Goodbye to 0844 / 0845 and hello 0330 and local rate
Goodbye 0844, 0845 and 0871, should you embrace 03 numbers?
Will the imminent introduction of an EU Consumer Rights Directive on the 13th June 2014 signal the beginning of the end for 0844, 0845 and 0871 customer service numbers?
What you need to know
This directive demands that businesses using 0844, 0845 and 0871 non-geographic number types for customer support or complaint purposes must switch to basic rate numbers beginning 01, 02, or 03, or free numbers.
What should you do if this affects your business?
Firstly, check the directive guidance to see if your business type is affected. Some business types and non-customer service lines are exempt.
Even if your business type isn’t listed in the directive today there’s a strong chance that it will be in the future or you may find customer dissatisfaction increasing and pressure mounting to make the change anyway.
Decide what number type you want to adopt. See “Is 03 right for my business”.
Contact your telco and ask how they will support you through the transition. Understand their solution and the associated costs – it could be an opportunity to review your inbound services and look for something more aligned to your current and future business needs. Many businesses today are looking to improve business continuity or achieve cost savings.
Should your organisation switch to 03 numbers?
01 and 02 prefixed numbers are very familiar to us all – referred to as local or geographic numbers. They give a local service perception to customer service.
03 numbers were first introduced as non-geographic numbers charged at geographic rates in 2007 and are the closest equivalent of the 08 numbers you need to replace.
Movement away from 0844, 0845 and 0871 in order to comply with the directive is a given, but what are the benefits of moving to 03?
For the consumer, calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to 01 or 02 numbers and revenue sharing is not allowed. Consumers will need to be informed of this and this may take a little time.
Switching to 03 may be the simplest direct replacement. However, whether you adopt 01, 02 or 03, calls to any of these number types can be delivered to a single centralised call centre or dispersed teams of agents anywhere under your control by migrating to SIP-Trunking or through the adoption of a cloud-based number management solution. Such solutions bring greater flexibility, technology choice and resilience across all number types.