Frequently asked Questions



Pocket Receptionist telephone answering service is hosted and run by the SwitchboardFREE team and as such integrates seamlessly with your existing number. Professional and reliable call handling is perfect if you want a professional business feel, your calls are of high value or even if you're struggling to answer your calls. With the high cost of employing staff, there has never been a better time to outsource your call answering. For more information on this please visit www.pocketreceptionist.co.uk or call on 0800 009 6555.

Yes, transferring you existing number to us is called "porting" and is standard in the telecoms industry. Unlike many competitors we will take care of the porting process without charing a "porting" fee. Once your number arrives with us you will then be able to take advantage of our industry beating pricing.

Porting your number to us can take as little as 5 working days, click here for more information on porting your number to us.

One Net Express is locked to the Vodafone network and you are unable to redirect to any other mobile phones. This can be very restrictive in practice limiting your redirect options. One Net Express also has high monthly charges.

SwitchboardFREE offers you many more features than One Net Express, including a wide choice of on-hold music together with the freedom to chop and change mobile providers at your leisure without the risk of losing the allocated landline number or the constraint of being tied into a lengthy contract.

An established and very reliable service, SwitchboardFREE is completely independent to the mobile networks providing redundancy and ensuring business continuity whatever happens. This is highlighted by the problems that Vodafone users experienced when both their mobile and their One Net Express numbers both failed at the same time leaving their business customers unable to receive any call whatsoever. Read more about the potential risks of choosing a single inbound provider at:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/24/vodafone_one_net_service_outage/

An ereceptionist, also known as a digital receptionist or auto receptionist, is an inbound telephone answering system that automatically greets callers and can be set up with automated call answering features. SwitchboardFREE is the largest and fastest growing service of this kind in the UK, having helped over 54,000 companies to grow their business.

Find out more about this and how it works.

Google Analytics integration gives you the ability to quickly and easily collect information on your call traffic in your Google Analytics account, alongside your website traffic. Google Analytics integration FAQ's.

Over 54,000 businesses rely on us for their call management, and we pride ourselves in providing our customers with the most robust and reliable service available.

SwitchboardFREE is built on a strong telephony infrastructure to ensure reliability and stability and enterprise-level call quality with a constant high uptime of 99.999% in contrast to less reliable VoIP and SIP-based technologies that offer variable call quality and inconsistent audio, connecting calls via the internet.

Our dedicated in-house technical teams monitor and maintain our systems 365 days a year. SwitchboardFREE is designed to meet the needs of very high volume users, successfully handling millions of call minutes daily.

If you're not ready to use your number or there's a delay in advertising your number, all you need to do is make one call to your 084 number once a month to keep the number open. If no calls are taken for 60 days we will reclaim the number, but don't worry; we'll email you if you forget.

It's extremely simple and very fast to set up. You can view and update your settings 24/7 all from one central place both online and via the free app. You can update settings as often as you like, all changes are instant. Just log on and click, it really is that easy!

To get going, sign up free online here it only takes a few minutes. If you'd like to find out more about different number types, click here.

Any questions, please get in touch we'd love to hear from you. Call us on 0203 189 1213 (Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 6:00pm).

No problem. You can choose from a selection of intro messages, finding one that suits your company. Just click on the one you like, or record your own from your phone, then click to make it live. It's that simple!

We also offer in house custom prompts recordings, done by professional voice over artists.

Yes! Once you have chosen a number it will not be allocated to anyone else while you are using it. Your number will be for your exclusive use. If you have not used the number for three consecutive months we will contact you to see if we can take it back to offer to other customers.

Yes! with our 0844 and 0843 numbers, as long as you receive at least 1 call every 60 days your number will always be your number. if you aren't using your number we will contact you after 30, 40, 50 and 60 days after which the number will be put into quarantine and eventually re-allocated to a new customer. Our numbers are usually put into quarantine for up to 90 days during which you can have the number returned to your account by giving us a call.

With all other number types you own the numbers for as long as payments are made, if we are unable to take payment for your number after a period of time then it will be put in quarantine before eventually being re-allocated to a new customer.

There is no difference between 0843 and 0844 numbers. 0843 numbers are just the latest number ranges to be released in the UK. The call cost for both 0843 and 0844 are the same.

You can download both the iOS and Android from your app/play store. The app allows you to change your redirects, missed calls and emails come through to your phone via an app notification and you can custom record your voice prompts free of charge.

Should you wish to close your account you will need to call our UK support team on 0203 189 1213 (Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 6:00pm)

You would need to call the support team on 0203 189 1213 and inform them you wish to cancel the service, they will be able to assist you and remove your number.

We know how important a memorable number can be to your business. We are able to supply a limited quantity of ‘GOLD’ numbers for both our geographical numbers and 084 numbers. To check what we currently have available log in or create an account.

Yes! You can route your queue number to any UK mobile phone number. However, due to the large charges imposed by mobile network operators, we make a small charge for this service. Once you sign up you will be able to load credit onto your account. This credit can be used to re-direct calls to up to five UK mobile numbers of your choosing. Instant top-ups are made through our secure billing partners ‘WorldPay’.

