A guide to UK inbound telephone numbers

2 minute read

Got Your Number

0870, 030, 0844, 070… You will have seen these telephone numbers used for everything from customer services, TV show voting, charity donations and a whole lot more. But do you really know what each number’s purpose is and what type of service can be expected from each?

Understanding and staying up-to-date with the latest telephone number types can be arduous but don’t fret we’ve summarized them for you below. Don’t forget to download our infographic guide to inbound number features — why not print it out and pin it on your wall? We’ve got your number!

01 & 02 – Geographic Numbers

These numbers relate to specific geographical locations in the UK and are used for homes and businesses. For example, Huddersfield is 01484, Bath is 01225, Edinburgh is 0131 and London is 020. These numbers are used in business to drive ‘authority’ in a local area, as a single 07 mobile number presented may make the business appear ‘small’. Used with VOIP/SIP systems it's also possible for them to be diverted to mobile phones or even overseas destinations - but the cost of calling them remains the same.

03 – UK-wide Geographic Numbers

Many organisations use 03 numbers as an alternative to more expensive 08 numbers. The cost to call an 03 number is the same as the cost to call a standard geographic number. Many people view a number beginning with 08 as premium rate number, 03 numbers can help prevent this.

030 – Not-for-profit organisations

030 numbers were specially designed for not-for-profit organisations, charities and public bodies to offer consumers a single point of contact nationally. The BBC, the Met Police, the RSPCA, Oxfam and some local councils use 030 numbers.

07 – Mobile numbers

Standard UK mobile numbers begin with 07.

070 – Personal numbers

These are different from mobile numbers and calls to them are more expensive. They can be used as a “follow me” service where calls are diverted from another number. Small businesses and sole traders use them to make it easy to manage calls. Personal numbers are also sold on a one-off basis, for example when someone is buying or selling a used car and doesn’t want to advertise their private mobile or fixed line number on a website or magazine.

0800 and 0808 – Freephone numbers

A number of businesses and organisations use Freephone numbers, including some helplines and charities such as RNID or Age UK, as well as Government services such as Jobseeker’s Allowance.

0843, 0844, 0845 & 0870 – Chargeable 08 business rate numbers

These are used by businesses of all sizes for sales, enquiry and customer service lines. The banking and gambling industries are large users of these number types.

118 – Directory enquiry numbers

118 numbers are assigned to directory enquiry services. These numbers are also regulated by PhonepayPlus* and providers are required to state the cost of the call in their advertising.

09 – Premium rate numbers

09 numbers are mainly used for competitions, TV voting and chat lines. These numbers are also regulated by PhonepayPlus*.

With regards to setting up one of these numbers to be used within the business you work for, it’s best to speak to an expert. Different numbers can may have different requirements depending upon what type of services are offered by your business.

Immervox can also provide a bespoke tariff plan designed to save you money on your inbound telephone numbers so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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