I recently asked if anyone knew what an 03 number was?
"An 03 number is a number you don´t answer!", came a reply.
In fact UK 03 phone numbers have been in existance since 2007 and were designed to ensure callers were charged a fair price over and above premium rated numbers when calling customer service or suppoprt lines.
03 numbers are non-geographic numbers meaning they are not tied to any particular location – so in that regard they are the same as 0844 or 0845 numbers. But where UK 03 Numbers differ from the 08 ranges in that they are cheaper to call and rates are the same as a local landline call - even from a mobile.
03 numbers were introduced by Ofcom in 2007, as an alternative to chargeable 08 numbers, to give consumers the confidence about the cost of calls. Dialling 03 numbers cost no more than a national rated call to an 01 or 02 number, and must count towards inclusive minutes on tariffs.
Legislation enacted on the 13th June, 2016 has made it illegal to use premium rate 084 and 087 phone numbers for customer service and complaint lines. This is part of Ofcom’s Draft Bill on Consumer Rights, which implements the EU’s Consumer Rights Directive.
As a small business you may very well believe that Ofcom’s change is not going to impact you, but with 084 ranges popular for sole traders and tradesmen - many of these businesses are unaware that they risk a fine as they are not providing an alternative to their single point of contact.
Regarding our original question, 10 years on and there is still huge confusion over 033 numbers, and in fact all the non-geographic numbering in the UK, so whilst it might be good to include an 033 number for customer service or support lines, good old fashioned 01 and 02 local numbers are best for outbound calling with a far greater chnace of pick up.
At Riptec, we can supply numbers from any of the UK number ranges including 033 numbers as well as numbers from any UK city as part of our full range covering over 9000+ cities aroound the world.
Our numbers are low cost and can be used in conjunction with mobile phones and office switchboards, to ensure you never miss a call.