1300 vs 1800: The difference between 1300 and 1800 Numbers

The Alltel Team
The Alltel Team
1300 vs 1800: The Difference Between 1800 and 1300 Numbers

Not sure whether to get an 1800 number or a 1300 number for your business? Here’s a quick explainer to help.

Both 1300 and 1800 numbers are inbound numbers used by Australian businesses of all sizes to exclusively receive incoming calls. One of the major differences between these numbers lies in how call costs are divided between the caller and the business (or the account holder).

So how do the call costs differ between the two? Read on to understand more.

What’s the difference between a toll-free number and a local rate number?

1800 numbers have been around in Australia for long enough that most people are familiar with them. The main draw of these numbers is that they’re toll-free. Since callers know that an 1800 number is a free call number, they feel comfortable about dialling these numbers.

Meanwhile, 1300 numbers are a well-known alternative to 1800 numbers. They are local rate numbers so the cost of a call to a 1300 number is split between the business and the caller. Shared costs lower call charges, making these numbers a popular and cost-effective choice especially for small businesses.

Note that call costs may also vary depending on whether the call is made from a fixed line or a mobile phone. Our table provides an easy guide.

Call Costs1300 Number1800 Number
Cost to callerLocal rates for landlines; mobile charges may vary.Toll-free for landlines; mobile charges may vary.
Cost to businessShared costs between business and caller.Fully shouldered by the business.

While some were initially worried that 1300 numbers may be more costly, this misconception is becoming less and less common. Different 1300 numbers offer free minutes for local landline to landline calls. For example, Alltel's most popular plan provides 30 free minutes when calling a 1300 number from any landline in Australia. At the end of the free minutes, the business pays the call rates determined by their carrier.

1800 and 1300 numbers both provide many benefits:

  • Portable — Keep one number for the life of your business, move it from office to office, and from service provider to service provider.
  • Flexible — Customise routing options that allow you to specify which phone rings when someone dials the number based on factors including where the caller is based, time of day, and whether your phone is busy or not being answered.
  • Measurable— Access built-in reporting options that allow you to gauge and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
  • National— Advertise a single number for your business Australia-wide, so more customers can contact you for free or at the cost of a local call. You can also provide extended support hours for your customers. For example, route calls to your Perth office after 5:00 p.m. EST when your east coast workers have gone home for the day.
  • Professional— Both 1300 and 1800 numbers are widely recognised as business phone numbers. Having one makes your business appear more reliable, even if you don’t have a fixed office.

So, how do you choose which one is best for you?

In the past, it was true that more people were likely to dial an 1800 number than a 1300 number, but that is becoming less of an issue.

Both types of numbers have similar setup fees, monthly charges, and national and mobile rates.

So, it really comes down to who is going to be phoning you.

If most of your calls are going to be local and landline-to-landline, then a 1300 number is the way to go. The first free minutes will likely cover most calls, so you'll often pay little more than your monthly service fee.

But if the majority of calls are NOT going to be local nor landline-to-landline, there is very little difference cost-wise between 1300 numbers and 1800 numbers. In that case, you might decide to go for an 1800 number so that your customers can call you for free.

Another thing to consider is which type of 1300 number or 1800 number has the best number/word available for your business. Numbers that spell words or have repeating patterns are easier for you and your customers to remember. For example, Alltel uses 1300 ALLTEL (1300 255 835).

Get a business phone number with endless flexibility and customisation from Alltel.

Whether you’re going toll-free or opting to share the costs, we’ve got the right inbound numbers to suit your business needs. Visit Alltel’s web site to find out more about the difference between 1300 numbers and 1800 numbers including available plans and call rates, or you can phone us on 1300 ALLTEL (1300 255 835).

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