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Getting through Without 0870 Numbers

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 18 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Communications Expert

What is a Non-Geographical Number?

Most of us will have – at some time – had cause to dial a 0870 or 0845 number. These numbers are what are referred to as non-geographic numbers because they do not correspond to a particular area or postcode. Most telephone numbers now begin with a prefix such as 02 or 01 but non-geographic numbers all begin with 08 or 09.

How are Non-Geographical Numbers Charged?

These numbers are charged normally at local rates which mean that you pay no more than five pence per minute per call. However this means that even if you only on the telephone for thirty seconds you will still be charged five pence for the call. Non-geographical numbers also make money for those companies who have them. They work like this: a percentage of the money made per call is given back to the company for using these numbers in the first place. So where a call might cost you ten pence the company you are calling may make three and a half pence whilst the service provider takes the rest.

I Have a Special Tariff for Free Calls During The Day, Is This Affected?

The answer to this question is yes. Most tariffs provided by telephone companies exclude so-called non-geographical numbers, mobile telephone numbers and premium rate numbers which begin with 09. All other telephone numbers are covered by these tariffs and as a general rule – unless told differently by your provider – you can call for up to an hour before being charged for the call.

The Companies I Call Have Non-Geographical Numbers, Will I Pay More?

If you have a tariff that gives you free inclusive calls all day then yes you will, simply because as we have already mentioned, these numbers are charged as local rate calls and a percentage of the profits go to the company with the number.

I Still Have The Company’s Old Number – Will It Still Work?

Unless the company in particular has had the number disconnected then yes it will. Basically all that happens is that the company’s original number is masked – this means that they still use the same line and the same number but the exchange re-routes any calls with 0845 or 0870 to them via that line. In essence what is happening is that you are dialling the same line using a different number.

If you have the original telephone number and it is still active then you can use it and in order to save money there is no reason why you shouldn’t. There is nothing illegal in this and you are not breaking any laws. Likewise if you have an all inclusive tariff that allows for free calls it is more cost effective to you if you do steer clear of non-geographical numbers.

I Don’t Know The Company’s Original Number – Is There Any Way To Find It?

Again the answer to this question is yes unless the company has completely disconnected the line and is using a new line with a new number. Try looking at the company’s website, sometimes their numbers – new and old are listed – and you can find them there. Alternatively online business directories and search engines can provide valuable information that is in the public domain such as numbers which have been masked by the company.

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