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0800 or 0845?

What's best for the cusomter and your business?

     
10:46 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I currently run a site and promote an 0800 number, over a year this has cost no more than about 40 a month in charges which I think is worth while - though I suspect it does encorage the time-waster sometimes!

Anyway, I'm now starting another business and wondering if an 0845 might be better. I'm presuming it's going to be a little cheaper than 0800, but I think there is more to it than that...

Anyone have any views on this?

11:25 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think either says to your customer 'I want your business'

From a customers point of view, I wouldn't not ring you, or choose another site, just because you use 0845

Personally I think the biggest advantage of 0800 and 0845 is that they are non-geographic. We are thinking about moving premises, which means a different dialing code and number. I wish I'd used 0845 when I started our site!

11:37 am on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Steve made a very good point about both numbers being non geographic (in UK terms). It also makes your business seam larger and to an extent perhaps more profesional.

You are right to say the 0845 numbers are cheaper, with 0800 you are basicaly footing the bill for all your customers calls. O845 your customer still pays local rate.

The one thing to watch out for is making sure your number was not pre-owned. I have heard of one horror story where a small compay aquiring a pre-owned 0800 humber only to get literaly hundreds of calls, with people thinkng they where calling the provious owner.

Mack.

3:06 pm on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A No-Brainer: always insist on an 800# or at least an 888. People recognize those as toll free. The other numbers, 877, 866, 855 etc aren't cheaper if that's what you mean.

In the USA, they are not reissued within one year, but you may indeed get "hundreds of wrong calls" (over several years)even with a long dormant number. At first, we got one or two wrong numbers a day for a few years. But the cost is microscopic...a few pennies a call. Yes, those calls can be distracting. By all means test the new 800/888 for a few weeks. Problems will surface quickly. Replace it in the unlikely event that you encounter a major problem.

4:02 pm on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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0800 is free for customers does 0845 makes them to pay?

can any one share some thoughts

4:11 pm on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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0845 is charged at local rate.

Mack.

6:13 pm on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm not aware of what 845 is. Don't think such a scheme exists in the US. But fully toll free (800#) is cheap.
8:02 pm on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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There's so many number prefixes these days, 0870, 0845, 0909 etc, that the consumer gets confused and they're always wary of dialling a 1/minute line.

I've found sticking to the 0800 (not even 0808) is the safest way as nearly everyone knows its free (except from a mobile).

if you shop around, thare are cheaper providers depending on your average call volume, so you might get it less than 40/month.

We operate freefone numbers for boths sales and customer service. yes it costs, but it shows you care and pays off in the long run.

8:10 pm on May 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Get a 0845 for the main website and general enquiries from non-customers.

Get a 0800 for your confirmed customers. Makes them feel special and fuzzy.

6:58 pm on May 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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As robjones2 says, everyone knows 0800 are freephone, but not everyone is aware of 0845, although they should be. I would stick with 0800, they are a little dearer, but probably worth it.

I have seen them advertised for 9.99 per month, which includes 200 minutes worth of calls.

0845's are cheaper, they come in at 9.99 per year. It's from a reputable company, sticky me for the link if you need it.

4:53 am on June 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Is this service reserved to people residing in USA. I am currently residing in UAE, any ideas how I can get toll free numbers to my business.

Habtom

7:46 pm on June 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You would probably need to speak to the countries main telephone provider (or one of the main providers). I'm pretty sure most countries utilise freephone numbers, but can't say for sure about the UAE.
6:55 pm on July 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I am English but live in Thailand. A huge headache is that direct-dialling to NGN's from overseas is often prohibited. I have to use a callback account and the charge I incur is a lot more than if I can call a standard number. Often I cannot give business to some companies because of this problem.

Whatever you go for I suggest providing an overseas contact number too if you want clients worldwide.

9:38 am on July 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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i think there is some confusion in consumer minds about what a 0845 number is and how much it costs. everybody knows what a 0800 number is though. from that point of view alone i would go with the 0800 number.
9:45 am on July 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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No, don't use 0845, customers absolutely hate them. And overseas callers won't get through.

Offer 0800 by all means, but make sure you offer a normal geographical number as well, or your overseas callers WILL have problems.

And 0845 is NOT a local rate number, it is a PREMIUM rate number. It costs significantly more than local rate numbers, and does not attract any of the discounts that local rate calls attract.

11:01 am on July 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>>And 0845 is NOT a local rate number, it is a PREMIUM rate number.

i'll second that, i think the whole 0845 number scam has gone a long way to discredit the industry.

i'd go 0800 - as stated above many times, everyone is confused about all the other numbers, they know that is free. remember all the controvesy over the directory enquiries number when the service became a free for all? lots of people had been thinking they were making free calls to the service before, many people are more wary now.

11:12 am on July 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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There's so many number prefixes these days, 0870, 0845, 0909 etc, that the consumer gets confused and they're always wary of dialling a 1/minute line.

That's a very very strong point.

0845 is a premium number

The fact that you think of it like that (and I'm sure that many do) proves the above point.

