How To Get a Free 0870 Telephone Number

0870 numbers are a premium rate telephone number that charges the customer a much higher cost than a standard or 0845 number.

Many national companies use these numbers for customer service type queries and consumer groups such as "say no to 0870 numbers" have developed to help people avoid them because of their costs.

What is an 0870 Number ?

The 0870 telephone number means that the caller pays an increased rate of up to 10p per minute depending on the customers landline provider. However, if they are with BT this is now included in their free minutes packages so there is no increase for them. Other providers still charge the premium which is 5p with Sky and 10p per minute with Virgin so not a great cost but higher than standard landline numbers.

Many household name companies still use these numbers for their main customer services because they actually receive a cut of the call cost from the number provider and is seen as a great source of income. New rules on the cost of 0870 numbers means if you wish to make money on this number then it's better to choose a 0844 number range in due course.

How to use 0870 Numbers

0870 numbers are mainly used by larger companies for customer services to make some money from the calls to cover the cost of providing customer services. Also some courier companies have 0870 and 0871 numbers to book collections of parcels. Although some of these calls are short in nature the volume adds up and the revenue gained can be significant.

Like all special numbers including the 0845 number these can be diverted to standard and existing numbers and hooked into main telephone systems the companies own. Depending on how large the company is they will receive anything from 2p - 7p per call although the new rules since August 2009 have changed this set up - see below.

New 0870 Number Rules

New Ofcom rules effective August 2009 means that customers can call 0870 numbers from a BT landline for free and if you are a 0870 number owner you will have to pay 2p per minute for any calls made on these numbers so it may be better to choose 0844 numbers or 0871 numbers if you want to make revenue from calls made to you. Additionally the rules state that if you want to charge your customers more than the standard rate you have to clearly publise on your literature or website exactly what those charges are. The new rules do not yet apply to 0844 numbers.

How to buy 0870 Numbers

There are many companies who offer instant approvals online for 0870 numbers so activation is fast. In fact all the numbers are provided by the major telephone companies like BT or cable and wireless and these providers are simply resellers of these.

How Much Will it Cost ?

The actual cost of owning a premium rate 0870 number is now different and many of the number providers are not selling 0870 numbers any longer as it make no sense due to the negative customer perception and the fact that revenue sharing is now limited. However if you still want a 0870 number here are some examples of the tariffs you would expect to pay.

Example 1 - standard number

Set up £9.95 - call cost to you 2p per minute - monthly line rental - £0 per month - revenue sharing - 0p per call. This simply means you can offer a 0870 number but in reality there are no real benefits to you as a business and the number, as perceived by customers as a premium rate number although the rules have changed, could actually put customer off from telephoning your business.

Example 2 - income generating

Set up £0 - call cost to you 0p per minute - monthly line rental - £0 per month - revenue sharing - 1p per call if there are over 10,000 minutes of calls per month. Here is a revenue sharing model where you receive 1p per minute from calls made to the number. The question to ask with all the negative publicity is "is it worth it?"

With the new rules surrounding free 0870 telephone numbers you may be asking yourself why you would implement this. In fact most of the major retailers who previously had 0870 numbers have now moved to 0844 numbers so this is something you might want to investigate if you want to earn an income from a premium rate telephone number.