If a customer hangs up before you have a chance to answer their call we will email you their phone number, providing it is not withheld. This is a very valuable tool for your company. Imagine the last time you were in a call queue and hung up in frustration. What if a few seconds later that company called you back and apologised for missing your call?! Turn a potentially negative customer experience into a positive one!

This is one of the most beneficial features a small business could want out of a telephone system.

Yes you can! Just log into your account, navigate to your number configuration page and click on the music drop down list to choose the “on hold” music that suits your company's image. We even cover the performing rights licence payment so you don't have to!

Did you know that you can record you own custom on hold music? Be it spoken word, advertising your business and offers you have available to your own recorded music. We provide this service for just £60 +VAT. If you would like some further information please don't hesitate to speak to us by calling 0203 189 1213. Our offices are open Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 6:00pm.

Yes. Once you are logged on to your account you have the option to add new numbers. Each number can be configured separately, so you can have a different number for sales, accounts, customer service...etc

Yes. Our service works perfectly with VOIP services. At times, VOIP phones can take longer to begin ringing so we give you the option to extend the ring time of your 084 number when redirecting to a VOIP number making it work seamlessly.

You might want to check that your VOIP number is a normal geographic number and NOT a number starting with 05! 05 numbers are charged at a higher rate and we are NOT able to redirect to these numbers free of charge.

This is dependent on the foreign telephone company that your caller is calling from. In the vast majority of cases calls from abroad will be passed through to your number without issue however if you are expecting a high volume international calls to your number we would recommend that you use and 01, 0203 or 0207 number as these are much more likely to be diallable from foreign telephone providers.

Yes, you have a different ways of doing this, you can either record them through the free app for Android and iOS, via our customer recording line - the number and unique PIN is found within your online account. Alternatively, our in-house recording team can customise all of your prompts for a reasonable price starting from £10 or your recordings can be send to our professional voice over artists for just £180. Listen to our professional in house voice artists.

Unfortunately we are only an inbound service, but if you have a landline you can contact your provider and ask them to change your CLI to display your SwitchboardFREE number when you call out. We can provide as certificate of ownership should you need one. For more information contact 0203 189 1213 (Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 6:00pm)

Many UK businesses use an 084 number because it can give their business a national presence and the feel of a BIG company, whilst offering their customers a number that has a low call cost! Also, if a business relocates their office they can keep the same number without the expense of re-printing stationery or re-designing websites.

However, in today's competitive work place, that's not always enough. Did you know that lost or badly managed inbound calls are the single biggest reason small companies in the UK lose customers and revenues? Most businesses miss the odd call, are engaged from time to time or even forget to return messages!

This product helps you manage your inbound calls effectively, ensuring you Never Miss A Call Again!

You're not alone! Our development team find answer phones a pain! We forget to check them, they can fill up overnight and worst of all you have to listen to the message three times before you have a chance to note it down!

We have simplified all of this! If we are unable to connect your caller because your line is either busy or not answered, we will offer the caller the opportunity to leave you a voicemail. We will then send the voice message to you via email, as an attachment. Once you have the message you can listen to it with any player, e.g. Windows Media Player. Alternatively, you can store it or forward it as you would a normal email. This is a great use of email and is simple to use.

One of the best features for small businesses is our system's ability to queue callers if your line is engaged or is not answered immediately.

We welcome the caller and inform them we are trying to connect them. The caller is put on hold, listening to the ‘on-hold’ music you have selected, until we can connect them to you. Your customer will never hear the engaged tone and you will be equipped to answer more calls.

Yes. You can give out one single number for “sales” and have it connect in rotation to three separate locations. This is a great feature if you have sales people that work from home and you need to distribute the calls evenly between them. You can even log on to see the number of calls they have taken!

We guarantee that if you are a UK business that directs your 084 SwitchboardFREE number to a UK landline, then this will be of no cost to you. You can use your number for as long as you need to, you'll never be charged and you will not receive any bills.

Our local rate numbers start from as little as £5.96+VAT per month.

SwitchboardFREE 084 telephone numbers generate a small revenue when called. This enables us to offer a professional fully network-supported and feature-rich cloud based call management system at no cost to you. There are no catches, no fees and no contracts.

SwitchboardFREE network-hosted numbers ensure reliability, and the powerful SwitchboardFREE call management platform is designed to minimise overheads and allow for maximum business scalability - this makes SwitchboardFREE ideal for companies of any size, from start-ups through to enterprise.

We can supply you with a free 084 telephone number and all calls received on your number will be delivered to your choice of UK landline numbers at no cost to you. Our 084 numbers, as well as all other SwitchboardFREE numbers, are completely free from any setup and connection fees so you can get started right away and get a professional company image instantly. With over 54,000 businesses users in the UK already registered with SwitchboardFREE, you're in good company and can be confident that no other call management service will offer you better value for money.

Read customer testimonials and reviews

0844 and 0843 business numbers are classed as "low call rate" numbers. Calling a 0844 or 0843 phone number costs 7p per minute. This is called a service charge, which enables us to offer telephone numbers for free to you.

