What are Freephone Numbers?
Ok, before we explore 0800 numbers it makes sense to take a closer look at what a freephone number actually is. What does free phone really mean? Right, well freephone or ‘free to call’ numbers are phone numbers that allow incoming calls to be made in the UK free of charge.
Whether calling from a mobile phone or landline callers can dial 0800s safe in the knowledge that they won’t be racking up a huge bill. In actual fact with 0800 numbers they won’t be building up any bill at all. So, with low cost (no cost)phone bills 0800s are an attractive prospect for callers. That’s good news for the caller and similarly for businesses who choose to use 0800 numbers too – after all, more inbound calls mean more prospective customers right!
0808s what are they?
In addition to 0800 numbers there are now also 0808 prefixes in the, ‘freephone numbers’ family. After all, there isn’t an infinite amount of 0800 numbers available in that single range. If you’re a caller and aren’t sure about 0808s, rest assured they’re absolutely free to call too. Despite appearing as a pretty new option 0808 non geographic numbers were actually introduced way back in 1997 and actually became freephone numbers in July 2015. Awareness of 0808s is certainly on the rise with many organisations now choosing to use them as their main customer services number.
Companies who do opt for 0808 virtual numbers (like an 0800 number) tend to enjoy a positive reputation as a company who cares and one which offers their callers a smooth customer service experience. That’s got to be good news if you’re a business owner.
So, it’s safe to say that when dialling a company which has an 0800 or 0808 virtual number your cost to call is nothing to worry about. After all, you’ve chosen a free to call option, avoiding those heavy call charges. If you’re a business owner wondering whether to opt for a 0800 number or 0808, whether it’s down to personal preference.
Free Calls – even from mobile phones!
Many people ask, are 0800s free to call from mobiles? The answer? Well, you’ll be glad to hear that ‘yes’ they are free to call from both mobiles and landlines. Remember though, this isn’t the case for other virtual numbers in the 08 family such as 0844, 0845, 0870 and 0871. These are a different species known as ‘rebate generating numbers’ and are often charged at premium rates plus access charges.
Want an 0800 number for your business?
Choosing a phone company…
If you’re looking for a virtual telephone number for your business you may be wondering who is the best service provider for you? With lots of telecom companies out there it can be difficult to choose. Well there are some key aspects to remember which include:
- Inbound Call Rates
- Call Features
- Call Routing
So, let’s take a closer look at these…
Inbound Call Rates
Despite the cost of calling being completely free for customers, it is important to be aware that they do come with inbound charges for business owners. Having said that, the benefits attached to those charges are considered by most to be worth it. After all, if you’re providing an attractive (and affordable) number, especially for sales lines, the more inbound enquiries you are likely to get. What’s more, as non-geographic numbers 0800s give you a national presence too, so your reach is extended too.
By choosing a Tier 1 phone company you are much more likely to enjoy competitive inbound rates. As 0800 numbers are freephone numbers they have an inbound call charge and a network access charge may also apply especially if callers are dialling from a mobile phone. Thankfully Tier 1 telecom providers work directly with the main network and where price is concerned, enjoy greater wriggle room.
The great thing about virtual phone numbers is that (depending on your chosen provider) also come along with a whole host of features including:
Voice2email – callers are invited (by a bespoke message) to leave a VM which is then delivered into a designated email box(es).
Call Queue – this allows you greet your callers with music, a message, position in the queue notification and the chance to jump out of the queue by leaving a voicemail. Many business owners find call queue really handy especially during busier times of the day. Callers are welcomed and kept entertained/informed before you even answer the call – all leading to greater customer satisfaction.
Call Whisper – having the heads up that you have a business call coming through (rather than family or friends) is really helpful, especially if you are routing your calls to your personal mobile. A simple call whisper gives you a quick audio notification (inaudible to callers) that you have a business call coming in.
Out-of-Hours – no matter how dedicated we are or how much we may love our job, we all need some down time. That’s where, ‘out-of-hours’ scheduling steps in, allowing you to route calls to alternative numbers and pre-recorded messages. So, you can rest easy, safe in the knowledge your calls are being dealt with even when you’re elsewhere.
As a virtual number 0800 numbers have many attractive features with flexible call routing being one of those at the top of the list. Whatever your business scenario, your 0800 provider should be able to configure your telephone number accordingly. Your new number can be routed to mobile phones, landlines and (if you’re on VoIP) SIP trunks too – they really are the flexible option to choose.
Whether you have single destination numbers or multiple lines, all it takes is for your provider to point your 0800 number accordingly. The flexibility shouldn’t end there though. If you’ve chosen a Tier 1 provider they will typically have tools such as a user-friendly portal where you can log on and tweak your 0800 number telecom configuration at the click of a mouse. So, if you want to reroute to an alternative mobile phone or mobile phones, or you want to activate voice2email, it’s all there at your fingertips.
Free, Free, Free
So, the next time you ask yourself, ‘are those 0800 numbers free’ you can safely yes they are. Call charges are nothing to worry about with these 08s. Alongside 0800s and 0808s, 03s are now also recognised by the British Public for their affordability factor. Although not 100% free all of the time, o3s are free to call the majority of the time i.e. as they’re typically part of most people’s caller bundles.
For more info on 0800 numbers take a look at the Ofcom site – where you’ll find a whole host of details.
If you’re a business owner and would like more details on how to set up your 0800 number visit: www.numbersupermarket.co.ukor call 0330 323 0400.