When you should not say no to 0870 numbers?

1st April 2009

Although, 0870 numbers were conventionally called national-rate phone numbers, there were charges incurred on calling upon a 0870 business number and this is what led to the gradual decline in their popularity. Recently, there has been a huge volume shift towards the cheaper options like the 0844 or 03 numbers.

However, despite the recent outcry in the UK against the once-popular 0870 phone numbers, there are still situations in which holding on to these numbers does make sense. Further, the expected changes in the services provided by 0870 phone numbers may make them an attractive proposition once again. Already, there are many 0870 pricing changes that are beginning to take shape and are bound to make them appealing again for everyone, from a business enterprise to household consumers.

Changes Underway, More Expected:

The price for calling a 0870 number is bound to nosedive in the very near future. An initiative has already been taken in this respect by UK´s telecom major British Telecom (BT). Since January 2009, calls made to 0870 numbers have been made free by BT. The telecom provider has extended this benefit to all the subscribers of its landline services. As a result, calls made by customers to organisations within a certain bracket such as banks or gas suppliers made on 0870 numbers are totally free. This is proving extremely beneficial, predominantly for the household consumers.

Competitors will respond:

A direct consequence of this development will be that other major providers such as Virgin Media, which do charge for calls made to such premium 0870 numbers, will be bound to substantially to reduce the prices. Therefore, the present users of 0870 services are recommended to hold-on to their numbers for just a bit longer and let these expected benefits come their way.

Revenue sharing issues to be solved

There are a new set of proposals being discussed under wherein another issue with 0870 numbers, i.e. revenue sharing will probably be resolved. Revenue sharing by businesses using 0870 numbers has received heavy criticism, but it isn’t going to be suddenly banned. However, it is expected that within a short period of time it will be gradually terminated. The most immediate change in this process is the capping of caller charges and being re-set at par with national rates of the network provider.

Business Organisations Should Evaluate the Options:

Alternative numbers such as 0844 numbers are being highlighted as the most “obvious” choice by many people. However, one aspect is being totally ignored these services are still relatively new. Unlike, 0870 numbers, their effectiveness hasn´t been proven on a long-term basis. This aspect particularly applies to businesses that have been using the 0870 phone numbers for many years. The 0870 numbers have become synonymous with their brand itself. Would it make sense to make a switch to another number, just based on a general perception, only to later realize that their brand´s presence has been compromised? For sure, the expected addition in revenue and cost savings from cheaper phone services can´t match-up with a decline in brand recognition among the customers.