13 Numbers, A Bad Experience that Can Cost You Money

August 1st, 2016 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here. Aaron O'Keeffe

I had a customer call me a while back asking how they went about getting a 13 number for their business. I said it’s rather simple and offered to register a 1300 number for them but what they were after was a premium 13 number like 13 231.

I explained that these types of numbers are bought through the ACMA at auction.

I directed the customer on where they can participate in these auctions on the ACMA website but also warned the customer that these premium 13 numbers can go for upwards of $10,000 with an annual fee of more than $7000. The customer was OK with this, and a week or so later the customer called me and said that they had gotten one.

We setup the number to ensure that calls which came in from the 13 number would land on their hosted phone system that we provided them, and all was working well – but they quickly realized that they were receiving thousands of calls per day where the customer was asking for another company. A quick Google search revealed that the 13 number that they had purchased at auction had previously belonged to another company who had surrendered the number because they had been bought out by a larger organization, and the larger organisation were standardising to their existing number.

This meant that only in time would these thousands of calls per day stop coming in, but – due to the type of organisation that previously had the number – after a year there were still thousands of calls coming in. This forced our customer to stop using the number all together, as it was wasting too much of their staff’s time answering calls that weren’t for them.

We cancelled the number and surrendered the number back to the ACMA to auction off to another customer, and this got me thinking – who is the unsuspecting company or person who is going to purchase this number next and have the same problem? So I thought I would write this experience down and give a little advice and a simple step that can be taken to stop other companies from having this issue.

The simplest way to make sure that you aren’t getting a number that was recently used by another organisation is a quick Google search on the number you intend to purchase. If it shows up that another company recently used this number, either steer clear of it or be prepared for many calls that may not be for your company and keep in mind that you as the 13 number owner pay for these calls (this is part of the reason to have a 13 number – to give your customers the ability to call you for the price of a local call no matter where they are calling from).

About the author

Aaron O'Keeffe

Aaron works from an office in the tropical Northern Territory, inciting intense jealousy from his Victorian workmates during winter. He’s an expert in IT solutions from the ground up. Aaron is National Sales Manager of Aussie Broadband, which specialises in bespoke telco solutions for corporate and government customers.