Ofcom withdrawal of 0500 numbers

Ofcom withdrawal of 0500 numbers

0500 numbers to be phased out in June 2017

Back in 2014, Ofcom announced their decision to withdraw the 0500 Freephone number range from use, and the day of their demise is now nearly upon us.

0500 was one of the traditional two Freephone prefixes alongside 0800, and was created in 1982. But new 0500 numbers stopped being allocated twenty years ago in favour of a gradual focus on its better known 0800 counterpart.

Ofcom has now taken the decision to withdraw all remaining 0500 numbers given the low consumer awareness and the long-term decline of its use by service providers.

0500 numbers will stop working on June 3rd, and TalkTalk Business customers currently using the 0500 prefix have three options:

  1. Switch to 08085: Ofcom has issued the Freephone number “08085” as a replacement for 0500 numbers, and is followed by the last 6 digits of the existing 0500 number. There would be no changes to the current call charge rates.
  2. Choose an alternative: we provide both 0800 Freephone and 03 prefixes which are amongst the most popular customer contact numbers in the UK and are widely recognised.
  3. Let it be retired: Organisations that have 0500 numbers but no longer use them can choose to do nothing and the number will be automatically be retired with the Ofcom withdrawal on the 3rd June.  

We can also set up a redirection service on existing 0500 numbers, so that your customers know when the number will stop working and what the replacement number is. This service will function on the existing 0500 number, until the 3rd June 2017 switch off.

Any Partners needing to migrate their 0500 numbers should contact TalkTalk Business Number Translation Service (NTS) provisioning team. To discuss taking an alternative number range such as 03, please contact your Account Manager.