Are 0344 numbers free to call on EE?

No, 0344 numbers are not completely free to call on EE. They are charged at local rate, the same as all 01, 02 and 03 numbers.

But like other 01, 02 and 03 numbers, if you have free minutes to use up, you can make a practically free call to an 0344 number with the help of your free minutes, because free minutes on EE are equally compatible with all standard-rate geographic numbers (01 & 02 numbers) and standard-rate non-geographic numbers (03 numbers including 0344 numbers).

If you have no free minutes, you’d better find a truly freephone number beginning 0800 or 0808, as they don’t cost anything to call from an EE phone (or from any other UK landline or mobile) and they don’t eat into your free minutes either.

What are 0344 numbers and how did they come about?

  • 0344 numbers, like other 03 numbers, are standard-rate (local-rate) numbers. Indeed, unlike non-geographic 08 numbers, 0344 numbers are charged at standard rate the same as geographic (localised) 01 and 02 numbers and other 03 non-geographic numbers.
  • Like 08 numbers, 03 numbers are non-geographic.

The different types of 03 numbers

There are various different types of standard-rate non-geographic 03 telephone numbers in the UK, as follows.

  • 0300 numbers are reserved for charities and government departments.
  • 0330 and 0333 numbers are designed to look good – to be catchy on the eye, to roll off the tongue, and to ultimately be memorable.
  • 0343, 0344 and 0345 numbers are designed to mimick their 0843, 0844 and 0845 non-mobile-friendly counterparts. The same applies to 0370, 0371 and 0372 numbers – they mimick their 0870, 0871 and 0872 counterparts. the 084 and 087 numbers are said to be non-mobile-friendly because they’re not charged at standard rate, they’re charged at a premium – you could call it premium rate or more specifically business-rate because they’re only 7p/min + access charge and 13p/min + access charge respectively. 0345 numbers also serve as catchy numbers thanks to the pattern (345) that isn’t found in their business-rate counterpart (0845).

All of the above numbers serve to replace business-rate 08 numbers for post-sale customer service purposes, because on 1st June 2015 it became illegal for UK after-sales customer service helplines to use numbers more expensive than standard rate (which rules out using traditional 084 and 087 numbers, and welcomes the new ranges of standard-rate 03 numbers as a cheaper alternative to frephone 0800/0808 numbers for companies that don’t want to pay for all their callers’ calls).