0845 numbers

Are you using an 0845 number?

There was a time when, to allow yourself the best possible opportunity of engaging with new customers and to give the ultimate in customer service, that you just had to have an 0845 telephone number. This would mean that those calling you saved money as they were just paying a local call charge instead of a national.

If you really had a budget then you could push the boat out and offer an 0800 number – you would pay for them to call you!

And yes, it was a great idea and was indeed very successful in it’s time.

But things have changed…

Those 0845 & 0870 numbers now mean that when most calls are made, they actually cost the caller MORE! That’s because most household, business and mobile contracts now come with free minutes to standard landlines but these non geographic numbers are generally not included.

I know of a huge number of businesses who still insist on using these numbers and personally, I try to avoid calling them – how ridiculous is that – talk about customer PREVENTION!

So if you’re still using an 0845 or an 0870 number – look to get rid as soon as possible because I’m sure you will find that it’s actually costing you sales.

Here’s a useful site that allows you to find the real number.

One thought on “Are you using an 0845 number?

  1. Ian

    084 and 087 numbers have been an ever greater disadvantage since 2004.

    In 2015 you can still see many businesses describing 0845 and 0870 numbers as local or national rate. That hasn’t been true since 2004 and Advertising Standards warned against the practice in September 2005.

    Ofcom introduced 03 numbers in 2007. These are always charged at the same rate as calling an 01 and 02 numbers and count towards inclusive allowances on landlines and mobiles. Any user of an 084 or 087 number can simply move to the matching 034 or 037 number. Those who need a brand new number can select one beginning 033. Some are also able to select one beginning 030.

    084 and 087 usage is declining. The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 require post sales helplines used by retailers, traders and passenger transport companies to use numbers starting 01, 02, 03 or 080. The regulations came into force on 13 June 2014.

    The Cabinet Office has directed government departments and their agencies and “organisations across the wider public sector landscape” to use 03 numbers. The Guidance was published on 26 December 2013. Most have now complied.

    Financial institutions have been heavy users of 084 and 087 numbers. The FCA is currently consulting on bringing this to an end. Their work has,however, been overtaken by new Ofcom rules that shortly come into force.

    From 1 July 2015, all users of 084, 087 and 09 numbers will be required to declare the Service Charge wherever their number is advertised. Organisations using these numbers have only a few short months to justify their Service Charge and amend all their marketing and informational materials to declare it, else change their number to stop imposing it. This will catch sales and enquiry lines as well as financial services. Indeed, many of the banks have already swapped their 0845 lines over to the matching 0345 number.

    080 numbers have been free to call from landlines but charged when called from mobiles. Calls to 080 numbers become free from all mobile phones on 1 July 2015.

    Ofcom’s website describing the changes can be found at ukcalling.info and includes a useful three minute video.

    By the Summer we will have reached the point where, in the main, there are only four types of numbers:

    01, 02, 03 – inclusive in call plan, else charged at geographic rate

    071-075, 077-079 – inclusive in call plan, else charged at mobile rate

    080, 116 – free to call from landlines and from mobiles

    084, 087, 090, 091, 098, 118 – calls with an Access Charge and a Service Charge.

    The continuing decline in the Mobile Termination Rate will also lead to inclusive calls to mobile numbers from landlines.

    Work on sorting out a few anomalies, including 055, 056, 070, 076, offshore numbers, and so on, will continue in the background.


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