Money tip #58 – One way to cut your phone bill without changing your tariff

1 min Read Published: 28 Apr 2010

Usually at some stage, while sorting your finances or otherwise, picking up the phone is unavoidable. Be it a call to your gas company to questions a bill or ringing your insurance provider to negotiate a premium discount. The problem is that these phone calls often cost you.

The exact cost depends on where you are calling from and the actual telephone number you call, as well as your phone tariff. Some numbers, such as those starting 0800, are free while other prefixes may be included in your phone package  - so not costing you anything to call them. But a lot of businesses issue contact numbers, such as those starting with 0844, 0845, 0870, and 0871; which will end up costing you money to call as the chances are they won’t be included in your phone package’s ‘free minutes’.

Even more annoyingly, some companies actually get a cut of the cost of your phone call. Effectively you are paying them to talk to you! To further add to the frustration, often when you call these companies they inevitably put you on hold for an age before they deal with you. All the while your phone bill is going up and up. In the end the call can cost you £’s.

However, there is a way around this. Websites such as allow you to find alternative and cheaper ways of contacting the company you are trying to get hold of. Most companies have more than one contact number- they just might not advertise them. Simply visit the site and enter either the telephone number or the name of the company you want to call. Then select one of the suggested numbers, namely the cheapest one to call under the terms of your landline phone package. The website might even suggest a freephone number you could use instead. By cutting the cost of these types of phone calls you will reduce your phone bill - as gone will be the days where you end the month with lots of unused 'free minutes' yet have additional excess call charges on your account.

Bear in mind that if you are going to make a call to a company make sure you do it from a landline as freephone numbers are not always free on mobile phone tariffs. In addition, calls to non-geographical numbers from a mobile phone are usually more expensive.

And while we are on the topic of mobile phones, saynoto0870 have a handy iPhone app. Once you’ve downloaded it you simply dial the number, via the app, and it automatically suggests an alternative number. Genius.