It isn't actually premium rate. The problem with 0845 is that they are not regulated by OfCom, which means that some providers (other than BT) charge them at higher rates than those specified by BT.

OfCom are currently talking about adding an overall cap to 0845 and 0870 at 4p/min, but the damage to the reputation of these numbers is already done. Which is a shame because they would actually be useful and a good idea if they didn't have that stigma and were regulated to protect the consumer.

And if they were regulated and capped, they would also be good value to your customer.

I think because of that lack of regulation and stigma, they are probably best avoided in favour of 0800.

TJ

11:28 am on July 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Maybe I'm in a minority, but I personally won't call 0845 (around 4p a minute) and certainly not 0870 numbers (around 8p a minute).

I especially find it baffling these days how many companies have 0845/0870 as a sales number. One example is hosting companies. There's companies I can think of that I was considering using and wanted to call them with a question, but just looked elsewhere.

As mentioned, I'm probably a minority in this matter and I'm sure many consumers aren't aware of the costs of calling 0845/0870, but I find these numbers especially insulting when you're on a call plan that gives you free calls, since all such call plans still exclude those two types of numbers. At the very least, include the geographic number too so those of us who want to call it can get savings.

However - taking my consumer hat off and putting my business hat on, if it's costing you 40 a month and you want to save, I would say that you could perhaps test an 0845 number for a few weeks and see if you have any reduction in calls, and whether any reduction in calls (if there is any) would lose you more than the 40.

5:24 pm on July 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Maybe I'm in a minority, but I personally won't call 0845 (around 4p a minute) and certainly not 0870 numbers (around 8p a minute).

You may be in a minority, but if you are, I'm in it too. I always use the excellent site saynoto0870 .com to find alternative numbers....

12:47 pm on July 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We use 0845s and to our knowledge (on a very busy set of phone lines) have never had a complaint about it. We do show our normal landline number (much smaller) on our letterhead, for the sake of international enquiries.

The call is billed at local rate, which is better than dialling us at national rate (obviously). Admittedly some people on fixed price calling plans might lose out a little, but in my reckoning this is still the minority of customers (I bet half the country are still on BT Together option 1).

It is not governed by Ofcom (or for that matter ICSTIS) as it is under 10p per minute, which I think is their threshold for what is determined as being 'premium' and what is not....ICSTIS approval requires all sorts of paperwork I think.

5:12 pm on July 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I personally use 18866/1899 for my calls which has saved me hundreds of pounds through effectively free local/national calls.

Because of this I'm especially sensitive to any 4p/8p a minute number - especially - if they're sales lines, and frankly refuse to call them.

7:15 pm on July 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I personally use 18866/1899 for my calls which has saved me hundreds of pounds through effectively free local/national calls.

I am the same, plus I use Vonage VOIP. Either way it's practically free to call a geographical number. Makes even 4p a minute seem rather pricey. Considering I can call France, Germany or the US for half that or less...

Considering that 99% of 0845 or 0870 numbers are actually just redirecting to a geographical number, it does seem like a good way to put money in the pocket of your telco provider.

Besides, having a local number will lead to more sales than a nongeographical number, for that region. Having a central london 0207 number will give the same respectfullness, if not more, than a 0845 0870 number.

6:36 pm on July 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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i always thought 0845 were 1p off peak, 3p peak (standard local rate). The people that i mentioned earlier that sell the 0800's also sell 0845's for 9.99 a year, the call charges to the customer are as follows;

Off peak - 0.86 pence per minute
Peak - 3.6 pence per minute, which is the same as local rate near enough, but like someone else said, the damage is already done.

7:40 pm on July 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Nonsense,

We changed to an 0845 number and our telephone calls increased and so did our sales!
People in the UK see 0845 on their gas bills, electric bills and more and know they are cheaper than 0870 etc.
We put on our website 0845 000 000 (not real number) and underneath "local call rates"
It works well.

Bek.

8:29 pm on July 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We put on our website 0845 000 000 (not real number) and underneath "local call rates"
It works well.

It may work well, but IMHO it is misleading (within the meaning of Part III of the Consumer Protection Act 1987).

jules.

12:18 pm on July 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Non geographic numbers are essential for businesses with 0845s being pretty much a necessity these days.

I had a client that moved four or five miles across the town we live in. Because that area had a different telephone exchange (and number base) the client couldn't port their 01#*$! area code and number to their new premises.

For a business a problem like this is -very very- damaging, and will annoy your customers much more (IMHO) than the fact they have to pay 3p or so per minute to ring you (via an 0845). I can see the argument for abolishing 0870 numbers, but 0845s are useful.

Home based businesses (as well as the company I work for, I also run a business from home) can also benefit, since my number can be remapped online, thereby allowing calls to be routed to another landline (i.e. my brother when I am on holiday) without any cost to me OR disruption to the business.

Perhaps BT should consider including them in calling plans, and charging businesses a (small) amount for the privilidge of using one (like less than 50 per annum). Our 0845 numbers cost absolutely nothing per month or per annum and we wouldn't mind paying a little for the privilidge if it benefitted our customers.