0800 Numbers Explained

24th November 2019

Chances are you’re more familiar with 0800 numbers than you might think. It’s one of the most frequently used phone number prefixes in the UK, with tens of millions of lines using it.

Whenever you hear one of those advert jingles where they sing out the phone number at the end, chances are it’s an 0800. But what are 0800 numbers?

Why do they exist? Do 0800 numbers cost anything? What is the benefit of using them and calling them? What makes them good business phone numbers?

Read on to find out.

What Are 0800 Numbers? 0800 Numbers

Put simply, 0800 numbers are UK phone numbers that are described as ‘non-geographic’. This means that the number is not based on any particular area code and can be used by anyone nationwide.

The 0800 number as we know it was introduced by the former state-run telecoms giant British Telecom in the 1980s, as a way of providing free phone services to businesses and service providers.

These days, 0800 numbers are the most popular for businesses.

Are 0800 Numbers Free?

If you’re unsure about the 0800 numbers cost, what you need to know first and foremost is that they are free to call. The entire purpose of an 0800 number is that the cost of calling one is covered by the receiver, rather than the caller.

In the UK, up until 2015, the cost of 0800 numbers to the caller was determined by the provider. Only some service providers didn’t charge for them.

However, the telecoms regulatory body Ofcom passed a law mandating that all 0800 numbers should be free to call. This means that an 0800 number is, by definition, free.

However, this does not mean that they are free for businesses. As a business, you will most likely ‘rent’ an 0800 number from a telecom provider or third party company.

It won’t cost much, but you will be bearing the cost of the calls, rather than the customer.

What is the Benefit Of Using 0800 Numbers?

The benefits of 0800 numbers for your business are numerous. The most obvious one is that customers have fewer barriers between themselves and your business.

If you charge customers to contact you, it is obviously less likely that they will want to pick up the phone. Having a free-of-charge contact number means prospective customers and clients may be more willing to get in touch.

It will also improve the level of support and customer service you can provide, as customers never appreciate having to pay for support.

In addition, 0800 numbers have the added benefit of being really easy to memorize. This means that choosing an 0800 number may be a smart choice for your marketing purposes.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

It’s important to note that if a customer asks “are 0800 numbers free?”, the answer is not always “yes”. If a customer is calling from outside of the UK, they will naturally have to pay for the call.

They won’t be charged by you, but they will be charged standard rates for making an international call. This is unavoidable, but worth repeating.

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The right phone number can turbocharge your business.

To learn more about how 0800 numbers can benefit you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts today.