Contacting 08 and 03 telephone numbers
Unlike your home phone number, 08 and 03 telephone numbers are not linked to the location of the business. The cost of calling 08 numbers can vary depending on your provider, but 03 numbers cost no more than a national call from any type of phone or provider.
How much do calls to 08 numbers cost?
If you are a BT customer the cost of telephone calls to 08 numbers are regulated by Ofcom (Office of Communications).
0800 and 0808 Freephone numbers are free of charge for BT customers.
For the cost of calls to all other 08 numbers use the Ofcom link below.
Other providers' charges, including mobile phone providers, are not regulated so the cost could vary. You should contact your service provider for more information.
How much do calls to 03 numbers cost?
Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number. They must also count towards any inclusive minutes in a phone contract in the same way as 01 and 02 calls.
These rules apply to calls from any type of line including mobile, BT, other fixed line or payphone.
Revenue sharing – where the dialled organisation can receive a share of what the consumer pays to make a call – is not available on calls to 03 numbers.
Calling these numbers from outside the UK
If you need to call an 08 or 03 number from outside the UK, you will need to drop the 0 from the start of the number and instead dial 44 followed by the rest of the number. You should note that it will not be free of charge to call an 08 number from outside the UK.
What are the benefits of these numbers?
08 and 03 numbers support a range of call systems and services that allow call centre operators to answer calls more quickly.
As 08 and 03 numbers are non-geographic, customers can often be put through to several locations (such as three call centres using the same number), or can be put through to the nearest call centre to where they are calling from.
These numbers often include a disaster recovery system meaning if, for example, one call centre has been affected by a flood, then all calls would be re-routed to another call centre using the same number.
Another feature of 08 numbers is they allow organisations the option of 'revenue sharing'. This is when the organisation is able to charge for the services they offer, such as having a call centre open 24 hours or payment for an advice line, by receiving some of the cost of the call.