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Cut the cost of premium-rate calls
iOS App of the Week I’d heard about apps and programs that could be used to look up alternatives to premium-rate 08 numbers, but had never really bothered with them before as – apart from my bank – I didn’t really think that I made all that many calls to premium numbers.
However, the last bill for my home landline number included a tenner’s worth of calls to 0845 numbers, making them the largest element on the bill apart from the rip-off line rental itself.
I never even think about calling those numbers on my mobile, for fear of how much they’ll cost me.
Key in the 08 number (left) and 08 Wizard will try to suggest a cheaper alternative number to dial (right)
So I decided it was time to take a closer look at some of these aforementioned apps. The one that seems to get most publicity is the similarly-priced 08 Saver, but I actually found it a little confusing as it throws up lots of alternative numbers for various companies without actually pinpointing the specific one that you need. In the end, then, I settled on 08 Wizard from Skycom.
The app is very straightforward and provides just two main options. You can type in an 08 number and it will search its database for an alternative ‘magic number’ that begins with an 01 or 02 prefix that you can call for free – with a suitable free-calls phone tariff, of course.
There’s also an option to search for companies by name, so you could look up a Sony call-centre if you didn’t already have a number for Sony at hand.
For less well-known names, it's not always successful (left) but you can also search by name (right)
The app’s database isn’t exhaustive and primarily seems to cover large organisations such as banks and utilities. It couldn’t find some of the PR agencies that I sometimes have to call at work, but did find alternatives for my bank and a number of other companies that I regularly need to call.
That alone could save me a few quid on each phone bill, as well as providing the added convenience of being able to call those numbers when I’m out and about with my mobile – which makes this 69p well spent in my book. ®
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