An Overview of 0845 Numbers23rd August 2011
In the UK, 0845 numbers are non-geographic numbers (NGNs), which means that they are not associated with any particular telephone line. The core benefit to 0845 numbers and other NGNs is that the owner can redirect calls from the NGN to any telephone line, including mobile and international lines. From this core benefit, many other advantages arise.
Owners of 0845 numbers and other NGNs can hide their actual location, which is helpful when providing customer service from afar or when a business wants to present an image that is larger or more successful than the current truth. After all, in business, image is everything.
Another great advantage is that an owner of 0845 numbers never loses rights to them, which is particularly important for businesses. It means that a small business can invest in their 0845 numbers without fear, and as they grow, they can simply redirect their old NGNs to whatever communications solution they are currently using.
The 0845 prefix replaced the old 0645 numbers sold by Cable and Wireless and the old 0345 numbers sold by BT after the Big Number Change. What differentiates 0845s from other NGNs is that there may be a fee associated with the call. This fee can be due to a provider surcharge, an owner surcharge or a combination of the two.
The primary benefit to charging a fee associated with the NGN is that the provider can use that to subsidize the cost of the number and then pass that savings onto the owner of the number. The benefit of the owner charging is a means of collecting revenue through the phone service. For instance, some companies provide a telephone-based service, and they earn money from that service by charging a certain rate per minute.
Since many home telephone plans include free calls to 0845 numbers, if the owner does not assign a charge, they can be reasonably certain that home-based clients will be able to call their number as they would any standard local number.