p charge with the 118-247 being an example of a very expensive version of this type of number because they are short and memorable.

Premium rate numbers are all monitored by the PhonepayPlus department of Ofcom and they are responsible for setting the rate that can be charged.  They cover numbers such as 084, 087, 070, 118 and 09 numbers.  You can also use their website to find out exactly how much it will cost to call a number with their call checking service.