Many people are still confused about 0800 numbers and who pays for calls that are made to them. In this post we try and answer the most common questions and shed some light on why they remain one of the most popular phone numbers for UK businesses and other organisations.
What is an 0800 number?
0800 numbers are “Freephone” (i.e. free to call) non-geographic UK phone numbers. “Non-geographic” means they’re not tied to any specific area, and are therefore seen as “national” numbers.
Here’s a great article that explains more about the history of 0800 Numbers and how they work.
Why buy an 0800 Number?
There are lots of benefits of operating an 0800 Number:
- They are “free to call”, therefore encourage greater volume of incoming calls.
- As a non-geographic number, they allow businesses to establish a national as opposed to local presence.
- They’re “virtual” numbers, so can be managed in the cloud via a web-accessible interface.
- They can be redirected to a mobile or landline number of your choice, so you won’t miss any calls.
- They are a cost-effective marketing tool for generating new business.
- They are relatively cheap to buy, especially 0800 packages that offer inclusive minutes.
Do you get charged for 0800 numbers?
Despite all the efforts to bring transparency to the telecoms market, lots of people are still confused about call charges for 0800 numbers. The definitive answer is that the caller doesn’t get charged for phoning an 0800 number, but the owner of the number does. Since 1st July 2015, calls to 0800 numbers have been free from both landlines and mobile phones. The owner of the number is charged for the call, not the caller.
How to get a 0800 number
There are lots of 0800 number providers in the UK. Typically, you “rent” an 0800 number off the telecom provider by paying a monthly subscription fee which entitles you to receive incoming calls, and get them redirected to a landline or mobile number of your choice. This rental arrangement remains in place until your contract comes to an end, or you stop making the monthly payments. You never actually “own” the number, so you will have no ownership rights over it once you stop paying rental fees to the provider.
Can I buy and 0800 number and divert to mobile?
Yes, that’s how most 0800 numbers are configured. You can buy an 0800 Number from any reputable telecom provider, then divert to a mobile number (or landline if you prefer) of your choice.
Do I get charged for 0800 numbers?
If you own the 0800 number (or have rented one from an 0800 number provider), you’ll typically pay the cost of the incoming call being redirected to a forwarding number of your choice.
Recently, some of the best 0800 number providers have started offering inclusive minute packages, which allow you to get a certain amount of incoming call minutes for a set monthly fee. These offer the best value and allow you to plan your 0800 number call costs more accurately each month.
If you’re the one calling the 0800 number, you won’t get charged for the call. The call is completely free, whether you’re calling from a UK mobile number or landline number.
What’s the future for 0800 Numbers?
The world of cloud telecoms is ever-changing. But 0800 numbers have been around for a long time, and they’ve now been accepted by consumers as the ‘de facto’ freephone number. This is why they’re used by a wide range of UK charities, media & marketing companies and other organisations who want to remove caller costs to try and encourage incoming calls.
How to get an 0800 number for my business?
This one’s been answered above. There are lots of 0800 number providers in the UK. The best ones offer inclusive call packages where you pay a monthly fee to cover the 0800 number rental and a certain amount of free incoming call minutes per month.
Here’s the current 0800 Number “inclusive minutes” packages offered by Numbergroup, one of the country’s largest providers of UK virtual phone numbers: