In October 2011 the European Union passed The Consumer Rights Directive (CRD) with the aim of simplifying consumer rights in certain important areas. It became UK law in December 2013 and comes into force across the EU in June 2014.
As a result of this EU businesses cannot incur their existing customers (your customers which are classed as consumers only, it does not apply customers that are businesses) costs beyond a local rate call to contact them.
There are some exceptions but essentially consumers calling them for support, service or billing must be able to do so without paying more than the local rate. This change is mandatory from Friday June 13th 2014.
In practice this means that 084 (including 0845) /087 and 09 numbers are prohibited and you should advertise a 01, 02 or 03 number, a mobile number or a freephone number for business-to-consumer business. 03 numbers represent a natural alternative where a geographic number.
What is wrong with 0845 numbers?
While 0845 numbers may be free for BT customers to call for up to an hour from a landline, other landline callers can pay up to 11p per minute plus a call set-up fee of up to 14p, and mobile phone users pay up to 41p per minute.
Calls to 0845 do not have to be included in service providers inclusive minutes or free call packages. Other 08 numbers such as 0843, 0844 and 0870, can be equally or more expensive, depending on whether you call from landline or mobile and your particular contract.
What is wrong with 0800 numbers?
Of course, 0800 numbers are familiar to practically everyone as a ‘free’ way of calling from a landline – but even these numbers are mostly charged for by mobile phone providers.
We offer a variety of different solutions to meet your number needs. Choose a number that suits your business and it will be activated immediately,please contact our Support Desk for available numbers and pricing.
Benefits of an 03 number?
By contrast, 03 numbers must be included in inclusive minutes and free call packages for both landline and mobiles which, with publicity, should make them increasingly popular with callers looking to keep costs down. The message here is that if you want people to call, 03 makes sense.
If you would like to change to a 03 number please contact our Support Desk.