Calling 0800 Numbers from Abroad

4th March 2020

0800 numbers are the way to go for any organisation in the UK. They are completely free to call and that encourages consumers to reach out to you. If you run a local business, you are probably wondering what would happen if you decided to expand your services to encompass international customers.

Can you continue using 0800 numbers to communicate with potential clients situated beyond the borders of the UK? More importantly, is it even possible to call an 0800 number from abroad? The answer to that question is somewhat complicated. Consider the following:

  1. First of all, why does an 0800 number matter in the first place? The cost is obviously the primary selling point. 0800 numbers are free to call for customers and that makes them attractive. However, you cannot ignore the fact that they are non-geographical.

An 0800 number is not connected to any particular location within the UK. As such, a customer can call it without immediately identifying the company’s location. This favours businesses that want to create the perception that they have national reach.

  1. The fact that 0800 numbers are non-geographical doesn’t matter if you are calling from abroad. An 0800 number is not connected to a particular location within the UK. However, it is definitely connected to the country as a whole.

An international client calling your 0800 number can, at the very least, determine that your premises are in the UK. You cannot use the 0800 number to obscure your location in this situation. As such, the non-geographical benefit doesn’t apply here.

  1. If you cannot rely on the non-geographical advantage of 0800 numbers where international callers are concerned, can you, at the very least, lean on the free-to-call aspect? No, you cannot. When a person calls an 0800 number from within the UK, it is free for the caller but not for the owner.

The business that owns the number must meet the cost of the call. On the other hand, if someone from outside the UK calls a company’s 0800 number, they will be charged an international rate. In other words, as far as international calls are concerned, 0800 numbers do not have any money-related benefits for the caller.

Most callers can expect to receive some sort of message informing them about the charges they will pay once the call is connected. This will give them an opportunity to determine whether or not they are willing to complete the call.

If you’re travelling with a UK registered mobile phone outside of the EU, and calling back to the UK when roaming, is it likely that calls to 0800s will be charged at the same rate as calling the UK as normal.  It’s recommenced that you check the price with your mobile provider before dialling.  Calls from within the UK are still free, but as the UK leaves the EU we understand that this will change.

If your objective is to attract international clients using the 0800 number, you are more likely to turn them away. Few individuals in the world are willing to accept the charges associated with an international call, not unless they have an important message.

  1. So, returning to the first question: can you call an 0800 number from abroad? Yes, you can. The key is to dial the right code before entering the number you wish to access.

For instance, anyone using a mobile phone anywhere in the world should dial ‘+44 800’ followed by the rest of the phone number, ‘+44’ is the country code for the UK. When calling back to the UK from a foreign landline, the ‘+’ has to be replaced by the local ‘international access code’. For example, an EU resident using a landline and attempting to call a UK 0800 number should dial ‘00 44 800’ followed by the rest of the phone number. People calling from landlines in the US or Canada can try ‘011 44 800’ followed by the rest of number.

  1. You don’t need an 0800 number to communicate with international customers. You can just purchase virtual numbers for every region in which you want to operate. This will enable your international customers to call you at local rates.

What Next?

To buy an 0800 number for your business, simply call us free, on 0800 088 6543.

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