Your friends and colleagues keep telling you how great 1300 Numbers are, and all of your research backs up everything they’ve said.
You’re convinced! You’ve decided that your business NEEDS a 1300 Number.
So what do you do now?
The first step is to decide which type of 1300 Number you should get. Broadly speaking, there are two types available:
- Smartnumbers® are numbers that spell words or contain patterns that make them easy to remember. You get these numbers through Australian government auctions.
- Normal issue numbers are the rest of the 1300 Numbers out there that aren’t considered as “smart” as their cousins. You get these numbers through telecommunications providers who specialise in business services.
How to get a Smartnumber
Not only are these numbers often easier to remember (which is great for marketing!), they come with other benefits including the ability to on-sell your number and to keep it unconnected for up to three years.
Smartnumbers are purchased through public auction, with it costing $42 to register, and the bidding for most numbers starting at $250.
- Search the www.smartnumbers.com.au web site to see if the number you want is available.
- If it is available, complete the registration form so that you can bid for your number.
- Apply for your chosen number, and then nominate for it to be added to a future auction. Note that as part of the application, you will be asked to nominate a carrier from the list. This is required only for registration purposes and you are not locked in to using that carrier.
- Check the auction lists to ensure that your number has been added.
- On auction day, keep an eye on the auction in case anyone decides to bid against you for your chosen number.
- Once you win your number, contact the telco provider of your choice to arrange to get it connected.
Note that in addition to purchasing a smartnumber, some providers also offer the ability to lease these numbers.
When you lease a 1300 Number from a provider, they are the ones with ultimate control. If they decide to increase your monthly lease payment, you have two options: pay the increased fees or walk away and go through the hassle of re-branding your business with a different phone number. And if you do walk away, there is NOTHING to stop your old 1300 Number leasing company from offering your old number to one of your competitors!
Alltel strongly recommends that you buy your 1300 Number if possible. Your business phone number is an essential part of your business’s branding and communications success. Therefore, it’s important to have the same level of control over your 1300 Number as you do over your business’s web site domain name.
How to Get a Normal Issue 1300 Number
These numbers are available directly from business telecommunication providers, including Alltel.
Even though the Australian government (through the ACMA—Australian Communications and Media Authority) have deemed that these numbers aren’t as “smart” as the others, you can still find some great normal issue numbers.
Alltel searches through the list of available 1300 Numbers each day, and reserves those with patterns and repeating digits for the exclusive use of our customers. You can see the list of 1300 numbers currently available from Alltel.
Alltel offers four types of normal issue numbers:
These numbers have really good repeating patterns or more than one pair of repeated digits (for example 1300 88 00 06). These numbers are very easy to remember, so tend to get snapped up quickly when we list them on our site. We charge a one-off fee of $99 for Platinum 1300 Numbers.
These numbers have at least one pair of repeated digits or simple repeating patterns (for example 1300 799 948). These numbers are easier to remember than regular numbers, but they’re not quite as good as the platinum ones. We charge a one-off fee of $49 for Gold 1300 Numbers.
- Phone/Fax Sets
These numbers are ideal if you want a pair of numbers (for example one for phone and one for fax). This pair of numbers are almost the same, but usually have one digit different (for example, 1300 255 835 and 1300 255 855). We charge a one-off fee of $49 for Phone/Fax Set 1300 Numbers.
These are the numbers that don’t fall into any of the above categories. Many of them have repeated digits, but they’re not quite as easy to remember as our Gold or Platinum selections, so they’re available free of charge.
Note that these numbers are NOT leased to you, and are yours for as long as you keep them connected. You can even transfer them to another carrier (although we hope you don’t!).
Choosing the Right 1300 Number Plan for Your Business
Once you’ve got your number, the next step is to sign up for a 1300 Number plan.
These are major things you should consider:
- Lock-in contracts
Some providers lock you in to a 12 or 24 month minimum contract, while others allow you to pay month-to-month.
- Monthly plan fees
1300 Number plans can vary from $0 a month to over $70 a month. It’s important NOT to consider this cost alone though. The $0 plans make their money back in other areas (for example, with much higher call rates), so often are NOT the cheapest option available out there.
- Ability (and cost) to change plans
You may find you want to upgrade or downgrade your plan to adapt to your changing business needs. Look for a provider who allows you to change plans at any time for free.
- Free talk time (for local landline-to-landline calls)
Most providers offer between 0 and 20 minutes of free talk time for local landline-to-landline calls. (After the free time, regular local landline rates apply.) Alltel’s Saver plan offers 30 minutes, and our Super Saver plan offers unlimited free talk time. If most of your customers are local, this one can save you a LOT of money.
- Call rates
This is probably the most important one to look at. Costs vary depending on where the customer is calling from (local, national, mobile) and how you answer your calls (landline, mobile). The higher call rates attached to cheaper monthly plans will quickly add up! You should also check to see whether calls are billed in 1 second, 30 second or 60 second blocks. Those extra seconds can make a big difference over the course of a year.
- Call connection and flag fall fees
Check to see whether there are any additional fees that you’ll have to pay each time you receive a call to your 1300 Number, and be sure to add those into any calculations.
- Other fees
Providers are legally required to include a list of ALL fees associated with their 1300 Numbers. Check through the fees before signing up with anyone to make sure there are no unexpected charges.
Alltel’s customer service team are available to help you choose the plan that’s right for your business. And you can change plans at any time for free, so if you get it wrong the first time or if your needs change, it’s quick and easy and FREE to switch to the plan that’s right for you.
Call us today on 1300 ALLTEL (1300 255 835) to find out more.