This has happened a few times and I can see it being an interesting possibility.
Basically, there are occasions when I would like to give someone a really expensive number to call me on. It is not because I want to get revenue from the call, it is because I want them to pay a lot for the call and be inconvenienced.
One such obvious case today was an insurance company that only publish an 09 number to contact them on. So I think only reasonable to expect them to call me on a similarly expensive 09 number.
Customers have asked for such things before. They know the telco (in this case A&A) would get revenue, and are actually quite happy about that happening. They know they would not get revenue, and would not want any of the hassles associated with actually running a premium rate service.
This is where it gets interesting...
The law says OFCOM can regulate premium rate services. However, my reading of the Act is that it is the service that is premium rate not the number. I.e. just because it is a really expensive number on an 09 prefix does not make it premium rate. What makes it premium rate is providing a service via the telecommunications service (for which there is extra charge made and passed on to the service provider).
So, in theory, we could set up 09 numbers, with no pay out and no service provided via them, just as expensive numbers to call. We could run these with none of the normally require warnings or hassle or contibution to PhonePayPlus (or whatever they are called today).
Now, the cost of setting this up would be peanuts, as long as it is not a premium rate service and has none of that hassle. Just another inbound number range to add to the hundreds we run already. We could do it free of change and even direct to a landline or mobile as the means of delivery of the call.
Perhaps I'll write to OFCOM and suggest it and see what they say :-)