alphaTALK has more than 20 years of experience in supporting businesses by selling 0800 numbers, Virtual Numbers, VoIP (voice over IP) and many other features. This includes cloud PBX and telephone needs. When you order a business phone system from alphaTALK you can be assured that we will be there to support you, and can bring our expertise and experience to bear in helping you find the perfect solution for your business. Our Hosted PBX service will revolutionize your business communications – you won’t believe how easy it is to manage your telephone service.
0800 Numbers – A complete guide
A brief history
Instantly recognisable, it is probably the best known phone code in the UK. 0800 numbers have been a huge part of how customers see companies since they were first introduced in 1985. Before the advent of personalised numbers you had to call an operator and ask for a company by name.
Several different providers had different prefixes that they each used for their own freephone service. 0800 Numbers were operated by BT. Thanks to how memorable an 0800 number is, they became the dominant form of number. In 1994 operators other than BT could manage them.
By 1997 these numbers had become so popular that they created a new range to expand the amount of freephone numbers. These were 0808 numbers that are also widely used today.
Finally in 2015 all calls made to 0800 and 0808 numbers from the UK were free as it was announced that mobiles would no longer be charged.
So who uses 0800 numbers?
Technically anyone could use an 0800 however that is not the case. Having the receiver cover the costs of the calls means that is almost exclusively businesses that use them. When the customer is not worried about the associated costs of the call they are more likely to ring and stay on the call longer. This has obvious benefits to sales and marketing teams. It is also very useful in customer service for companies who wish to provide a good corporate image. In more recent times taxi companies and takeaways have started to take 0800 numbers as well as a local number.
What are the costs of an 0800 number?
This is a multifaceted question, here are the questions that it represents…
What is the cost of buying the number
Unless you have your own telecommunications network you don’t actually own the number. You rent the number from an operator that charges you to redirect numbers to your phones. Most companies will charge you a monthly free which will include the line rental and associated minutes. Here at alphaTALK we charge £9.99 a month which includes 5000 monthly minutes. We think it’s a pretty good deal.
If you wish to have a memorable freephone number such as 0800 177 5000 you may have to pay a one off connection fee. These are worth it because they will have been shown to increase incoming calls by 175%.
What does it cost to call the number
Since Ofcom changed the costs in 2015 0800 numbers are now completely free from either a landline or mobile as long as you are inside the UK. If you are outside of the UK, you will be charged a connection fee. These differ widely based on your location and provider so please check before ringing.
What does it cost to receive the number
The receiver picks up the charge that the caller would usually. It depends on the rates of the company but we charge a fee of 3p/min.
Do I have to be in a certain location for an 0800 Number?
0800 Numbers are not tied to any specific location. This means you can have them wherever you want. They tend to be associated with national brands. This comes in very handy if you want to sell across the country but only have one office. You could be operating out of Manchester but when someone in Brighton phones up an 0800 number they assume they will have a nearby presence.
Another useful thing is that if you move location you can take the number with you. Not only this but you can do so with no disruption to your incoming calls. We can simply set the redirect to a new number and you won’t have to change any of your marketing.
As they are not tied to a physical location this classes these numbers as virtual numbers. A virtual number is when one number is placed on top of another physical or VoIP number. Virtual numbers mean that you can get some cool features such as…
Divert to many
Whilst most alphaTALK customers only have their 0800 numbers diverted to a single phone number, some wish to have their 0800 numbers diverted to multiple phone numbers at the same time, for example to a group of sales people to ensure each and every call is answered.
As well as diverting an 0800 number to multiple phone numbers, it is also possible to divert our Alphatalk 0800 numbers based on time, or rules.
It is possible to divert to one phone number for a specific length of time, and if there is no answer, divert the call to a different phone number as a back-up to better guarantee it is answered. Also possible is diverting calls from your 0800 number based on the time of day, or day of the week. Outside of Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, you may wish to divert calls from your 0800 number to an out of hours service, with calls automatically returning to their default office destination on Monday at 9am.
0800 Numbers in modern business
The internet age has changed business in a way no one could have imagined. People ask, “Does this mean that phones are still important?”.
YES THEY ARE
In an age where people hide behind screens and conduct business with no personality phones provide a sense of humanity. This is true in business to customer but of paramount importance in business to business companies. A study showed that voice accounts for 38% of human communication as opposed to just 7% that the words spoken do. So when a face to face meeting is not possible phone conversation is king.
An 0800 number in business can be a sense of pride for some. A status symbol that you are a thriving business.
Used everywhere from television talent shows to offices of FTSE 100 companies, an 0800 number can be a step up into the elites of business.
Where are 0800 numbers heading?
As they have been a major part of business for over 30 years, some might question how much longer they are still going to be useful. With the advent of the internet and digital communication there has been some changes with these numbers. However it’s only strengthened them.
VoIP, Voice over IP, is a way of telephones communicating over the internet rather than traditional phone lines. This enhance the abilities of a traditional phone with amazing features that can increase productivity of an office. Which many of the previous features such as timed diverts and diverts to many there are also many more. When put in tandem with an alphaTALK hosted PBX system you can have phone organisation like never before. You can introduce call trees, call whisper, voicemail to email and many more.
Get an 0800 Number with alphaTALK?
Here at alphaTALK we’ve been providing people with phone numbers for over 20 years. We think we’ve gotten pretty good at it. Why not give us a call today on 0207 177 5000 to find out more. Or you can look at our selection of numbers.