Football clubs "ripping off" fans with premium-rate numbers

More than 30 British football clubs are using expensive 08 numbers more than three months after they were banned by the telecoms regulator, research has revealed.

In June Ofcom introduced new rules banning the use of phone numbers that were not charged at the basic rate for contact from consumers. The main offenders were numbers beginning with 08, as they regularly cost consumers 40p a minute or more.

Now companies that offer a telephone service for customers beginning with 08 must also offer 01, 02, and 03 numbers as these are charged at the basic rate from all phones.

The Fair Telecoms Campaign has now published a list of all clubs in the Premier League and the Championship using 08 numbers either for their general contact number or ticket line.

According to the research, 11 top-flight clubs use an 08 number for their ticket line or general enquiries, with four teams (Burnley, Everton, Sunderland and West Ham) using 08 numbers for both.

In the Championship, 20 of the 24 teams use an 08 number, with 14 using a 08 number for tickets and enquiries.


David Hickson of the Fair Telecoms campaign said: "It is sadly commonplace for ticketing agencies to use the subsidy obtained from use of a 084/087 number as an additional undeclared booking fee when taking bookings for any event by telephone. From June of next year, the "service charge" which is part of the cost of calling these numbers will have to be declared in all cases.

"Soccer clubs who treat their own fans this way should be ashamed – and shamed. Use of a 084/087 number for contact from a customer became illegal in June.

"Clubs who use these numbers (or allow their agents to do so) should now be aware that they are ripping-off their fans, and possibly breaking the law."

Only financial services providers were left out of the new regulation as well as numbers used exclusively for sales to new customers.

Club numbers and ticket numbers

Arsenal 020 020 AFC Bournemouth 0844 0844
Aston Villa 0121 0800 Birmingham City 0844 0844
Burnley 0871 0871 Blackburn Rovers 0871 0871
Chelsea 020 0871 Blackpool 01253 0844
Crystal Palace 020 0871 Bolton Wanderers 0844 0844
Everton 0871 0871 Brentford 0845 0845
Hull 01482 01482 Brighton & Hove Albion 0344 0844
Leicester 0344 0344 Cardiff City 0845 0845
Liverpool 0151 0843 Charlton Athletic 020 0871
Man City 0161 0161 Derby County 0871 0871
Man Utd 0161 0161 Fulham 0843 0843
Newcastle 0844 0844 Huddersfield Town 01484 01484
QPR 020 0844 Ipswich Town 01473 0333
Southampton 0845 0845 Leeds United 0871 0871
Stoke 01782 01782 Middlesbrough 0844 0844
Sunderland 0871 0871 Millwall 020 0844
Swansea 01792 0844 Norwich City 0844 0844
Spurs 0344 0344 Nottingham Forest 0115 0871
West Brom 0121 0121 Reading 0118 0118
West Ham 0871 0871 Rotherham United 0844 0844
      Sheffield Wednesday 0871 0871
      Watford 01923 01923
      Wigan Athletic 01942 0871
      Wolverhampton Wanderers 0871 0871

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I had cause to contact a Car Hire Co. in June. Whilst they eventually organised an 03 No. for Customer Services, they retained their 0844 No. for Reservations. From memory at the time, I thouht this was actually how The Consumer Contracts (Information,Cancellationand Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 reads?