I sat down at my computer and did some brainstorming. I tried to put myself in my customers shoes, so I decided I wanted to search for a company to supply my new business a 1300 number. Google has thousands of results, and I see there is stacks of competition in the paid advertisements in google, so how do I find a company to supply me this service?
The first thing to look for is a company that answers the phone, or calls back quickly and connects you through to a real person who can answer your questions. The second thing is a website which explains the process and makes signing up easy. Some companies specialise in 1300 numbers, however most Australian telecommunication companies will be able to sell you additional services which will complement the 1300 or 1800 service.
The process of setting up a 1300 number or 1800 number can be made very easy or quite complex depending on your businesses requirements. They have a whole bunch of features such as overflow, time based routing and a somewhat daunting provisioning process which is made more difficult by governmental bodies. Most companies should be able to supply you with free configuration updates, free setup and the features I just mentioned at no additional charge.
The next step in getting your own 1300 number is settling on an actual number or more importantly a few numbers. There is a public list of numbers available to all Australian telecommunication companies (telcos) which has a few thousand available numbers on it. Because its available to everyone, sometimes the numbers are already taken, so most telcos ask you to choose a few. If your looking for a number that spells a word, you will be looking for a smartnumber, and you have to purchase these numbers from auction.
Once you have chosen a company, and found some suitable numbers, make your application. Most 1300 numbers are supplied on credit, so expect to sign a contract or direct debit agreement with the telco. The average wait time to get your number up and running without any hitches is 5-6 business days at the time of writing, but you should ask your telco how long they expect it to take.