World Cup 2018 Fan ID, Promo and General Location Info

The World Cup is finally upon us once again and this time it’s in Russia. From Saint Petersburg to Sochi, the locations cover a large area.

Fan ID

An interesting part of the trip to this World Cup is the Fan ID identification that is required for attending the event and also linked from fifa.com (http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/organisation/fan-id/index.html).

https://www.fan-id.ru/ is the official URL for the FAN ID page and it appears to allow an ease of travel throughout Russia for the World Cup with Visa free Entry and Free Transport supplied with the FAN ID

However there is a disclaimer from Fifa denying any responsibility in the actioning and use of the FAN ID.

Reported Contact information for the Fan ID is:

Russia Stadium Locations

Locations for the stadiums with local dialling codes are:

  • Saint Petersburg – 812
  • Ekaterinburg – 343
  • Nizhny Novgorod – 81622
  • Kazan – 843
  • Moscow – 495/496
  • Kaliningrad – 401
  • Saransk – 834
  • Samara – 8462
  • Volgograd – 8442
  • Rostov – 863
  • Sochi – 862

Promotional Offering

As part of the celebrations of the World Cup we will be offering a promotional code for 20% off any country phone number, that we supply, that participating in the world cup. Look out next month for the promotional code.

Countries Participating:

Egypt Australia Belgium Costa Rica Argentina
Morocco IR Iran Croatia Mexico Brazil
Nigeria Japan Denmark Panama Colombia
Senegal Korea Republic England Peru
Tunisia Saudi Arabia France Uruguay
Germany
Iceland
Poland
Portugal
Russia
Serbia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland

 

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A GDPR Summary

GDPR is upon us and no matter if you’re a small or large business, everyone is affected. The GDPR summary encompasses growing concerns over security breaches in recent years, which has prompted the EU for changes in the way businesses are storing, transferring and handling customer data.

Fines are imminent to businesses who are not looking to comply with the new GDPR compliance after its completion deadline of the 25th May 2018. The maximum fines being 4% of global turnover for the most serious of infringements.

Privacy is Key For GDPR

Privacy of customer data is the key ingredient here and making sure that your business is a) handling that data correctly and b) getting the right consent to process the customers data.

Previously, terms and conditions could be used, but in a GDPR summary these conditions of consent are stronger and you are required to make it easy for the customer to understand their committent of details and making it simple to withdraw consent.

An example of this could be credit card details you take over the phone. Are you simply just writing them down or repeating them out-loud when dealing with a customer? You need to handle your customer data correctly in order to be more secure.

We offer Secure Phone Payment Services
Call 0207 760 7600

Secure Personal Data

However, you could secure yourself and your customers by incorporating different technologies into the business. An example for credit cards would be a PCI compliant software that hides card details during a transaction. Secure for you and the customer.

You can cover yourself in other areas by adding encryption on databases and backups. Make sure you do not write down customer details or send over unsecure channels.

Also, taking a customers consent correctly for marketing and future contact is important, and you need to make removal off of these lists simple and easy. Also, make sure your businesses access to customer data is also limited.

As with anything like this you should take the appropriate action and get professional advice from legal and qualified entities that can advise your business.

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Using An SMS Broadcast Service

An SMS broadcast service is a handy little feature that helps you save time and money. It is a service that delivers the same SMS message to multiple people, at the same time, instead of you retyping or resending an identical message yourself.

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GDPR and SMS Broadcast Service

SMS broadcasting is ideal for marketing, but with the likes of GDPR upon us you now have to be careful with how you utilise the marketing part of the service. You need to make sure contact numbers have opted in ‘to be contacted’ and are also given the ability to opt-out.

The opt-in can be classed as a ‘soft’ opt-in, if the contact is a current customer, or an ex-customer. You will still need an opt-out option and can only detail services the contact has, or has previously had.

Remember, it’s your responsibility to look after contact details and respect the rights of the owner.

Business Uses for SMS Broadcast

SMS marketing is just a fraction of what an SMS broadcast can be used for. It has a multitude of functionality for your business needs:

  • Service Updates (has something happened to an existing service?)
  • Staff Updates (for shifts or changes)
  • Reminders (for scheduled events, etc..)
  • Cancellations

These types of SMS broadcasts are beneficial to your current customers. The service itself saves you time in actually having to setup manual messages. Instead you can broadcast them to a range of approved numbers.

This helps with keeping your customers or staff better informed, and at a relatively cheap price. It avoids the hassles of email responders, email previewers and failing email addresses.

