The 0800 numbers, otherwise also known as freephone or non-geographic numbers, are not linked to a specific location. They’re used by all kinds of businesses in order to promote a business’ professional image by suggesting a national presence and providing a dedicated support or sales line – all valuable tools which may potentially increase a business’ revenue stream. However, 0800 numbers aren’t just for businesses. Government agencies, charitable organisations and even radio stations and television networks use 0800 numbers for various purposes such as providing a freephone number for viewers to call in and vote for a favourite act on a TV show, for listeners to call in to enter a contest being promoted on the radio, to provide a helpline or simply to provide a number to call in order to obtain information on a particular topic.
Historically, callers in the UK were charged when dialling 0800 numbers, but this practice ended on July 1, 2015, thanks to changes in Ofcom legislation. Ofcom is UK’s communications regulator, regulating the television, radio and video-on-demand sectors, as well as fixed-line telecoms, mobile services as well as the airwaves over which all wireless devices operate. Now, calling 0800 numbers within the UK is free, regardless whether you’re making the calls from a landline, a mobile phone or even a payphone. The costs are paid for by the receiver of the call, making them free for you.
Phoning 0800 numbers from abroad
Calling 0800 numbers from abroad (outside the UK) are possible but will incur charges such that these calls would no longer be “freephone” calls. You’ll be charged international rates which will vary, depending on where you’re calling from. Most UK businesses will indicate on their websites that calls to their 0800 number are free when calling from within the UK but that charges will apply when calling the 0800 number from abroad. If you would like to get an 0800 number, you can purchase one of many from our site.
It’s also important to remember that the way in which you place your 0800 call will depend on the location abroad from where the call is being placed. For example, calling 0800 numbers within the UK would typically require you to dial 0800 XXX XXXX. However, when calling 0800 numbers from abroad (outside the UK, Canada or the US), you would be required to dial 00 44 800 XXX XXXX. The “44” represents the UK’s country code and you’ll note that there is no “0” preceding the “800”. When dialling from Canada or the US, you would be required to dial 011 44 800 XXX XXXX, whereby the “00” has been replaced with “011” and once again, there is no “0” preceding the “800”.