0844 Telephone Numbers
0844 numbers are a premium rate telephone number that charges the customer a much higher cost than a standard or 0845 number.
Many national companies now use these numbers instead of the previous 0870 premium rate telephone number for customer service type queries and take a share of the call cost.
What is an 0844 Number ?
The 0844 telephone number means that the caller pays a flat rate to call the number at just 5p per minute from a BT landline no matter where they are in the UK although this varies with mobile phones and other telephone providers. The set up of 0844 numbers means that you as a business can earn revenues from this number and depending on the volume of calls you receive can be as high as 4p per minute.
Most household named companies have moved from the traditional 0870 numbers because of a recent Ofcom ruling about rates and charges and this is similar to how that previously worked.
The positives are that your business can revenue share on this number the negatives are that there are campaigns to stop companies using this to earn money from their customers and it's close to the local 0845 numbers that don't really have a revenue share although cost the customer almost the same to call that number.
How to use 0844 Numbers
Like all other special and premium rate numbers a 0844 number can be diverted to an existing landline or mobile number and are mainly used for larger companies to offset the cost of running a customer services department. Smaller companies may also use them to make themselves look at little larger as it's seen as a national number and you therefore don't need to put your home number onto your website. These can for example be redirected to manned virtual offices or telephone answering services to take your calls whilst you are out of the office.
How to buy 0844 Numbers
There are many online companies who offer 0844 numbers for sale from random type numbers to memorable numbers and activation is fast. All these numbers are released by Ofcom and many are provided by the major telephone companies like BT or cable and wireless and these providers are simply resellers of these. You can find suppliers by searching online.
How Much Will it Cost ?
The actual cost of owning a 0844 number very cheap because of the revenue sharing model and if you are not bothered on the number you receive then it can be completely free of charge. See some examples of the tariffs that these number providers are offering below.
Example 1 - standard number
Set up £0 - call cost to you 0p per minute - monthly line rental - £0 per month - revenue sharing - 0p per call. This simply means you can offer a 0844 number to your customers and they will pay 5p per minute to call you. However this company is taking any revenue sharing abilities away from you so watch out for these types of companies because in reality the revenue share is available for everyone - see next example.
Example 2 - income generating
Set up £9.95 - call cost to you 0p per minute - monthly line rental - £0 per month - revenue sharing - between 1p and 4p per minute - this is the standard model where you are required to pay a small set up charge and then get paid. The most basic is 1p per minute for up to 20,000 minutes of calls per month which is where most businesses would fall into. But if you generate over 200,000 minutes of calls per month you will be paid 4p per minute which works out at £8,000 per month of free money and this is why the major stores have these types of arrangements.
With the new rules surrounding the 0870 telephone number you may want to look at free 0844 telephone numbers for your business but build into your decision making the potential negative publicity surrounding these numbers as well.