Telecoms specialist DuoCall is urging businesses to replace 0845 numbers with cheaper 0333 numbers in order to improve customer relationships.
Rotherham-based DuoCall say 0845 and 0844 numbers are no long included in common mobile phone deals and could be off-putting to customers.
From June, it will be a legal requirement under a European Union directive for businesses to provide a standard rate number for customer service lines.
But DuoCall is going one step further and suggesting that all companies embrace cheaper lines.
Phil Coley, director at DuoCall, said:
“Industry statistics show that on average 32 per cent of all calls that are not included into a mobile tariff are calls to 08 numbers.
“Having a 0845 number could be a huge barrier to business and it could also land a business in court if it’s using 0845 numbers for customer service lines. Customers shouldn’t face high charges just to get in touch.
“Businesses should examine how their customers are contacting them.
“Do they call regularly from their mobiles or landlines? If so using 0870, 0844 or 0845 numbers can deter mobile callers as these numbers are expensive at up to 30 pence per minute and will put customers off.
“At DuoCall we are now changing our main number to 0333 313 5000 number which enables customers to contact us by mobile for the same cost as any other geographic number.”
The change in the law has been passed to ensure that no customer calling dedicated customer service lines is forced to pay the additional charges frequently incurred with 0845 and similar numbers.
High-profile names, including the Environment Agency and Tesco, have already moved away from the costly 08 numbers and towards cheaper 0333 numbers.
Phil Coley, whose business works across the UK and is the preferred telecoms supplier to the motor industry, said:
“We’ve gone one step further and introduced 033 numbers for all incoming support lines.”