You can view SMS broadcast costing here and make sure that you’re keeping up-to-date with recommended products by checking our blog regularly.

 

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How Do I Get A Toll Free Number?

One of the most common questions that we are asked is “how do I get a toll free number? So let us explain how and why as while it’s not always straight forward for us, it’s easy for you. But to answer this we need to first understand what a toll free number is!

What is a Toll Free Number?

Toll free numbers are essentially free to call phone numbers. The UK version of a toll free number would be a 0800 number, for example.

Toll free is the generic term given to these free to call numbers and while we call them 0800 numbers, we can’t use this term in other countries as they may use a different number range for their free to call numbers. Like France uses 0805, for example.

How Do I Get A Toll Free Number?

Firstly, you need to be looking at the location that you require a toll free number in. If it’s the UK then several companies are able to supply these solutions. If you are looking for an international base of toll free numbers, you need to be looking at specialised companies like us, that have the expertise to deal with the legislations and sporadic changes that happen with international toll free numbers.

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All those International Choices! Where can I get? What Works?

For example, plenty of locations have a surcharge on their local toll free numbers, not having the correct facts upfront can cost you. Also, some of these numbers aren’t actually obtainable right away and do require a lead time to become available.

Then you have all the costings and rates, including redirection costs and the surcharges; previously mentioned. This is where we can advise you of these costs and provide you with a simple monthly rental and a call rate, making the process extremely easy.

Why Do I Need A Toll Free Number?

This should be the main question outside of “How do I get a toll free number?” and it’s an important one in addition to choosing the right location or number.

You can use international toll free to advertise to a countries local customers, for example. It’s quicker, cheaper and simply more efficient to get an international toll free number setup and advertised rather than spending time and resources obtaining in-country premises and staff before you have a need.

Another example could be your product is internet based and available internationally. You need to support your customers and staff in international areas. An international toll free number is a much quicker and efficient solution to open communications, than having a host of international premises.

Even if you did open offices internationally, you can centralise your phone numbers and keep them organised and configured from one location instead of through several different channels.

There are many options for toll free numbers and we can help your company with the majority of them. Our main aim is to make the process easy for you and establish a number you can use with confidence.

 

 

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What Business Phone Number Do I Get?

The world of phone numbers can get very confusing with the amount of options out there. So we answer the question: What business phone number do I get?

What is Your Business?

The easiest part of the process is working out what your business is and its need. This helps identify what phone number is best suited to your business.

No-one knows your business better than you. So are you a new start-up or a small business? Do you work around several different areas or even deal with International customers/locations?

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Do you know which one leads you on the right track?

For example.. You are a window cleaner with jobs across several close towns in the UK. People will more likely look for a local window cleaner for the job instead of a big, national firm.

So instead of advertising one phone number for a central location, you want to look at several local areas in close proximity to you, obtain phone numbers for those locations (UK local numbers), have them all divert back to your mobile phone and advertise them out. This makes your business seem local to that area, broadening your advertising easily whilst having these calls diverted to your mobile when you’re on the move.

Let’s look at another example. You’re an electrician and expanding. Local areas are handy, but you might want to make the business look bigger, as being local isn’t such a necessity, but you also want to entice callers. You could look at the likes of 0800 phone numbers.

0800 allows you to be non-geographic, so you’re not looking like the small local firm. It also allows people to call you for free, meaning you’re encouraging calls.

Larger Business? What Business Phone Number Do I Get?

While the above examples still apply to larger businesses, you obviously have more areas or a bigger customer base, so what business phone number do I get?

Perhaps you’re an internet business with trade all over the world. The hardest thing can be supporting or even advertising your business in international locations. There can be costs, staff, laws and many other implications. Instead you should look at International Toll Free numbers to help you out.

International Toll Free numbers work like the UK 0800 number by allowing free calls within the purchased country and as they are local looking numbers, people know what they are calling.

Universal Toll Free also works in a similar way, but it’s only one number for multiple countries. You possibly only want to use this if you have a specific need, like small packaging where you can only fit a certain amount of characters and need that universal appeal.

Then there are local international numbers which could be used to advertise locally in that country, or be a cheap method for your overseas employees to call you on, instead of paying international calling rates.

As you’ve read, there are many options out there, having their own business benefits. Whether your business is large or small, the phone number you get can make a big impact.

It’s likely that this main point of contact could be the factor that leads to your businesses success or failure.

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Porting Business Phone Numbers

If you are not aware, porting business phone numbers is a standardised process that providers have to adhere to. Certain numbers cannot be ported, but the majority can be.

