Did you know that the cost of making calls to telephone numbers beginning with 13 and 1300-local rate numbers-is often different from the cost of a local call?
Why are the prices different?
The cost of a local call depends on two factors:
- the telephone company that provides your fixed telephone service; and
- the local/long distance call plan that you have joined.
The cost to the caller when making a call to a 13/1300 number (a local rate number) from a fixed telephone service is determined by your telephone company and the particular contract/plan you have entered into with them. Local rate (13/1300) numbers are used to provide a central contact number for businesses and government departments. They make it easier for these organisations to manage their customer queries because they can use a centralised call centre. They also make it cheaper for consumers to contact these organisations as calls made by consumers to 13/1300 numbers are not timed or based on distance.
Therefore, long distance calls made to telephone numbers beginning with 13/1300 are charged at a low fixed rate regardless of the length of the call. Calls made from a mobile may be charged at a timed rate. On the other hand, calls to 190x numbers are charged at a premium rate.
Remember: Charges for calls to 13/1300 numbers do not have to be the same as charges for making local calls. If you have any queries regarding these you should check with your telephone company.
What is the cost of a call to a 1800 number?
Calls made to a 1800 number from a standard telephone are free to the caller. Calls made from a mobile may be charged at a timed rate.
Can I get a 13/1300 or 1800 number for my business?
1300/13 and 1800 numbers are provided to businesses by many phone companies. They can provide a single nationwide point of contact for your customers. You can nominate where calls are answered based on the call origin, the time or day and divert overflow calls to alternative locations during busy periods. A fee may be charged for providing you with one of these numbers and any other associated services.
What's the difference between 1800 and 1300/13 numbers for my business?
The only significant difference is how the call cost is divided. The cost of calls to 1800 numbers is paid wholly by you, the business owner of that number. Cost of calls to a 1300/13 number is shared by both the caller and the business, who pays the remainder.
13/1300 and 1800 numbers are a good way to attract business from anywhere in Australia. Remember, however, that if calls come from areas outside your local call area you may be charged at long distance rates for that call. You should consider how and where you market your 13/1300 or 1800 number, and make sure it is marketed in publications such as Yellow Pages® only in areas you provide services, to minimise both the cost to your business and the inconvenience to the consumer.
For more information about calls to 13/1300 and 1800 numbers, contact the ACMA's Telecommunications Licensing, Numbering & Submarine Cables Section, telephone (03) 9963 6800.
The ACMA has fact sheets on a range of topics.
Please note: this document is intended as a guide only and should not be relied on as legal advice or regarded as a substitute for legal advice in individual cases.