The History of The Phoneword Part 2

Back on the 17th of August we submitted the first article on the history of the Phoneword or 1300 1800 number that spells a word. For example, 1300 OZETEL (693 835). We explained how the phoneword industry came about in Australia, basically following the United States of America’s system and processes. It is an extremely big business here in Australia and the cost of acquiring can be very high depending on what number a business is looking to purchase – 13 CABS was sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars!

There are thousands of phonewords used in Australian business in current day and many of those businesses have experienced a huge growth in call flow because of the ease of remembering these types of business phone numbers. They can be a wonderful addition to the branding of large companies like Harvey Norman, who incorporate 1300 GO HARVEY into their marketing. When you consider the large spend that a company like Harvey’s would have on marketing nationally, it is a natural move to a cost effective phone number that can save on large advertising budgets.

So, we saw that there is also a public list (a free list of numbers having no capital cost) available to used to choose a number. If the number a business is after is not in that free list then the business owner would need to go to the smartnumbers auction process to buy their number.

Companies like Ozetel Telecommunications in Brisbane, can assist with that auction process free of charge if you are connecting the number with them. You would simply be asked to pay the auction price up front and be available on auction day in case others bid against you in the public auction.

But Someone Has Bought The Number
However, if that number has already been purchased by one of the many phoneword companies in Australia, you have no choice other then leasing the number of that company (assuming you must have that specific number). The leasing arrangement changes the game somewhat because;

– the cost will be expensive in many cases (lease usually start from $100 a month and may extend to $1000’s). This of course is an additional cost to the usual monthly fee and call costs that a business will pay to the telco that the number is activated with,
– the business owner never has official ownership of the number and this can be dangerous.

So it is an important choice to weigh up whether, as a business owner, you want the number badly enough.

You Need To Activate Your Number
Often companies will buy the phoneword to ensure no one else gets access to the asset that they want to keep safeguarded. The number may not actually be needed and thus may not be activated immediately. It is important to remember that the phoneword must be activated with a telecommunications company within 3 years to avoid the auction system taking back the number. If this happens of course, the business owner will be forced to pay a capital cost again for the same number – and run the risk of someone else taking their asset.