A private number is when a caller intentionally blocks their number from showing on caller ID. They're used to hide the identity of callers, and they can appear on your phone as ‘Private Caller’, ‘Restricted’, ‘Blocked’, 'No Caller ID', or other similar variations.
Customers will feel wary when called by unknown numbers. Although calling from a mobile number or standard area code may look unprofessional compared to Freephone numbers like 0800 business numbers, it may still be better than using a ‘No Caller ID’ number.
These private numbers can also be associated with scammers and bad business, and could affect your business negatively by damaging brand image and giving you a higher volume of call rejections.
There are some reasons to use private numbers for your business. For example, they can be helpful if you use your personal mobile and you don’t want people contacting you out of hours, or if you run a customer service line and don’t want people ringing back and engaging the line. However, even in these cases, you should be prepared for a higher rejection rate for your calls.
With a Virtual Landline number, you won’t need to use private numbers. Simply choose a number that suits you, and whenever a customer or potential customer rings your business the call will divert to your own landline or mobile number. This way, you’ll have a number that best represents your business, and you’ll no longer need to advertise your personal number.
You can also benefit from a variety of pro features that will further improve your communication system, such as auto attendant, whisper tone and more. Learn more about how Virtual Landline works, read why you should choose Virtual Landline and view our case studies for real-life success stories.
View our tariffs for a deal that best suits you and get free £5 call credit on us.
We offer a variety of virtual numbers that you can use as an alternative to private numbers. Local numbers give the impression that you have a presence in a particular city while allowing you to run your business from anywhere in the world. We have local numbers available for a variety of UK locations, including London - see how local numbers can benefit your business today.
And if you’re looking for customers to remember you, take a look at our Golden numbers: when used in conjunction with a good marketing campaign, their success can be phenomenal!
On most phones, you can find an option in settings (under call rejection or call options) that allows you to block private numbers. Look for the ‘auto reject list’ in your settings - from there you should be able to block any unknown numbers.
To block an individual call in the UK, dial the prefix 141 (in the USA, the prefix is 67) before the recipient’s number and then ring as normal. This will hide your number from the recipient, so that it shows up as something like 'No Caller ID' on their phone. Bear in mind, though, that this will only hide your number for this one particular call'; you'll need to repeat the same process each time you want to block your number.
On most mobile phones, you'll be able to change the settings so that your number is hidden each time you make a call. While the process is likely to vary from phone to phone, many will have an option like 'hide my number', 'restrict my identity' or something similar. On lots of smartphones, you can choose to save your settings to make your number private on all calls going forward; change your settings as and when it's appropriate.
You may also be able to contact your mobile provider and ask them to adjust your preferences.
"I used to carry two mobiles around, one for work and one for personal use, thanks to Virtual Landline I now only need one, and have saved money."
Gary Jones, Dentfix Mobile Vehicle Repairs
"I can now make really great value calls from my mobile using the app on 4G which is ideal for phoning home to India when I’m on the move."
"Just moved house from Sheffield to Kent, kept my old Sheffield number by turning it into a Virtual Landline so all our friends can still keep in touch."
"I bought a Virtual Landline for my mum in Poland, so she has a Colchester phone number! I can now call her from my mobile using my free minutes"
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Oscar Jackson, THP Architects
"I set up a Virtual Landline for my parents who have moved to Spain, now we can call them for the cost of a local call and so can all their old friends."
"I'm an airline stewardess, and Virtual Landline saves me a fortune. All I need is Wi-Fi anywhere in the world, and I can phone home for a penny a minute, and my friends can phone me back as if I was in the UK... Amazing"
"I started my new business working from home and needed a dedicated number, Virtual Landline was an ideal and cheap solution. Also... if my business grows, I can take the number with me.
Abigail Goddard, Lux Interiors
"We use a VOIP phone instead of the free app and really can't tell the difference between our Virtual Landline and a real one, except the cost! When we're out the calls are sent to my mobile, and no one knows. Marvellous!"
Ron and Carol Smyth