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The Spanish phone numbers to avoid if you don't want to be overcharged

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The Spanish phone numbers to avoid if you don't want to be overcharged
There are ways of recognising which Spanish numbers will charge you extra for making a call. Photo: Joshua Woroniecki/Pixabay

Calling certain phone numbers in Spain can result in nasty surprises on your phone bill. Here are the Spanish phone prefixes that tend to overcharge as well as other useful tips to avoid these numbers.


One of the most common surprises you can get on your Spanish mobile phone bill is an extra charge which falls outside the tarifa plana (flat fee) conditions of your contract, linked to a phone call you made to a particular number. 

These are usually numbers with a special pricing prefix (prefijo de tarificación especial). 

They don’t start with a 6 as is the case with most mobile phone numbers in Spain and they don’t have the three-number provincial landline prefixes which start with 9 but are never followed by a 0, as seen in the map below. 

So which phone prefixes should you watch out for?

According to Spain’s top consumer watchdog OCU, they usually start with a 9 or an 8 and are then followed by a 0 (zero).

If you’re having to call special pricing prefixes in Spain often it may be advisable to speak to your phone company to see if there are more suitable contracts for you, or instead use a pre-paid sim card to keep a closer check on expenses.  


You are also able to block your phone from making calls to these ‘special’ prefixes.

With Movistar this is done online from your user profile, for Orange you have to call 1470 and Vodafone users usually have these numbers blocked by default on their contracts.

800+ numbers

Calling a phone number with the prefix 800 is actually free but  numbers higher than that can come with a high extra charge. They are phone lines in which a service is provided during the call, with your company and the company providing the service each charging extra.

803: Adult services 

806: Entertainment services such as gambling or tarot.

807: Professional services such as doctors or consultancy companies.

Tip: Checking the fourth number can give you an idea of whether the phone call will cost you. If the fourth number is 0 or 1, calls from the mobile cannot have a price higher than €0.65 per minute. If the fourth number is higher than 6, you must have expressly authorized your phone company to allow you to access this type of ultra-expensive services. Each minute will cost you from €1.3 onwards.

And there is no fixed maximum limit, it can be the one decided by the company that offers you the service.


900+ numbers

Calling a number starting with 900 is also free and is often used by companies for customer service purposes. 

901: Normally it is used by Spain’s Public Administrations, the Tax Agency or Spain's Social Security. Dialling a 901 number will result in you paying part of the call. And it isn’t cheap. OCU's table below shows the rates for a five-minute call with different phone companies in Spain, for both landline (fijo) and mobile (móvil) numbers.

902: People who dial this prefix must pay the full cost of the call, which works out to be roughly €3 for a five-minute call from a mobile and €1 from a landline.

905: These numbers are used for televoting services although a fixed amount is paid per call as it’s a special rate.

907, 908, 909: These phone numbers are used by companies that connect to the Internet to provide a service, although it must be expressly approved by the customer.



118 numbers 

118 numbers are over-the-phone guidance services that vary in price.

According to a report by Spain’s National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) the average price for a one-minute call was €5.56.

To avoid surprises, certain measures have been adopted by Spanish authorities such as being informed previously that 118 numbers cost extra, a ten-minute limit on calls and if the call costs more than €2.5 euros callers must be informed.

OCU has requested that phone calls to these numbers are by default blocked for phone contracts.


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