How To Get Free 0845 Numbers For Your Telephone System
The 0845 type of telephone number has been around for many years although it's not free to call, there are options available, so there is no cost to you.
Free 0845 telephone numbers are easy to get and buy online from many providers and although there are campaigns such as the "say no to 0845 numbers" the actual calling charges are quite minimal.
What is a 0845 Number?
The 0845 telephone number means that the caller just pays a local call charge rate to dial the number that is between 3p and 5p depending on where they are. BT also recently announced that calls to this number are part of their calling packages so don't actually cost BT customers anything to call to. People are wary of calling these numbers because they're deemed premium rate, but the 0845 number was never designed in that way. In fact, when national call rates were around, it was set up so that no matter where you were in the UK, dialling an 0845 number meant that you only ever paid the cost of a local call. It's thought that BT will phase out 0845 numbers in the future, but this has not been confirmed.
How to use 0845 Numbers
0845 numbers are mainly used by smaller companies not wanting to disclose their actual home telephone number or for all companies using specific numbers in direct mailing campaigns so they can track the performance.
These special numbers can be diverted to any existing telephone number including mobile phones. Once such use is to redirect to a virtual office telephone answering service. It can also look more official on websites and literature if you're a one person sole trader business. So rather than adding your home number, you use a 0845 number. This "bigs" up the company to make it look and feel larger than it really is, and adds a touch of professionalism.
How Much Will These Numbers Cost?
The actual cost of owning a local 0845 number is much less than you think and in most cases is completely free of charge. The companies that offer you these services take a small cut on any calls made on the number from the wholesaler (eg: BT) so make their profits that way. So if you just want a number and are not too worried about the actual digits used it will be free. Premium numbers that are more memorable cost a little more. Here are some examples.
Example 1 - Standard Number
Set up £0 - call cost to you 0p per minute - This is a completely free service to you as the owner of the number and you can divert the line to another number. This type of option would allow you a random 0845 number.
Example 2 - Premium Number
Set up £1,000 - monthly line rental of £0 - call costs 0p per minute. Here you would choose a number that that is memorable and looks good on any customer facing material. Many companies have a batch of good numbers that you can choose from but before you spend the money just ask yourself if this is a good investment. It may be worth going down the completely free route first to test the reaction from your customers and move from there.
Having 0845 telephone numbers for your business could be a good option especially if you're a sole trader and want to make your company feel bigger. The costs to you are free, so it's worth trying it out.