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