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Friday, 4 Aug 2023 | 7 min read

Are 13 numbers a good investment for businesses?

Written by Aaron O'Keeffe, Chief Growth Officer and Michael Hayman, Content Writer

A phone handset

Chances are, there's a 13 number stuck in your head. Maybe from a catchy ad jingle, or just because it's easy to remember.

They're simple. They're memorable. But are 13 numbers actually good for business?

What is a 13 number?

13 numbers are six-digit numbers that start with 13, for example, 13 23 23.

They enable free inbound calls to your business from Australian numbers - and your business pays the call charge (currently 35c) on the caller's behalf.

Want a 13 number?

Leave it to us. Get in touch with our team of business phone experts, and we'll get your business a 13 number

Get a 13 number

What is a 1300 number?

1300 numbers are ten-digit numbers that start with 1300, for example, 1300 287 743. While they allow for using longer words as part of your number, they're otherwise harder to remember.

Want a 1300 number?

Leave it to us. Get in touch with our team of business phone experts, and we'll get your business a 13 number

Get a 1300 number

What's the difference between a 13 number and a 1300 number?

While they're collectively known as Smart Numbers, there are two main differences between 13 numbers and 1300 numbers. The first difference is, of course, the number of digits. 1300 numbers have ten digits an 13 numbers have six digits. The other difference is the cost. Australian Communication and Media Authority charges a monthly fee of $500 for use of 13 numbers. For 1300 numbers, the monthly fee is $1.

You can purchase 13 numbers and 1300 numbers (collectively known as Smartnumbers) from the Australian Communication and Media Authority. Your telco can also purchase them for you on your behalf.

13 and 1300 number is subject to an "allocation charge" that varies depending on the number's ACMA classification. The classifications are:

Platinum: Platinum numbers have a numeric pattern that makes them easy to remember. They are typically 13 numbers, such as 13 13 13 and some very memorable 1300 numbers, such as 1300 000 000. The allocation charge for Platinum numbers is $16,000 for 13 numbers and $20,000 for 1300 numbers.

Diamond: Diamond numbers are numbers that contain a memorable word, such as 13 4633 (13 HOME) or 1300 266 333 (1300 COMEDY). The allocation charge for Diamond numbers is $8000.

Gold: Gold numbers have a numeric pattern that is memorable, but not as memorable as Platinum numbers, such as 13 1000 or 1300 111 110. The allocation charge for Gold numbers is $6000 for 13 numbers and $4500 for 1300 numbers.

Opal: Opal numbers are numbers that contain a word that is not as memorable as Diamond numbers, such as 13 7246 (13 PACK) or 1300 272 263 (1300 APPEND). The allocation charge for Opal numbers is $2400 for 13 numbers and $1500 for 1300 numbers.

Silver: Silver numbers are numbers that contain a numeric pattern that isn't as memorable as Gold and Platinum numbers, such as 13 1123 or 1300 111 990. The allocation charge for Silver numbers is $1200 for 13 numbers and $1750 for 1300 numbers.

Standard: Numbers with no associated word or numeric pattern. The allocation charge for Standard numbers is $400 for 13 numbers and $250 for 1300 numbers.

Note: The numbers used as examples of each classification come from the ACMA's master list of numbers and their classifications. The prices quoted are those listed by the ACMA and are correct as of 4 August 2023.

13 numbers and 1300 numbers compared

The pros of a 13 number

  • With only six digits, a 13 number will be easy for people to remember.

  • Can position your business as premium.

The cons of a 13 number

  • High cost to use the number ($500 a month).

  • If you get a number previously used by another company, you risk wasting your business's resources dealing with a flood of wrong-number calls.

The pros of a 1300 number

  • Low cost for use of the number ($1 a month, a cost typically absorbed by your telco as part of your business phone plan).

  • Opportunity to get a number that's memorable for your business.

  • Premium "business-grade" number compared to traditional landline and mobile numbers.

