What are toll-free numbers?
In the UK, toll-free telephone numbers are also known as freephone numbers that start with the prefixes 0800 or 0808. The more commonly used prefix is 0800, where numbers can have six to seven digits after the prefix. There was a time when 0800 numbers were free to call from just landlines, but mobile phone callers had to pay hefty charges for the same call. All of this changed in July 2015 when Ofcom announced that actions were taken to ensure that 0800 remained free of charge from any line, whether landline or mobile ones.
People have many questions regarding the use of 0800 numbers as both consumers and business owners. There is ambiguity regarding how a business entity can benefit from owning an 0800 number and what it would mean financially in terms of service charges, etc. To address the confusion surrounding the 0800 number prefix, we have put together some information to help you understand how it adds value to your brand name.
What are 0800 numbers?
0800 numbers are UK-based non-geographic phone numbers that are free to call for the caller, and the receiver is charged. Customers recognise these numbers as commercial, free phone numbers that have a zero cost of calling and are used by most brands as their primary telephone contact method. UK 03 numbers are similar to 0844 or 0845 numbers as none is limited to a particular location geographically. However, the caller is charged for calling these numbers, unlike those starting with 0800. The cost of calling 084, 087, 09 numbers, and 118 directory inquiries numbers is divided into an access charge and a service charge. The access charge is the amount that your phone company charges you for calling these numbers while service charges depend on the organization you are calling.
Why should I get an 0800 number?
Generate more sales leads
You can use an 0800 number to increase your sales leads by giving your customers the chance to call you for free. A business can increase the volume of incoming calls by offering free phone calls to its customers and potential customers. It’s a great opportunity for startups, small to medium-sized businesses, and established ones to attract more clients and generate more sales. As 0800 numbers are used nationwide, it increases the credibility of your business for customers, and they find it easier to trust your brand.
Attract new customers
The most significant advantage of opting to buy an 0800 number is that most people already know that the phone number is free to call. Studies have shown that businesses that switch to an 0800 number receive 175% more calls. Adding this element also indicates that you value customer service, which works well to attract new and existing customers. It makes your business appear professional and widespread around the UK.
Move your business with ease
As 0800 numbers are not restricted by location, you don’t have to worry when moving your workplace from one city to another. It’s a hassle to reach out to existing customers and explain that your number has changed. Remember, consistency in business is key to winning and retaining consumers. Local numbers work just fine for local businesses and companies, but when you operate on a national scale, an 0800 number can instill confidence in consumers and signal them that you can cater to their needs no matter where they are.
How much does an 0800 cost?
When you are ‘buying’ an 0800 number, you don’t own it completely. Instead, you rent the number from the network operator. Your provider has to be paid a monthly rental charge, so you may associate that number with your business or brand and redirect the incoming calls to the number of your choice, whether it’s a landline or a mobile phone number.
Charges vary from one phone company to another
You should also consider that every network operator charges a different amount of monthly rent. Some 0800 number providers charge a very small monthly fee but a hefty amount for redirecting incoming calls to your mobile number or landline. It is difficult to compare prices between the phone companies in most cases as each offers different cost breakdowns and deals.
How to buy an 0800 number?
Where to buy an 0800 number from
You can rent an 0800 number from any UK virtual number provider. Be wary of some companies that resell 3rd party services as they might not offer the level of customer support that meets your expectations and needs. Your best bet is a registered provider that proposes better deals and a personalized customer support experience.
How to set up your account
Once you have paid your provider for your 0800 number, you’ll be set up with a virtual account number. You can configure this account to redirect calls to a phone number of your choosing. You can receive calls on a landline number and your mobile phone. The account will offer you complete control over your incoming calls and the ability to redirect your calls to any number of your choice if needed. If you link your 0800 number to the business phone system, you can set up a personalized voicemail message and manage call routing.
How to call an 0800 number from outside the UK?
You can receive international calls from outside the UK on an 0800 number. The calling method for an 0800 number from abroad is similar to calling any other number in the UK. The correct way of doing that is to drop the ‘0’ and add +44 or +0044, depending on your phone’s settings to the number you are calling. The manner of your call, landline or a mobile phone, to an 0800 number will not be free anymore. The caller will be charged a rate of one pence per minute, depending on their location and the telecom provider. It’s better to contact your landline or mobile operator and inquire about their respective international rates.
Now that we have discussed in detail what an 0800 number is and how it can boost your business and sales leads, you are in a better position to make an informed decision. When you decide to take the leap, many virtual number providers in the UK offer competitive rates, deals, and customized customer support to meet all your requirements. You can buy a competitive 0800 number service from Planet Numbers as well. Just give us a call and we’ll answer your questions!