How to choose your business landline

There is a range of factors to consider when choosing your business landline. We explain the features you may want to look out for.

So you've decided to switch or set up a new business landline, but you're not entirely sure where to start. Our quick guide runs through the main points to consider when choosing your new business landline provider or contract.

Cheaper landline prices

Understandably, most business owners consider the cost of their business landline service first.

It's handy to remember that business landlines are generally better value than domestic landlines. So if you think you're saving your business money by sticking with your domestic landline, you could be in for a surprise!

Business landline packages can be made up of numerous different features - which means that the price of your package will depend largely on the features you need for your business. In this next section, we'll run through the types of features that may be included with your business landline package.

Line rental

Almost all business landline packages will come with a line rental charge built in. Line rental does exactly what it says on the tin - it's the charge you have to pay the telephone company to use their phone cables. Business landline rates will vary depending on the level of service you require.

Type of landline

Most business suppliers offer a range of different types of landline. These include:

  • Single analogue lines mainly used for making calls, connecting to fax machines and receiving broadband.
  • Multi line analogue will give you additional lines on which to receive a call. If a call comes through and the first line is engaged, the call will simply reroute to the second line.
  • ISDN2e is a single, high quality digital line that uses different channels for voice, video, faxing or data. You can add additional circuits to your installation, allowing you to have a number of connections working at the same time. ISDN2e further allows you to allocate separate phone numbers to your users.
  • ISDN30 is usually used by larger companies, as they support between 8 and 30 channels with all the features of ISDN2e.

Multiple business lines

If you run a business that requires more than one landline, you can rent as many lines as you need from your business provider. Generally, the more lines you rent, the cheaper the cost is per line.

Call charges

Different business landline packages will come with different call charges. Call charges are generally split into different categories, including:

  • Local calls -includes all calls to numbers with the same dialling code as your phone number, and all numbers with dialling codes for areas that touch the borders of your area (complicated, we know!)
  • National calls - includes all calls to numbers that aren't considered 'local' as above
  • International calls - any calls made outside the UK
  • Mobile calls - call charges for dialling a mobile number within the UK
  • 0870, 0871, 0872 & 0873 calls - these are all chargeable numbers, most often used by businesses
  • 0800, 0808 and 05 numbers - these are all Freephone and won't cost you any money to call.
  • Peak calls - calls made within the times when call volumes are highest (which vary from provider to provider, but generally covers the period between 6pm to 7am). Peak calls are often charged at a higher rate.
  • Off-peak calls - any calls made outside of peak hours. Off peak calls are usually charged at a lower rate.

When you're choosing your landline call plan, it pays to think about the numbers you're most likely to call, especially if you make a high volume of outbound calls. Then, you can tailor your package to give you discounts on the call types you make most often.

Call plans

Call plans are packages put together by landline providers. For example, a call plan could include: line rental, 500 free minutes to mobile phone numbers and free off-peak calls to local numbers.

That is why it's important to consider the types of calls you're making on a regular basis.

For example, if you make a great deal of calls to businesses overseas, then an 'international saver' package could suit you perfectly. This type of package could provide significant discounts for your international call charges, whereas an 'unlimited free local call' package could work brilliantly if most of your clientele live nearby.

Call charge capping

Many business landline providers offer the option to cap the cost of certain call types within their call plans. For example, your call plan may cap mobile call charges at 10p for up to one hour. This can be a fantastic money saver if you make a great deal of one particular type of calls.

Telemarketing numbers

If you're setting up a landline for your business, you may want to consider setting up a specific, easy-to-remember phone number for your customers. Business landline providers can give you a range of options depending on how you would like to charge your customers, giving your business a professional number to print on its literature.

Help and support

For many businesses, the cheapest price will always be the most important factor in choosing a business landline provider. But for others, the level of support available is critical.

In general, business landline packages provide a higher level of customer support than domestic landlines. Business providers understand that breakdowns can damage revenue for businesses and seek to fix issues as quickly as possible but, as with all service providers, there are varying levels of support available.

How to find a cheaper business landline provider

At Make It Cheaper, it's our job to search the business landline market so that you don't have to. We'll compare a range of competitive business landline deals from a range of suppliers to help you find the right deal for your business.

Find out more about how to set up or switch your business landline, or simply call us today on 0800 980 2092 to speak to one of our business telecoms experts.

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