The cons of a 1300 number

  • With ten digits, these numbers are harder to remember compared to 13 numbers

Case study: Was the 13 number worth it for this business?

Years ago, I had a client call asking how they could get a 13 number for their business. While we could easily register a 1300 number for them, getting the more premium 13 number would be a little more complicated.

I explained to the customer that you must buy these types of numbers through the Australian Communications and Media Authority (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 $8000. The customer didn't mind. They thought it was well worth the investment. A week or so later, they called me and said they'd got one.

We set up the number to ensure that calls to the 13 number would land on the hosted phone system we provided them. From a phone perspective, all was working well. Until calls to the number came flooding in…

On the new 13 number, they started receiving calls from customers asking for a different company. Curious, I Googled my client's new number. Sure enough, the 13 number they'd bought at auction previously belonged to another company. The company in question had been bought out by a larger organisation, and were now using their parent company's standardised number.

It would take time for these calls to stop. Or so we thought. Fast forward a year, and my client was still fielding thousands of calls for their number's previous tenant. In the end, we figured our client was wasting time and money fielding calls that weren't for them. So we decided to cancel the number, giving it back to the ACMA to auction off to another customer.

So, are 13 numbers worth the investment?

Whoever would become the next owner of that 13 number would have the same problem. Who knows, if they're a similar business, those wrong-number calls could be a lead generation opportunity and it might work out. But otherwise, if you are considering bidding for a 13 number, Google it first. That way, you'll make sure you aren’t getting a number that another organisation recently used.

Sure, my client's experience was a cautionary tale. But there are plenty of examples where 13 numbers have delivered astronomical returns on their relatively significant investment. Chances are if you can remember a 13 number, either from an ad or because you called an organisation on it, that 13 number was a good investment for that business. As for 1300 numbers, They're a more entry-level (and in many cases, affordable) alternative to the more premium 13 number.

And even 1300 numbers can make for some memorable advertisements:

Call the Reading Writing Hotline

How to get a 13 number or 1300 number

Your telco can help you purchase and set up a 13 or 1300 number.

If you'd like to purchase the number yourself, you can do so through thenumberingsystem.com.au. That way, you can check to see if your preferred number is available for purchase. Once you've purchased the number, you can contact your telco to set it up so you can receive calls to it.

Your telco can also purchase the number on your behalf. If you're getting your 13 or 1300 number this way, we strongly advise that you ensure that you'll still own the number and that you're not leasing it from your provider.

A 13 or 1300 number can be a valuable asset for your business. So, it should be something you own, not your telco provider. That means you'll have no issue taking the number with you if you ever want to switch telco providers. And unlike other more expensive assets, the cost to lease a number won't be much less, if it's any less at all, than owning the number outright.

Looking for a 13 or 1300 number for your business? Our team can help. Contact us, and our business phone experts will set your number up. We'll purchase your preferred number on your behalf and set it up for your business. We'll also set up your existing number, whether you've just bought it or would like to switch over from another provider.

At Aussie Broadband, we're all about helping businesses make the most out of their telco solution. From setting you up with the perfect phone system to getting a 13 or 1300 number, we'll guide your business every step of the way.

To talk to us about your business's unique phone requirements, call us on 1300 480 905.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on 1 Aug 2016. It was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on 4 August 2023.

Tags:BusinessPhone systemsPhone

Written by

Headshot of Aaron

Aaron O'Keeffe

Chief Growth Officer

Aaron worked as an IT professional for 10 years before shifting into telecommunications sales. He joined Aussie Broadband as a Business Development Manager in 2008, was promoted to National Sales Manager of the Company’s business division i...

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Michael Hayman Headshot

Michael Hayman

Content Writer

Michael is Aussie Broadband's marketing copywriter. Michael is responsible for content marketing within Aussie's growing business segment, which includes writing and editing web content, marketing collateral, and business editorial blog art...

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