Understanding VoIP numbers & call charges | ACMA

Understanding VoIP numbers & call charges

This page gives an overview of issues if you have a VoIP service or are thinking of getting one.

Out-of-area numbers

Some VoIP services use numbers called out-of-area geographic numbers. This means, for example, you could have a number usually associated with Melbourne (03 9xxx xxxx) or another city, even if you live and use your VoIP service in Hobart.

Having an out-of-area geographic number can raise a couple of potential problems.

The first concerns call charges. For example, you live in Hobart but have a Melbourne (03 9xxx xxxx) number. If you receive a call on your VoIP service from a friend in Hobart, they would probably think they are making an untimed local call. However, they may be charged as though your service is at the location identified by your out-of-area number—in this case, Melbourne.

The second concerns number portability. At some stage in the future, you may want to change your service provider and keep the same number. You need to be aware that your new provider may not accept (or port in) your number.

Avoiding problems

Before you sign up for a VoIP service with an out-of-area geographic number, make sure your VoIP provider explains these potential problems. Also ensure you read and understand all the provider’s information.

If someone calls you and thinks they have been overcharged, they can complain to their phone company and seek redress. If they’re not satisfied with the response, they can complain to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

Related sites

Last updated: 17 December 2012