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  • Ian M

03 Telephone Numbers Tariff for Business Call Handling

For many years lots of organisations used 08 telephone numbers, typically 0870 and 0845 numbers.  They were widely used by call centres and others offering services across the UK as they are called non-geographic numbers, they do not indicate where the organisation is based, unlike the normal 01 and 02 codes used in the UK which are for specific areas.

The problem with the 08 numbers was that the cost of dialing 01 and 02 numbers fell sharply over the past 10 years, but calls to 08 numbers did n’t and there was lots of confusion in the public about how much it cost to call an 08 number.  This was compounded by telecoms companies not including 08 numbers in the minute bundles.  For these reasons 08 numbers fell out of favour.

To address this Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, introduced the new 03 range of telephone numbers some years ago and they have taken a while to catch on, but organisations are now making the change from 08 numbers to 03 numbers.

If you provide a service across the UK and don’t want to be tied to an 01 or 02 area number then an 03 number is the right choice, mainly because the caller will pay the same rate as calling 01 or 02 numbers, and if you have a bundle of minutes on your landline or mobile calls to 03 numbers should be included within the bundle.




I have checked the main mobile networks and they all have statements relating to 03 numbers. An extract from the Vodafone terms and conditions for one of their tariffs clearly shows, highlighted, that 03 numbers are treated the same as 01 and 02 numbers.



Vodafone confirming 03 numbers are treated like 01 and 02

O2 also have a statement, but it looks like they are introducing the changes on 1st July 2015.



Big organisations have already made the change,  including banks, gas and electric providers,  and national organisations like the RAC.


Office Answers can provide new 03 telephone numbers with calls routed to you directly, via our automated phone answering systems, or to our live receptionist service.  Please contact us if you are interested in obtaining an 03 telephone number.