Sales & Marketing

Are 0344 Numbers Free?

Luisa Ddakis | 22 August 2022 | 2 years ago

how much to call a 0344 number

With 0344 numbers being increasingly used, a question that is commonly asked is whether 0344 numbers are free. The answer isn’t as simple as you might hope, but the short answer is that in the majority of circumstances calling 0344 numbers is free. However, you should know when you could be charged for calling 0344 numbers to prevent unwanted charges cropping up on your phone bill.

This article will cover everything there is to know about the cost of calling 0344 numbers. We will cover what 0344 numbers are, how 0344 numbers are different from other 0300 numbers, what it costs to call 0344 numbers from mobile phones, and the cost of calling from landlines.

What are 0344 Numbers?

0344 numbers are what are known as non-geographic numbers (NGN). This is a number that is not tied to a specific location in the country. Other numbers such as 020 (London) and 0121 (Birmingham) are known as area codes and are an indication the location where the call is being received.

Organisations such as businesses, government departments, and charities are generally the users of 0344 numbers. They allow such organisations to have one point of contact when offering guidance, advice, or selling to their callers. This makes it possible for someone living in Land’s End to call a 0344 number and be put through to a customer all the way in Edinburgh where a dedicated team can deal with their queries.

How are 0344 Numbers Different from Other 0300 Numbers?

0300 numbers were introduced by the UK’s communication regulator, Ofcom, as a way for companies to offer their customers a simple and cheap singular point of contact. There is no real difference between 0344 and other 0300 numbers. All numbers using the prefix 03 shares the same qualities as each other be it 0344, 0355 or 0389. They are all NGNs that are used for the same purpose.

Who Uses 0344 Numbers?

If you have ever received a call from a number that you don’t recognise and see that it begins with the digits 0344 then you can be almost certain that this call was placed from an organisation such as a government department or body, a charity or a business. 

As previously mentioned, 0344 numbers are usually used as a way of centralising customer services and sales. They also allow businesses to prevent confusion or the effect of people’s potential bias toward local businesses. For example, if a customer living in Worcester looks up the phone number for a local company and sees that the area code is for Leeds, they may not realise that is where the customer service department is. 

It is very rare that an individual would be using a 0344 for their personal calls as 0344 numbers are specialised numbers that are optimised for organisations and have a higher cost than a regular non-commercial phone number.

What is the Cost for Calling a 0344 Number from a Landline?

Calling a 0344 phone number from a landline is charged at the usual rate that as a regular national telephone number. However, there are circumstances where you may not incur a charge when placing a call to a 0344 number. This all depends on the price plan that you have in place with your phone provider. 

Telecom companies often offer call plans that include peak and off-peak time periods. An off-peak time period allows customers to place national phone calls free of charge. To prevent unwanted charges on your monthly phone bill, make sure you know the times that your service provider has set for off-peak calls.

When calling during a peak time period, each telecoms company has its own rate for calling national numbers. Below we have provided the charges for calling 0344 phone numbers for the four major telecom companies operating in the UK. 

Telecom Company          Approximate peak cost
BT 12p per minute + 21p set up charge
TalkTalk 13.5p per minute
Sky 9.5p per minute
Virgin Media 12p per minute

What is the Cost for Calling a 0344 Number from a Mobile Phone?

Calling from a mobile phone to a 0344 number is charged at the same rate as it would be to call a regular national number. As with landlines, network providers often provide call plans for their customers. However, the system for mobile phone network price plans is significantly different to that of their landline counterparts. 

Rather than peak and off-peak call times, mobile phone price plans often give their users a set amount of free calls to the same network and landline telephone numbers. If a call to a 0344 number is placed whilst still being within the free call allowance, then there will be no charge for the call.

When placing calls outside of any free call minutes allowance then the calls will be charged at the network provider’s standard rate. Below we have listed the major UK network providers and the cost of calling a 0344 number from them.

Network Provider         Cost per minute within contracted landlines   allowance Cost per minute after exceeding contracted landlines allowance
ASDA Mobile Free of charge 8p per minute 
Delight Mobile Free of charge 3p per minute
EE Free of charge 30p per minute
GiffGaff Free of charge 10p per minute
Lebara Mobile Free of charge 19p per minute
LycaMobile Free of charge 15p per minute
O2 Free of charge 35p per minute
Tesco Mobile Free of charge 25p per minute
Three Mobile Free of charge 3p per minute
Virgin Mobile Free of charge 26p per minute
Vodafone Free of charge 30p per minute
 

Before placing a call to a 0344 number from a mobile phone it always pays to check how many minutes of call allowance you have remaining to avoid any unwanted costs in your phone bill.

free to call 0344 numbers

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the answer to the cost of 0344 numbers is relatively straightforward. If you call during an off-peak period from a landline, or within your free minute allowance from a mobile phone, then there will be no call charges incurred. However, if you call at peak time or outside of your free minute allowance then you will be charged at the national rate for your call as determined by your phone operator.

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