03 numbers are the new non-geographic number range being released by Ofcom.
They join the ranks of 08 numbers, such as 0800, 0870 and 0845, but offer “transparent call charges and specialist variations which will make them the most customer friendly and talked about phone numbers in years”, say Windsor Telecom, the UK’s 2nd largest provider of 0845 numbers.
For the very first time organisations throughout the entire UK will be offered the opportunity to possess a highly memorable phone number beginning 03, where callers can be 100% confident they are not paying anymore than it would cost to call a standard landline (e.g. 01 or 02).
With recent negative attention focused on the high cost of calling 0870 numbers, 03 numbers have already been hailed ‘the angel of numbers’. What’s more, businesses and not-for-profit organisations will still be able to enjoy the valuable benefits provided by non-geographic numbers such as: instant number redirection, presenting a national identity (like 0845 numbers, 03 numbers are non-geographic), built in Disaster Recovery, call queuing, call statistics and information, and advanced call management.
Research by Ofcom states that:
“83% of SMEs who use them say NTS (Number Translation Services) numbers are important to them”, and, “the main reason given for use of NTS numbers is the flexibility they offer in terms of moving location and retaining the numbers”.
Unlike 0845 numbers where callers pay a local rate, or 0870 numbers where callers pay a national rate, 03 numbers will be fully transparent and cost no more than a standard landline phone call. They will be a true alternative to 0845 numbers, one of the UK’s most popular phone numbers.
Neil Sherring, Chief executive of Windsor Telecom, who report they have already been allocated a large selection of highly memorable 03 numbers in preparation for the launch, says, “03 numbers will be the ‘angel’ of numbers. Their introduction will enable public bodies and private companies to restore public confidence in calling them and create a clear understanding of call charges. As there will be no revenue sharing on 03 numbers, they are likely to be perceived as being more ethical and customer friendly.”
03 numbers spark from recent concerns over unclear call charges, and directly address some of the negative aspects of non-geographic numbers.
Windsor Telecom are predicting a stampede for 03 numbers and report that Google and Yahoo are already witnessing sharp increases in the search frequencies from key terms such ’03 numbers’ and ’03 UK Wide numbers’.