How would I dial this London number from England?

The number is +44 20 3411 0478

My understanding is that the +44 is the country code, and the 20 is the city (London) code. I can dial the number from the US by dialing 011 44 20 3411 0478.

But, how would someone in Surbiton, England dial the number? What about Hastings, England? Assume they are dialing it from a residence and don’t need to dial “9” to get an outside line or anything. Thanks in advance.

You would remove the +44 and add an initial 0. So it would be 020 3411 0478. That would apply from either Surbiton or Hastings.

OK, thanks for the response… A follow-up request for any UK Dopers. The number mentioned in my OP is a number I own, and someone elderly in the UK is saying they can’t get to it. I suspect they are doing something wrong, but I want to verify it is dialable within the UK.

Would anyone in the UK be willing to dial it (020 3411 0478)? You’ll just hear a recording on the other end asking you to enter an invitation number. At that point you can just hang up. It’s a regional UK number, and the phone call cost would be the same as dialing your neighbor down the street.

Thanks in advance.

just called it and it goes to a “life on record service”

am in the Isle of Man but we share a phone system with the UK (bar pointless quibbling) - in any case I indeed called precisely 020 3411 0478 and t’were fine.

ETA: To UK ears you sound very cheesy and over-americany-have-a-nice-day-look-at-my-white-teeth. That is not a criticism, it is deffo a cultural difference, but it may confuse very elderly people, as odd as that will sound.

ETA2: You can tell what kind of number a UK number is from its format. No one in the UK would need to know it was a “regional UK number”. Nevertheless, thanks for the thought!

ETA3: On that note it is not necessarily the case that it would be the same as dialing a neighbour down the street, it depends upon precisely what phone plan someone is on. In fact that would only be the case if they lived in the same code or had a premium package, in which case it would most likely be free* - although admittedly most have one of two.

Wow, lots of boring detail for ya :smiley:

*In the UK except Hull. Not in the Isle of Man cause although we’re on the same phone, erm, equivilant of TLD, we have a different phone provider here. Our numbers look like UK numbers but they will start with 01624 or 07624 . Erm, on that note, if you are incredibly worried about a stranger spending 20 pence on you, please just add it to the tip of the next {person you tip} over there that makes you smile. Maybe even let me know in this thread who that was :slight_smile:

Thanks much, Simple Linctus - I appreciate it!

I realize the phone voice is a little grating - the woman behind it is actually a Canadian. Just curious - what about the number tips you off that it’s a regional number? Is that a good way of describing a regional number (that it’s treated as a local call, regardless of where in the UK you call it from)?


Erm, it’s not treated as a local call regardless of where in the UK you call it from. If you call it from outside of London it will be treated as a national call. You can tell that from the area code. POSSIBLY if your pensioner is “not very gifted” in some way that may be causing some of the confusion as she may be disregarding some of the numbers and trying to call a local number.

Now having said that the differentiation between local and national calls is becoming meaningless, although iroincally where it would most matter is the basic telephone plans, which are most often used by pensioners, who may likely be your target market?

By the way if you do use a local number, you should be aware it will actually cost many if not most more. This is because apart from those pensioners (so there we go again, confusing ain’t it?) most people have a quota of free national calls, if not unlimited amounts. On the other hand the local numbers all at least as far as I know charge (most start 0845 but there are others) - they are billed at local rates irrespective of any free minutes. And the operator of the numbers gets some revenue, hence why they are always billed.

Yup, just dialled it from my UK mobile (didn’t cost me anything - I have 900 minutes a month and never use more than 20 of them) and it worked fine as 020 3411 0478.

Simple Linctus, thanks for the detailed reply! And thanks for “paying forward” the 20 pence. I think I understand the local and national distinctions.

PaulParkHead - also thanks for confirming the number. I’ll relay the instructions to the caller.

I suspect the problem is they are dialling 0207 or 0208 instead of 020. Despite the fact that the London codes changed more than 10 years ago, lots of people still don’t know that the code for London is 020.

The problem is that before the change, there were two codes: 0171 for inner London and 0181 for outer London, with seven digits after the code. 0171 xxx xxxx was mapped to 020 7xxx xxxx, 0181 yyy yyyy went to 020 8yyy yyyy, with eight digits after the code. Unfortunately, this led to many people assuming that the new codes were 0207 and 0208, with seven-digit local numbers still.

When they opened up numbers beginning with 3, these people got really confused - a situation not helped by stupid stories in the media saying there was “a third code being added” (this article is utter nonsense).

So lots of people still think a London number has to start with 0207 or 0208, which may be the root of the confusion.