Are 0843 numbers free to call on EE?

No, 0843 numbers are certainly not free to call on EE.

As of July 2015, calls to 0843 numbers in the UK cost the same as calls to 0844 and 0845 numbers in that they are all charged at up to 7p per minute for Service Charge, plus your phone company’s self-determined Access Charge which on EE is up to 50p per minute depending which tariff you’re on.

Here’s the breakdown: EE’s access charges, and indeed total call costs, for “business rate” 084-prefixed telephone numbers vary as follows.

TariffService ChargeAccess ChargeTotal Call Cost
EE Broadband and Phone7p per minute11p per minute18p per minute
EE PAYG and Small Business7p per minute44p per minute51p per minute
EE Mobile (incl. Pay Monthly and SIM-Only)7p per minute50p per minute57p per minute

This means that while call cost disclaimers typically say calls to 0843 numbers are charged at “7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge” the actual call cost on EE is up to 57p per minute – a stark difference from the ballpark of mere pennies implied by legal disclaimers. This is not the fault of EE in particular, as most major mobile networks charge similar fees on calling these “Lo-Call” “business rate” “service numbers”.