Forwarding U.K. calls to U.S.
November 26, 2008 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Can I set up a U.K. land line to forward incoming calls to a U.S.-based number?

I work for a company in New York, and we'd like to field calls from the U.K. here.

Are there any other alternate methods of having a U.K.-based number ring on my U.S. phone?

What would be the costs (and any other factors, such as hassle) involved with this?
posted by computech_apolloniajames to Technology (10 answers total)
You could probably do this with a combination of SkypeIn and SkypeOut forwarding.
posted by mkb at 9:25 AM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

We've just done this with a toll-free number in the UK and Ireland, but the guy here who knows what we did isn't in right now. I'll try to remember to ask him and follow up, but remind me if you've still got nothing and I haven't.
posted by mendel at 9:43 AM on November 26, 2008

There are UK-based international call forwarding companies. (One example.)
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:44 AM on November 26, 2008

Of course, if you're offering a round-the-clock service to a small number of existing customers it might just be simpler to get a UK mobile contract, carry a UK mobile with you, and swallow the global roaming costs. Call forwarding is better suited to higher volume sales lines, I assume.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:45 AM on November 26, 2008

I haven't used them, but DIDWW offers this. I looked in to them, but went with another carrier. They don't offer outbound DID. They do appear to have UK numbers. Then if you move to VoIP, you can keep the number.
posted by Climber at 9:57 AM on November 26, 2008

I have a Vonage VoIP account that offers unlimited calls within the US, Canada and PR and from the US to landlines in the UK (and Ireland, France, Italy and Spain, as I recall) for about $30/month including taxes.

While I don't use it, they also offer virtual numbers for an additional $5/month, i.e. a UK number that will ring to your US phone. I think (but I recommend you check!) that since the international leg is covered under your call plan, the person in the UK will only pay for a UK call. You can select just about any UK locality area code for your virtual number.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 10:45 AM on November 26, 2008

Fairly easy to do with

$7/month for a UK number, you will pay their standard rate for forwarding the cal lto the us (which is really cheap, half a cent a minute or something)


$7/month for a UK toll-free number at 5 cents/minute for usage, plus forwarding (half-cent a minute ) to the US.
posted by TravellingDen at 11:29 AM on November 26, 2008

Similar option; will give you a UK number, either geographic or national 0845 with a UK VOIP service. You can then connect to it with a SIP softphone on PC, or a VOIP to analog phone adapter - you can even get SIP VOIP adapters that pass through your normal analog line to your existing phone too, so it rings one tone for an incoming US call, or another tone for an incoming UK call. Incoming calls will be free, once you've bought the initial £10 credit, which is used for outgoing calls. Credit doesn't expire.

This will also give you the ability to call out to the UK (or anywhere else) cheaply using pay-as-you-go credit - I call france for 1p a minute, for example.
posted by ArkhanJG at 3:58 PM on November 26, 2008

Full disclosure - I use draytel, but no other connection to them. It took me all of 10 minutes to sign up, plug my VOIP adapter into my internet connection and phone, put my account details into my VOIP adapter, and start making calls.
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:00 PM on November 26, 2008

A quick summary of types of UK phone numbers is probably useful too:

A standard area (geographic) code is 3 to 6 digits long, depending upon area, with the total number length being up to 11 digits. 020 is london, for example.

Incoming calls are free for the recipient, with different rates for local calls (same or physically close geographic code) and long distance calls charged to the caller. Many people have calling plans that make local calls free, and discount long distance ones.

0845 numbers are national numbers usually charged as a local code, regardless of location, but are often not included in discount plans for callers. 0870 are similar, but a bit more expensive to call.

03 area codes are also national numbers, and are supposed to be counted as local calls in call plans - they were introduced last year.

0800 or 0808 numbers are free to call from anywhere within the UK (except from some mobiles) but the recipient pays.

0845, 0870 and 0800 numbers are the most common for business numbers as they are well known - but if your target market is in a particular region, such as london, you may be better off with a geographic number so people can make discount calls. An 03 number should also serve for this purpose, but they're not common yet so people may not know they count as local.
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:29 PM on November 26, 2008

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