Just because you have a phone number through a certain company, it doesn’t always mean that you need to stay with that company.. especially when things aren’t working out.

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Porting..?

Why Do People Port Numbers?

This can be because of price, but mainly it is to do with a lack of functionality and finding out your current provider cannot do everything that you might need.

A lot of businesses will get their phone numbers in the early stages of setting up. As they grow they will need more functionality out of their number, but if they started with an inexperienced or free based service, they will likely struggle to expand their number usage without significant cost.

So the next step is to port to providers; like ourselves; that have the ability and capacity to handle their business phone numbers.

International Number Porting

As well as porting business phone numbers in the UK, your business can port its international numbers too! You need to speak to experienced companies like us though, as dealing with international porting can be a complicated process, depending on the countries that you are dealing with.

Experience is the key word here. The company you choose must have this to make the porting process better for you as a customer.

Porting Business Phone Numbers to SIP

Another common question about porting is when moving phone numbers over to SIP solutions.

While it’s been a common practice since the arrival of SIP, porting to SIP services isn’t always the best policy. It may look ideal, but they also have hidden issues.

SIP only accepts 2 concurrent calls by default before more lines need to be purchased, whereas traditional telephony has no restrictions. This is where SIP providers make their money and is one of the main reasons ‘we’ stick with traditional telephony for the majority of our customers!

Also, porting 0800 to SIP platforms is often a potential issue. If you port 0800 to SIP, it’s not free, as you still have to pay a surcharge on all calls made to your number and even though SIP is normally free, someone needs to pay for the call, and that surcharge is passed on to you as the owner of the 0800 number.

This is where traditional telephony has the advantage, as again there are more concurrent calls as default, making for a better solution!

Porting Tips

So here are some tips on what to look out for when thinking of porting your number or even before taking a number with a provider!

  • Check your terms and conditions. Make sure you know if you can port your number away and if there is a cost to do this.
  • Porting UK phone numbers is FREE through us. However, some companies may charge you!
  • The grass isn’t always greener! Just because there are issues, it’s not always going to be fixed elsewhere.. Start with an established company instead of some free deal or cheap alternative; they are normally cheap for the worst of reasons.
  • Find a recommended and established company that adheres to Ofcom, like we are.  Ofcom are the regulator and are there to help you with the likes of porting business phone numbers.
  • Patience is key, it’s not always a simple process, especially for international numbers. UK porting is straightforward, but we still recommended getting an experienced provider to help.
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Britain Leaves The EU, You Can Stay!

Britain is out of the EU, but that doesn’t mean that anyone needs to panic and start cancelling plans to expand their business within Britain or in Europe. In fact you can just make it more cost effective!

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The Brexit Phone Number Solution

No-one is really certain what plans are going to take place with travel access to certain countries, how trades are going to change or even if costs are going to increase in Britain or Europe.

Well, we offer you the ability to still market in countries without having to worry about what changes might happen in the future due to the Brexit. Our simple solution gives you control over a European, International or UK phone number.

  • We supply you with a phone number within the country of your choice (a toll free or a local in-country number)
  • We then forward this number to a phone number you already own! Whether it be your mobile phone or a land line, it can be a UK number or an International number; you decide!
  • Your business continues to take calls from the locations you have setup your phone number.

Popular Phone Number Locations

Ireland – This is a great location with UK businesses. Dublin is a big favourite with our customers and definitely a place of interest whether you choose an Ireland Toll Free or Dublin Local Number.

France – Close to the UK and an epicentre for UK business to expand to due to its close proximity to Britain and our first entry point into Europe! You’ll want to check out the France Toll Free Numbers.

Italy – Is it the love of Pizza and football that keeps the customers interested in getting a phone number here? Who knows, but there are a lot of requests, so you might want to look into Italy.

Germany – A popular location as it’s simply a big country in size and reputation. Having phone numbers in Germany can be tough, but we can help you out.

 

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What Are 0800 Numbers?

The 0800 number has changed over the years and sometimes it’s confusing to understand the differences across a host of changes and different numbers, so here are highlights to what an 0800 number is for the caller and the owner.

Calling 0800 Numbers

An 0800 number is a non-geographic phone number that promotes “free to call” from mobile and landline phones for callers in the UK.

0800

Times have changed for 0800

Previously, calling UK 0800 numbers was only free from landline phones. Mobile phone callers used to get charged for the call by their provider, effectively making 0800 a ‘partially’ free number; you couldn’t really class that as a ‘freephone’ number, could you?

However, that has changed and you can call an 0800 number for free from a mobile and landline, making it a truly free phone number to call. Ofcom relaunched this number in July 2015 as part of it’s “UK Calling Initiative”, making all call rates clearer for the consumer.

