0800 Numbers: Everything You Need to Know

25th July 2019

0800 numbers are free-to-call. They allow consumers in the United Kingdom to call businesses in the country for free. In other words, the business has to incur the cost of the phone call.

We understand 0800 numbers quite well because we sell them. But the same cannot be said for most other people who use 0800 numbers but do not quite comprehend the minutiae that surrounds them.

So let us resolve some of that confusion by exploring a few notable facts about 0800 Numbers:

Origins

0800 numbers became universally free to call in 2015. But decades earlier, any consumer looking to make Freephone calls had to contact the operator to access a company’s phone system. You can blame British Telecom for eventually introducing 0800 numbers back in 1985. They were part of ‘Linkline’ and British Telecom hailed them for the toll-free services they would offer.

At the time, British Telecom was not the only service provider plying its trade in this area. You had other companies pushing prefixes such as 0500 and 0321.

However, as the years went by, other phone companies adopted the 0800 prefix, with the 0808 prefix eventually coming into the picture to provide extra freephone capacity. By the time the new century started, even old 0321 numbers had converted to the 0808 system.

Today, 0800 numbers are fervently sought after by businesses in the UK who rely on them to encourage interactions and engagements with prospective clients.

Purpose

0800 numbers are free-to-call. In other words, if an individual calls a firm’s 0800 number, the phone company will charge the firm. The caller doesn’t have to pay for the call even though they initiated it.

You can probably see how this might work as a marketing tool. Consumers are more likely to contact a business if they know that it won’t cost them anything.

The fact that 0800 numbers are non-geographic means that you can market your services to consumers beyond your local region. Many firms use 0800 numbers to create the impression that they have a national reach even when that isn’t necessarily the case.

Businesses also appreciate the fact that inbound calls to 0800 numbers can be redirected to any number, be it mobile, a landline, and even overseas.

Acquisition

To be fair, you can’t buy a 0800 number, not in the traditional sense. It is more of a loan because you have to make regular payments to a service provider that will then give you the right to use the number in a business context. The charges are normally paid on a monthly basis and they will vary with each service provider.

The quality of the deal you can expect to secure when acquiring a 0800 number will depend on the service provider you choose. Not all of them can be trusted.

International Calls

0800 numbers are popular because they permit clients to call businesses for free. However, that only applies to people who are making calls from within the United Kingdom.

If you call a 0800 number from outside the UK, you must pay for it, regardless of whether you are using a landline or a mobile device. Do not make the mistake of presuming that 0800 numbers are free for everyone regardless of their location. They were designed to simplify the lives of businesses in the UK.

If you have any questions about getting an 0800 number for your business, please call us free, on 0800 357 622 or see our Contact Us page.