The cost of dialling 0844, 0845 and 0871 numbers could be the difference between a client calling you or your competitor! What’s more, legislation has changed the scope of what these numbers can be used for.
On 13th June, 2014 the Consumer Rights Directive became law – including legislation relating to consumer service calls (like when you want to complain to a mail order company about a faulty item).
Using telephone numbers that charge above the basic rate for such service calls will now fall foul of the legislation. This range of numbers includes 0844, 0845 and 0871 numbers. Given that much of our day-to-day operations are subject to the mobile economy, this legislation does away with numbers that incur excessive charges from mobile phone companies. This extends to Premium Rate Service numbers beginning with 0871, 0872, 0873 and 09.
The Consumer Rights Directive only applies to B2C customers and not B2B. However, there is a wider issue with the use of 0844, 0845 and 0871 numbers as the main number for your business: people typically hate calling such numbers from their mobile phones as charges can be as high as 40 pence per minute or even higher. If your competitors have normal geographical numbers and you do not, then there is a risk you will get fewer enquiries.
Geographic numbers beginning with 01, 02 and 03, as well as mobile phone numbers, are effectively free-to-caller from fixed and mobile phones because they are included in contract allowances. Users of 084x and 087x numbers can exchange the second digit for a 3, with the rest of the number remaining the same.
If you are using 08 numbers for your business, maybe now is a good time to switch?