But how have they made this change become free for the caller? What’s happened to the call cost?

Owning an 0800 Number

When it comes to mobile phone callers, the owner of the 0800 number is now the ‘paying party’ of the original 0800 mobile ‘fee’, instead of the caller.. This is known as a surcharge and it’s there to make the call truly free for the 0800 caller.

As an owner or potential owner of an 0800 number the surcharge might seem like a sore point and while, for some, the monthly bill might have increased, it’s also makes 0800 a better tool for businesses.

Previously, businesses would sometimes look at having separate numbers for landline and mobile callers, where they could accommodate the different callers, due to the rates the callers could be charged. So you might have look at an 0800 number for landline users and an 0333 number for mobile users, to keep the rates cheaper. But then people aren’t as familiar with 0333 numbers as they are 0800, so that causes it’s own issues.

Actually having the previous 0800 mobile charge swallowed by the owning business in the form of a surcharge allows for a straight forward number promotion for the business owner and less confusion for their callers.

More Information

We specialise in phone numbers and there is more information on 0800 numbers. We also sell a host of these numbers for businesses interested in a non-geographic phone number solution.

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0800 Numbers Are Free To Call From Mobiles

Yes, it is finally happening! 0800 numbers are being made free to call from mobile phones. I’ll write it again and bold it up, for the readers that don’t quite believe me.. 0800 numbers are free to call from mobile phones (from July 1st, 2015).

That’s right, Ofcom are changing the rules for everyone when it comes to dialing 0800 numbers from a mobile phone, but how does it affect you?

I’m Calling an 0800 Number From a Mobile Phone

It’s free to call. You are no longer going to be charged for dialing an 0800 phone number. Just like landlines, you get to call for free and a charge goes to the owner of the 0800 number instead.

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I Own an 0800 Number

If you own an 0800 number you will have a surcharge of 5p per minute for every call you receive from a mobile phone.

Remember, this is from mobile phone callers only! Nothing is changing if the caller dials you from a landline.

Why is This Change Occuring?

Calling numbers can be confusing for customers, especially with the amount of different numbers out there. When callers were being charged for calling 0800 numbers from mobiles it was normally a surprise to the mobile phone user, as you would expect this call to be free also.

So the change is bringing 0800 number calls in line with landline calling and being free to call from practically any device.

For owners of 0800 numbers, the changes make having an 0800 number easier to advertise and it has the potential to get even more calls as the consumer no longer has to worry about what they are dialing when it comes to 080.

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Where Have All The Numbers Gone?

Some things, you just don’t see that often these days. Mullets, working phone boxes, an English Cricket team with a spine, babies called Gary (I’m not even making that up)…all endangered species, going the way of the dinosaurs.

But there’s something else you probably hadn’t even thought of that’s becoming rarer and rarer, and that’s a readily available supply of 0207 and 0208 numbers for the London area. Because they’ve nearly run out. Why is this happening? Shear weight of numbers; the population of Greater London will reach an all-time high this year, exceeding the pre-Second World War peak of just over 8.615m.

Ofcom began introducing 0203 numbers to meet demand in June 2005, but since then, 0207 and 0208 numbers have remained firm favourites, particularly among businesses who recognise that these are readily associated with the Greater London area; more so than they might all numbers beginning with 020. This is a bit odd, because there’s actually just one dialling code for Greater London, and that’s 020.

It is technically incorrect to place the pause after the seven or eight, because if a London number is dialled on a landline from within London, it will not be connected because it is missing the first digit (of eight digits).

Now it’s been a while since 020 numbers replaced 0171 and 0181 numbers – 22nd April 2000 – so it’s fair to say that most have gotten the hang of this by now. But to avoid any confusion, always remember to write your London number – for example – 020 7760 7600, rather than 0207 760 7600 on all your marketing collateral, email signatures etc.

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Inevitably, when 0207 and 0208 numbers have completely run dry and people are forced to take up 0203 numbers, OFCOM will probably release new 020 number ranges, and 0203 numbers will become more desirable. But for now, because of the ingrained association 0207 and 0208 numbers have in our minds that these are the only numbers worth having if you are a London business (or want it to look like you are a London business), you will need to move quickly.

The good news is, we’ve got some. Not a lot, but there aren’t many places still stocking them so you’ll want to get in quick as once they’re gone, they’re gone.

So to get your virtual London number sorted, head over to the 0207 and 0208 numbers respectively pages on our website, where we can get you set up in a jiffy.

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