Can your customers phone you for free?
The cost of telephone calls hit the headlines today, with the news that government departments are raking in £56 million a year by forcing the general public to call non-geographic premium rate numbers.
One thing that has changed in modern society is what’s classed as a premium rate number. It used to be telephone number beginning with 09, but increasing many consider an 0845 number (charged as a local rate call) as a premium rate and nowadays even 0800 free phone number.
The reason for this is we’re increasingly using our mobile phones to make calls. Many of my friends don’t even bother with a land line at home, and if they do have one they’re like me and never give the number out. It’s much more convenient to call someone’s mobile and get to speak to the right person than to call their house and end up with someone else answer the phone.
This does of course mean that only numbers included in your price plan are free. I can make unlimited calls to mobiles and landlines, but if I phone an 0845 number or even a supposed free 0800 number I’ll be charged.
What type of numbers are you using for your business? Can your customers call you for free on a geographic number or do you provide a local rate or even free (?) phone number? The chances are that your customers would much prefer to call your geographic number which for many is now the only phone numbers that are truly free to call.
0845 numbers haven’t been “local rate” since 2003. Additionally, 01 and 02 numbers are included in call packages on landlines and mobiles, while 0845 is never included on mobiles and rarely included on landlines.
Calls to 0845 numbers incur a 2p/min Service Charge to the benefit of the called party. This generally stops the call being inclusive in allowances. However, BT uses their market position to subsidise the Service Charge from monthly call plan subscriptions giving an illusion that 0845 numbers are cheap to call.
03 numbers are charged the same as 01 and 02 calls and inclusive from landlines and mobiles.
I think a few networks include a few numbers including 0845 numbers as part of the package.
I’m just a small seller so I don’t bother with supplying a phone number. I have heard from many people taking calls takes a lot longer.