The Price of 0800 Numbers17th June 2012
For a long time, Freephone numbers have been a potent and cost-efficient means of making a business accessible to clients. The Big Number Change of 2004 and subsequent UK laws have made it even more so. For new businesses, however, 0800 numbers can be a scary proposition. How much is this going to cost the business is a valid concern, and it is not a simple question to answer. Let’s break it down into five easily digestible parts.
1. What is the cost to the caller?
Shouldn’t the answer be obvious? 0800 numbers are Freephone, meaning no charge for the caller. Of course, there are some exceptions, which is why we’ll mention it. UK law is evolving to protect the consumer better, but it’s not full proof yet. There are loopholes that allow a costumer’s carrier, especially in mobile scenarios, to tack on a surcharge. This is rare and out of our control but worth being aware of.
2. Set-up or Configuration Fee
For 0800 numbers, the first cost will be the setup fee. The good news is that it’s relatively inexpensive, usually less than £10 unless the setup includes custom work. The other good news is that because the industry is so competitive right now, most providers are waiving those configuration fees.
3. Monthly Rate
In terms of total cost of ownership, the monthly rate is the bulk of the total cost of ownership. With 0800 numbers, the monthly rate is also very volatile. There is a base, but the provider charges per call or group of calls, if there is a bulk component to the plan. The important thing to remember is that Freephone numbers facilitate business, so if the bill is going up, so should your profits.
4. Vanity Fee
A potential additional cost is a vanity fee. Another way of looking at this fee is a charge to allow you to pick your own phone number, if it’s available. Usually vanity fees are one-and-done costs. Some providers, however, will charge an on-going surcharge, so be sure to avoid that.
5. The Cost of Additional Features
Finally, 0800 numbers come with some included features, such as monitoring, tracking and histories. Optional features include diversion plans, recording capabilities, call managers, virtual receptionists and so forth. For each upgrade you choose, the base monthly rate will increase slightly.