0345 numbers were released in 2007 to create new phone numbers that weren’t linked to a particular area, unlike the previous 01- and 02- codes.
For us, having an 0345 number means that we can staff our phones at all times, no matter where everyone is. It means that you won’t miss us, whatever happens: if the phone lines are down or one of us is off sick we can adapt and make sure your call still gets through.
However, because some phone number types have high charges, we’re aware that numbers other than 01- or 02- can worry people. So we want to reassure you that we cannot legally make any money from the 0345. It costs you the same as an 01- or 02- number. We have tried some other alternatives in the last six months but they’re not stable enough to rely on. It’s simply a practical solution that helps us make sure you can always get through.
Occasionally we come across a customer who would rather not use our 0345 number. It’s not a problem and if that’s the case for you, just ring our mobiles or email us and we can organise an alternative number for you to use.
There’s some reassurance about how 0345 numbers work on the Area Codes website: http://www.area-codes.org.uk/0345-numbers.php
“All phone numbers beginning with 03 work in the same way. Although they differ from traditional landlines by not being linked to any specific location, they cost the same to call – this is a legal requirement put in place by the UK telephone regulator, Ofcom.”