These days getting a telephone number for your business is simple, cheap and immediate - you no longer have to get BT to install a second telephone line to make and receive telephone calls.
And you can have any kind of VoiP telephone number you like and have as many as you like - it doesn't matter if you live in Basingstoke or Barcelona you can still have a number from any UK area code, from London to Lerwick.
Voipfone numbers are real Ofcom allocated telephone numbers; they can be called by anyone in the world and form any telephone network. You can do all sorts of clever things with our telephone numbers, like divert incoming calls anywhere, call other Voipfone users for free no matter where they are, use Voicemail and have your messages sent to you by email, receive a fax, add telephone extensions - it's a long, long, list and most of this is either free or very low cost.
Our geographic telephone numbers can even make you look like you live or work anywhere in the UK so that if you live in Basildon or Bangkok you can still have a London number (this service was featured in The Guardian).
However, telephone numbers are designed for different purposes so please read this carefully before choosing your telephone number.
If you are a business, telephone numbers form part of your brand and image and once the number is on your stationery, your shop signage and the side of your van, it's not easily changed so it's important that you consider the type of number to use carefully.
It's normally best to choose an 01 or 02 number but there are two other types you could consider:
0800 can be useful if you actively need customers to call you or
are running advertising campaigns.
03, if you need to have a 'national' presence.
Your number is safe with us; we're an established and highly regarded UK company and a member of ITSPA carrying their Quality Mark. Because we are ITSPA members, you can port (transfer) you number to many other members if you need to - including BT.
These are the normal, general purpose, everyday telephone number.
Geographic numbers traditionally show your location; 020 is London, 01273 Brighton, 0151 Liverpool etc. But with VoIP, they can be anywhere - you no longer need to be located in the area code of the number to use them - you can be anywhere in the world.
These VoIP telephone numbers are universally understood and should be your first choice for a normal businesses number.
Importantly, 01 and 02 numbers are included as 'free' to dial in mobile contract packages.
These are the only type of number that can be reliably dialled from anywhere in the world.
Calls to these numbers from BT landlines used to be charged at either local or national rates depending on distance to the caller but now it's one charge regardless.
These are new and replace 0870 as non-geographic (ie national) numbers.
They cost the same to dial as a call to a geographic (local) number and, importantly, they also cost the same to call from a mobile and payphone as from a landline and are included in mobile call packages.
There are two forms of 03 number:
030 - for use by charities and other not for profit organisations
like the BBC and doctor's surgeries.
033 - all other purposes.
With the exception of 0800, we recommend these numbers as a good alternative to other 08xx numbers.
Freephone numbers are used for marketing or for sales lines where the strategy is to attract customers to call you. Most people know they are free to call - so they're a good marketing tool. They are often used for short term marketing campaigns; different numbers can be used per advert to help tracking and calculating the relative success of different campaigns.
As the call is free to the caller, you are charged for the incoming call at 3p per minute (ex VAT).
0845 was introduced as a Lo-Call number as callers were charged at local rates (when called from landlines) no matter where they were.
At one time, there was no longer a different charge for local and national calls to ordinary geographic numbers so the marketing distinction was lost, and they were still slightly cheaper to call than geographic numbers (from landlines).
With the advent of UK Calling, the price of calls to these numbers has changed. Callers will be charged 2p per minute (inc VAT), plus their own phone company's access charge. We recommend the use of an 030/033 number instead.
They are often not dial-able from abroad and they can be charged at a high rate from mobiles.
These are new non-geographical numbers specifically for Internet Telephony, ie VoIP. VoIP companies can, and do, use any and every telephone number available so it's not clear why Ofcom designed these for them. We give you one for free with every account.
Their disadvantages are that the numbers are new and some networks don't route to them yet. At the time of writing, Orange is one major culprit but so are some overseas Telecoms operators.
Use them to experiment with VoIP but don't put them on your stationary.
Calls to them are charged at national call rates.
0844 and 0843 numbers were revenue sharing numbers ie. the owner of the number - usually the Telco or service provider - gets a proportion of the income generated from the call.
We planned to use these numbers to offer value added services in the future.
But with the advent of UK Calling, the price of calls to these numbers has changed. Callers will be charged between 5p and 7p per minute (inc VAT), plus their own phone company's access charge. We recommend the use of an 030/033 number instead.
0870 numbers were originally introduced as premium rate numbers for companies providing a service to their callers such as a help line. However, they suffered widespread abuse and Ofcom reduced their cost to call to national rates and removed the revenue sharing element.
Consumers generally dislike these numbers so they should now be avoided as a normal business number. If a national number is required, an 030/033 number is a better choice.
OFCOM have made changes to the pricing of calls to these kinds of numbers: 084, 087, 09 and 118.
The charge for a phone call to these numbers is split into an Access Charge and a Service Charge. The Service Charge is set by the telephone company that owns the number that is called. The Access Charge is set by the telephone company that sends the call to the number.
Our Access Charge is 9p per minute ex VAT.
The Service Charge will be added to this 9p Access Charge to give the total cost of a call to the 08 number called from Voipfone.
Unfortunately, the Service Charge component varies so we can't publish a single rate for calls to, for example, all 0845 numbers. The cost of calling an 0845 number from our network varies depending on how the called telephone company has set its service charge.
You can see the costs of calls to all 08 numbers from Voipfone by typing the telephone number to be called into our call cost calculator.
When you call an 084 or 087 number your bill will show the total cost of the call.
We've tried to make this as clear as possible, but, as you can see, it's not a simple thing to explain. Ofcom's information can be found here.
Volume discount savings are automatically applied on accounts with more than 10 UK phone numbers. Numbers 11-20 will be £2.50 per month, and 21 and above will be only £2 per month.
New technology can seem confusing at first, but don't worry, we are here to help!
Log in to your online control panel to configure your services. With Voipfone's online control panel you can manage your account in real time, from your PC anywhere in the world.