Contacting 08 and 03 numbers
08 and 03 telephone numbers are not linked to the location of the business or organisation. The cost of calling 084 and 087 numbers vary depending on your provider, but 03 numbers cost no more than a national call from any type of phone or provider. 080 numbers are free.
How much 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 allowances in the same way as calls to 01 and 02 numbers.
These rules apply to calls from any type of line including mobile, landline or payphone.
How much calls to 080 numbers cost
Calls to 080 numbers are free-to-caller from landlines and from mobiles when called from the UK.
How much calls to 084 and 087 numbers cost
Call costs for 084 and 087 numbers are split into two parts.
There's an Access Charge set by and paid to the benefit of the caller's landline or mobile provider and a Service Charge set by and paid to the benefit of the called party and their telecoms provider.
The Access Charge can range from 8p per minute from landlines up to 67p per minute from mobiles. Your phone provider must list the details in their tariff lists.
The Service Charge can be up to 13p per minute or per call for 084 or 087 numbers. The organisation you are calling must declare the Service Charge in close proximity to the number everywhere it is advertised or promoted.
Calling these numbers from outside the UK
Depending on the service provider within the country of origin, you may be able to call an 08 or 03 number from outside the UK. To do so, 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 080 number from outside the UK and you should check the cost of calling 08 or 03 numbers with your service provider. Alternative contact numbers for calls originating from outside the UK may be available for certain services.
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.
A feature of 084 and 087 numbers is that callers pay a Service Charge that subsidises the additional call-handling and call-forwarding costs inherent in the use of a non-geographic number. Anything left over may be paid to the called party as 'revenue share' and used to further subsidise other costs incurred in providing the service. There are no such additional charges with 03 numbers and so revenue sharing is not available on this range. Call charges for 03 numbers are set entirely by the caller's phone provider.