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Bill Ridiculously high from phoning ESA

First Timer
Message 5 of 5

My son was worried about his ESA payment as it didn't go through on time. so we rang the ESA phone number which was a 09 number. Now we was on hold for 11 minutes and when it went quiet, so put the phone down again and tried 3 times same again 11 minutes went quiet. Thankfully the payment went through but while on the phone to ESA they said "This is a FREE number" come to bill day £41! THREE TIMES ADDED due to phoning ESA WHAT THE HELL!!! they said it was a free number!


I want to know what the hell is going on I'm sure it was a mistake. on TALKTALK


Support Team
Message 1 of 5

Hi AllenCraw


Im afraid the charges are valid, 09 numbers are premium rate numbers,  they are not covered in the UK unlimited calls boost:



Includes: 0840870911808440845 and 0870 numbers.

Call charges to the above numbers including Directory Enquiries, Premium Rate and Service Numbers are divided into two parts:
- Access Charge: This is what TalkTalk will charge you for connecting the call = 12.5p
- Service Charge: This is what the organisation you are calling will charge you.


Many companies provide an alternate standard number, starting 01, 02 or 03 that you can call them on. Depending on your TalkTalk package, standard numbers might be cheaper or included in your monthly fee. It's also always free to call an 0800 number, if the company provides one. You can usually find the standard number on correspondence from the company or from their official website.


Your will need to contact the EAS if you have been mis-informed. 


Sorry for any inconvenience caused.


Community Star
Message 2 of 5

@AllenCraw You could try to take up the issue using the services of the regulator:



Message 3 of 5

An expensive mistake. There is an option to bar calls to 09 prefix numbers. I suggest you activate it on your account to avoid any repetition.

Retired the 11 years old Dell, new one is an Inspiron 3881 running Windows 10 and a Qualcomm QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter with Sagemcom FAST 5364 router.

Community Star
Message 4 of 5

The 09 number is not the ESA helpline it's a third party that charges typically £3.60 a minute. 


Here is the government link re ESA. https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/how-to-claim

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