Hammonds set to cash in on 0870 client phone calls

Hammonds is making extra money from its clients by setting up national-rate 0870 numbers for its switchboard and staff direct lines.
The firm has recently changed its switchboard and all direct-dial numbers to 0870 numbers, and is being paid commission for receiving calls on these numbers from its service provider Kingston Communications.
This means that a Leeds client telephoning the Leeds office will be charged for calls at a national instead of a local rate.
The firm could earn up to £1m a year from operating this scheme, based on current industry estimates.
Hammonds is the only major UK law firm that has moved over to national-rate 0870 numbers for staff direct lines as well as the central switchboard.
A Hammonds spokesperson said the firm has estimated making up to £50,000 this year from switching to the 0870 numbers, mainly because many existing clients are still using their lawyers’ local direct-dials.
The old direct-dials, which clients pay for at local rates if they are making local calls, are no longer publicly available.
The spokesperson added that most of Hammonds’ clients are national clients using all the firm’s UK offices and would therefore have always paid a national rate.