Your caller's phone company may also charge an additional "access charge" to connect the call, which you customer should be made aware of.

Your service will never be restricted. All SwitchboardFREE accounts, including free 084 numbers and all other number types, come with your online switchboard included as standard completely free, plus the full suite of call handling features. Optional upgrades are available directly from your online dashboard. Log in to your account to see all available upgrades.

No, it doesn't it matter if your callers are calling from landline or mobile, the packages purely depend on where you are redirecting the calls.

Don't worry we can still continue to redirect the calls for you, simply add £20 call credit to your account and calls redirected to your landline are charged at 3p per minute and calls redirected to mobile are charged at 6p per minute.

Just call our support team on 0203 189 1213 (Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 6:00pm) and they can discuss the best package for yourself and the business, they add the additional minutes straight away.

If you turn your call whisper on, on your account. Not only will it allow you to determine if it is a business call, it will also override your personal voicemail.

Our contracts our 30 day rolling contracts, we know you will love our products, so we don't need to tie you into anything long term!

Number porting is the process of transferring an existing telephone number from one company to another. In this case you'd be moving your number over to SwitchboardFREE so you can use all of our great features without losing your number.

All that is required is some documentation to prove ownership of the telephone number & we take care of everything from that point. Get more information or contact us on 0203 189 1213 to port your number to us.

Transferring your number to SwitchboardFREE usually takes between 10-20 days due to the coordination between SwitchboardFREE and your current provider.

However, if a porting request is rejected this can delay the process by an additional 2 to 4 weeks.

When a number is released from it's current provider it means the number is now ready for SwitchboardFREE to port. This doesn't mean that the porting process has finished though, as soon as a number has been released SwitchboardFREE has to work to reconfigure the number for our network routing.

The porting process is an industry standard process outlined and regulated by Ofcom, these regulations ensure that your number will not lose coverage during the porting process. It is important to know that SwitchboardFREE cannot begin the process of reconfiguration until your number has been released.

There are some common reasons why requests are rejected, these rejections can be resolved in nearly all cases though. The easiest way to ensure that a request doesn't get rejected is to provide the exact information that your current provider has on file, to make sure you get this correct you can always obtain a Customer Service Record (CSR) by contacting your current provider before requesting your port.

Unsatisfactory relationship

Usually this means that you have an unpaid bill or that your current provider charges a fee to port away numbers. These can be resolved by contacting your provider and paying your outstanding bill and/or porting fee.

A data mismatch

A mismatch of data means that the information you supplied on your authorisation form doesn't match the information that your current provider holds for you. In this case you should contact your provider and request a copy of their Customer Services Record (CSR) to find how your telephone records appear in their system.

Inactive number

The telephone number you're trying to port is inactive with the current supplier, if this is the case you must contact your provider to have the number reinstated.

Unauthorised signature

The person who has signed the authorisation form is not the person authorised to make changes on the account with the telephone numbers provider. This can be resolved by contacting your supplier and update the authorised person.

Incorrect account number

Your account number is either incorrect or missing from the authorisation form. You can resolve this by double checking the account number provided or contacting your provider to find out what account number they have on file for you.

Unlocking Google voice

If you'd like to port a Google voice number then you have to unlock it first.

Incorrect billing telephone

The billing telephone number is typically used as a master number by providers, this is used to identify an account. You can resolve this by contacting your provider to find out what number they have on file.

Unportable number

Unfortunately not all number are portable. If you come accross this rejection then it may be time to consider purchasing a SwitchboardFREE number. You could also setup call forwarding from your existing number to your SwitchboardFREE number.

We'll start billing you as soon as we are able to schedule your port date, this is usually scheduled approximately 7 days prior to the completion of the porting process. Once the porting process has been completed SwitchboardFREE will bill you monthly, on the 1st of each month for your number.

Additionally we do not charge for our porting services

We are unable to guarantee that the porting process will be complete by a specific date. The entire process usually takes between 10-20 days, if you need your number ported by a specific date we suggest that your instruct us to begin the porting process well in advance.

SwitchboardFREE are able to port your existing numbers for free. We have porting agreements in place with BT, Cable & Wireless, Vodafone, Verizon and Colt.

If you aren't a direct customer of one of these companies you can still attempt a number port as your current provider may well be using one of these companies as their own providers.

To enable us to port your number we'll need some specific information from the authorised user or owner of the number. Get more information or submit a porting request.

Yes, you can help to ensure the porting process goes smoothly by providing us with all the information we need and ensuring the information is correct and accurate on our authorisation form. SwitchboardFREE also recommends that you continue your service with your current provider for 7 days past the scheduled port date in the rare situation that the port is delayed.

We will ensure that the number is available on your account at least 24 hours prior to the port taking place so that you can login and confirm that it is all setup as you require (e.g. calls are being redirected to the correct landline numbers etc.)

Porting your number is a straight forward industry defined process with most of it taken care of by SwitchboardFREE on your behalf.

For detailed information on the porting process go to the porting process page.

If you can't find the answer to your question then please call our UK support team on 0203 189 1213.
Our offices are open Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 6:00pm.