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Withdrawal of 0500 Freephone Numbers

NumbersOld-style 0500 Freephone numbers are due to be withdrawn from service by 3 June 2017.

Originally created in 1982, no new 0500 numbers have been released since 1998, and the use of 0500 numbers by organisations has been in decline for a number of years now.  The majority of Freephone numbers now begin with 0800 or 0808, making the 0500 prefix obsolete.

Do you have an 0500 freephone number?

Organisations which still use 0500 numbers are being offered “matching” modern Freephone numbers beginning 08085.  So for example, 0500 123456 could be replaced by 08085 123456.  Note that organisations do not have to use the matched 08085 – you can choose a completely different number – but you will have to stop using the 0500 number by June of this year.

Now is the time to act.  You can run the two numbers in parallel to give your customers time to get used to the new number.  Speak to your number provider – they may be able to put a message on your 0500 number advising callers to ring your new number instead.  This will also give you time to update your marketing material and website with your new number.

Do you ring an 0500 freephone number?

If you regularly contact an organisation using an 0500 number, be aware that this number will stop working before very long.  It is worth checking the organisation’s website or other publicity to see if they have already issued a replacement number – as many have already switched.

Want to know more?  Get in touch!

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