There’s a lot of confusion over the difference in cost between phone calls to numbers in Spain that start with 900, 901, 902 and 905. As many people have flat rate tariffs with their landline and/or mobile phone, it is often a surprise to see additional charges on their bills for calls to these numbers.
The tariffs associated to numbers that begin with 9 are as follows:-
- 900 – Free for callers from a landline (800 numbers are being introduced and these are also free). Check if your mobile provider allows these as free calls or not.
- 901 – Cost shared between caller and recipient.
- 902 – Used by companies in order to reduce the cost for the caller. The rate is set between the price of a local and national call and is the same rate for all callers regardless of location.
- 905 – Premium rate services eg for voting on TV shows.
If you have a flat rate deal for your phone (home or mobile), first of all avoid 905 numbers and make sure that everyone in your household knows that they shouldn’t be used.
Then take into account that 901 and 902 numbers are NOT included in flat rate phone call contracts.
Rates in 2014 for a 5-minute call to these numbers are as follows: 901: 0,28€ from a landline and 1,88€ from a mobile; 902: 0,56€ from a landline and 2,82€ from a mobile.
Remember, these are normally used for calls to customer service departments where you’ll be kept waiting – a 5 minute call can often end up being 15 minutes or longer!(NOTE: Rates calculated on Movistar tariffs.)
How To Avoid Using 901 & 902 Numbers
Any number that begins with either 901 or 902 does also have a “normal” number associated to it, where you can get exactly the same information or services - it’s just a matter of finding and then using that “normal” number instead.
There are quite a few websites that have been set up where you can type in a 901 or 902 number and the normal number will be shown (such as www.nmn900.com).
You could also use the 901/902 number once and as part of your call request that the company gives you their normal number so you can use it instead in future.
Why Don’t Companies with 901/902 numbers Just Change To A “Normal” Number?
It would seem logical that companies just use a “normal” number, however phone companies offer incentives to them in order to avoid them doing this. In this way the phone company can offer their flat rate tariffs to the public, but know that the majority of people will still need to call these not-included-in-flat-rate-tariffs 901 or 902 numbers from time to time.
Directory Enquiries – No Thank You!
If you need to find a phone number, avoid using directory enquiry services – those numbers that begin with 118. Some of these companies charge up to 4€ per minute! Additionally they will very politely ask if you want them to connect you to the requested number – don’t do it as they will continue to charge you at their premium rates. If you need a number, check online at the Yellow Pages etc.
There’s been an increase in phone scams with people calling from a 905 number, hanging up and hoping that the person will return the call. Always check the number of any missed call before returning it to avoid premium-rate charges.
By law, electricity and gas companies in Spain must offer a freephone number – so check your last invoice and use it instead of using their 902 numbers.
For example, the national freephone number for Iberdrola, for Customer Service in English, is: 900 322044.