Freephone 0800 telephone numbers and their lesser-known counterpart 0808 Freephone numbers have recently gained new appeal. Introduced in November 1985 they give the caller no charge for calling the Freephone number(s). The cost of the call is instead, picked up by the company that owns the Freephone number; making it more attractive to callers as there is no charge to them regardless of the call duration.
A major stumbling block in the uptake of Freephone 0800 and 0808 telephone numbers in recent years has been the meteoric rise of the mobile phone. Mobile networks would simply block Freephone 0800 and 0808 telephone calls or charge a significantly higher rate, with the exception of a couple of niche mobile operators.
“An 0800 number gives your company a national image and can increase incoming calls by up to 300% more than a standard number."
Since July 2015 all mobile operators in the UK were told by Ofcom to allow Freephone 0800 and 0808 calls over mobile networks with no charge to the caller. This resurrection has brought Freephone en vogue again for businesses looking to project a customer-centric ethos.
The statistics state that the quid pro quo for fronting the cost of the call to customers is a much higher level of existing customer satisfaction and retention along with vastly greater scope for attracting new business.
"Consumers see an 0800 freephone number as a sign that a company wants their business and is willing to remove the hassle and cost of contact."
(source: Henley Centre Telebusiness Survey)
Teleculture 2000 say that "63% of consumers prefer doing business with companies offering an 0800 freephone number."
The Henley Research Centre says that "68% of people feel that companies who offer 0800 numbers care more about their customers."