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Business telephone numbers explained

OFCOM measures to improve price transparency and strengthen consumer protection concerning 0870 numbers prompted us to create this guide.

It's not only the large businesses that can find these business number beneficial. Whether you want a number easy to remember, a number that doesn't identify your geographic location, or a free call number places like Planet Numbers are making the options cheaper and accessible for any sized business.

Telephone will always be an essential part of marketing, sales, supply and employer communication for businesses. Plus it is still the preferred way for customers to make enquiries about your products if they aren't in store to ask personally. There are different types of numbers available. To help the decision, read this easy guide:

How they work
  • An existing phone line or mobile phone is needed.
  • Buy a non-geographic number starting with 08 or 09.
  • The chosen supplier provides a Number Translation Service (NTS) which will automatically route calls to the destination you choose.
The Benefits
  • The number doesn't need to change if you move office or set up elsewhere.
  • Customers benefit from the single contact point and easy to remember numbers.
  • One number on all advertising and promotions alleviates the need to update material for marketing as often.
  • Calls route to wherever you need them. Maximises efficiency and less caller inconvenience.
The Costs
The typical charges, depending on the service and number type are:
  • One off connection fee
  • Monthly rental or management fee
  • Handling charge for each incoming call
Non-geographic numbers explained

0800 Free call phone numbers
One of the most powerful marketing tools a business can have. Free call numbers are a proven way to increase business and develop customer loyalty. These numbers allow customers to call your business for free from anywhere in the UK.

0845 Local call numbers
Local call rates from anywhere in the UK are not quite as effective as free call, but they certainly will have a marked impact on your business. They also promote customer loyalty. 0844 numbers are also available where the caller pays a fixed per minute charge from anywhere in the UK.
The Ofcom proposals stipulate that the charges to these numbers must be transparent and properly communicated.

0870 national call rate numbers
With a national presence these numbers are useful for a customer base that would normally need to pay a national rate. A revenue stream can be generated under certain circumstances.

090 premium rate
090 a revenue generating number used in the adult entertainment industry. Not recommended if not in that industry.

0870 and 09 numbers were used for added value services like helpline support, competitions or short term sales promotions, or even as a way of charging customers for low cost goods. Ofcom changes mean calls to these numbers are the same or less than the charge for a geographic number (starting 01 or 02).
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