Aside from the obvious benefits of being Free and the range of features included within the service, the use of 084 numbers have other alternative benefits over a standard geographical or mobile number.
084 numbers are used by public and private sector organisations. They are a method of imposing charges on service users to provide a subsidy towards the cost of their telephone systems. 084 numbers are therefore typically used by business and are mostly recognisable as business numbers.
084 numbers are classified as a 'local rate' and the cost to call a Virtual Call Manager 084 number is 4.2 pence per minute plus VAT from a standard UK landline.
084 numbers are 'revenue sharing' numbers. When a caller pays to make a call to an 084 number, a small portion of that revenue is paid to the number owner (in this instance Virtual Call Manager). Virtual Call Manager in turn uses the small amounts of revenue generated to provide and maintain a fully featured business telephony system and to divert or make an outbound call to the users landline for free.
084 are typically used for web based services and e-commerce. The reason 084 numbers are typically used in this fashion that they demonstrate a national appeal and are not subject to any perceived geographical restriction.
The main benefit over and above a standard geographical number where an online customer might assume that because the contact number is for example a London number, that the service or product may not be suitable or relevant to a customer in Manchester.
The main benefit over and above a mobile number is perception and security. A mobile number advertised on a website can be perceived as unprofessional and also your personal mobile number could be used as a target for spam or used negatively but a disgruntled customer or competitive business.
If you have a web presence and your service or product has national appeal, then an 084 number from Virtual Call Manager is both free an excellent alternative to a costly PBX system (private branch exchange) or bespoke system costing upwards of £2,000.