0845 numbers translated into real numbers

Provide a simple tool to translate a Government contact number / helpline (0845/0844/0345 etc) into a real geographic number. This means that those of us who pay for telephone calls in packages can call governement helplines for free. Adding a simple drop down list that provides number for selected helpline.

Submitter name: 
Adam Joseph



I share the sentiment. As an early example of greater transparency through 'people power' on the web, saynoto0870 does a pretty good job of publishing real alternatives. On the other hand, government departments could always reject the use of 0845 numbers.

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Alternative Numbers


You can also try SavvyCaller.com which lists out alternative freephone and local rate numbers for loads of UK businesses.

You can search by company name or by phone number.

Hope this helps.

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Avoid savvycaller

The savvycaller website seems to have changed ownership and purpose. Avoid it.

It now lists only non-official 0843 numbers which are non-inclusive and more expensive than calling the organisation on their official 01, 02 or 03 number.

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Already exists

http://saynoto0870.com/ already exists that does essentially the same job.

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The saynoto0870.com only

The saynoto0870.com only lists those numbers which other people have found by accident.  It does not MAKE organisations list geographic numbers.  Also it is not always up to date.  with the ammount of technology about these days I'm sure if someone calls 01935 and that call centre is busy it could be diverted to the 01392 etc etc.

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Benefits to NGNs

The problem with a geographic phone numbers for services is that it's impossible to move their location from one place to another without significant difficulty or expense in changing and publicising the new number.

For example, I know of one place where incoming calls are routed through a location over 100 miles away from where they're actually answered.

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The choice of non geographic number is the problem.

There is no problem with non-geographic numbers per se.

The issue is the choice of number used.

03 numbers are charged at the same rate as calling an 01 or 02 number and count towards inclusive allowances on landlines and mobiles. The additional call handling and call forwarding costs incurred because a non-geographic number is in use are met by the call recipient.

084, 087 and 09 numbers load the additional call handling and call forwarding costs on to the caller. From 1 July 2015 this will have to be declared as the Service Charge. Where there are excess funds left over after those costs have been met, the call recipient may receive a revenue share payment.

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toll free number

Toll free number such as the 0800 number offers free call. But most business uses 0845 due to the fact that they don't need to pay for the calls made by the callers.

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The problem with 0800 numbers

The problem with 0800 numbers is that mobile companies charge when you make them.

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0800 & 0808 - free from landlines & mobiles from 1 July 2015

Calls to 0800 and 0808 numbers (but NOT to 0500 numbers) become free from all mobile phones on 1 July 2015.

0500 numbers are being phased out on 3 June 2017. Users can move to the matching 0808 5 number before that date.

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You may also see the release of 0300 numbers which seems to be an useful halfway house. The numbers are non-geographic but also calling these numbers is increasingly included in talk plans. best of both

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The reason why they use 0845 numbers is so they can create virtual call centres.

This means that call volumes can be matched to call centres with more resource. Otherwise, if you use local numbers, one area may be experiencing high call volumes, and another sitting idle.

This is not possible with local numbers.

The other option would be to move to 0800 numbers, but would require an small increase in taxes to pay for it, I would estimate an extra quid or two a month.

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03 numbers have been

03 numbers have been specifically setup to allow non-geographic calls to be be made at the cost of geographic calls, however the take up of those new numbers hasn't been great.

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Who pays the additional call handling costs?

All 03, 08 and 09 non-geographic numbers offer the same call handling and call forwarding facilities.

The difference is whether the caller or the called party meets those additional costs.

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App that does that

There is an app for the iPhone that find alternative numbers for 0845 and other numbers.

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Legislation by OFCOM

I've heard that there is supposed to be some OFCOM legislation coming in soon to reduce the high call charges for non geographic numbers on mobiles, but I haven't really heard any news for some months. Does anyone know about it? For the time being, I would suggest the "0870" application for iphone and android phones, and also the popular "say no to 0870" website.

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The new call charge system for 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers comes into effect on 1 July 2015.

Ofcom has a website at ukcalling.info detailing the changes.

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Can't 0845 numbers be charged

Can't 0845 numbers be charged local rates by mobile operators (i.e., included in allowances) instead of trying to change the number?

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0845 hasn't been 'local rate' since 2004.

Whatever definition you might think up for 'local rate', calls to 0845 numbers haven't been charged that way since 2004. Indeed, call prices for calls to 01 and 02 numbers haven't been differentiated by distance since that time either.

Both Ofcom and ASA warned that 084 numbers must not be described as such in September 2005.

Those that need the technical benefits of a non-geographic number with calls costing the same as a call to an 01 or 02 number should select one from the 03 range of numbers.

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... superceded by the move to 03 numbers.

Now that the vast majority of government departments have moved their 0845 lines to either the matching 0345 number or to a brand new 0300 number there's no longer much of a need to go looking for alternative numbers.

Every landline and mobile network charges calls to 03 numbers exactly the same as whatever the caller pays to call 01 and 02 numbers. Increasingly, that's simply a monthly fee covering all such inclusive calls rather than any sort of charge per call or per minute.

Those that fail to complete the move to 03 numbers by 1 July 2015 will be forced by the new Ofcom rules that come into force on that date to declare the Service Charge which they and their telecoms provider benefit from when their 084 or 087 number is called.

Ofcom's ukcalling.info website outlines the new charging system for 084, 087, 09 and 118 numbers. Non-geographic 03 numbers offer the same technical features as 08 and 09 numbers but without imposing the additional costs on callers.

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