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Daniel Nashed


    Phone Number Format

    Daniel Nashed  18 September 2009 09:22:35

    Now that I am a addicted iPhone user for a while and I am involved in a Cisco Call-Manager deployment project I noticed that many people still use a very odd format for their phone numbers.
    Almost everyone is using the +country code notation but many still add a (0) behind the country code and before the prefix for the town.

    Example: +49 2103 123456 would be a correct phone number which can be dialed.
    If you specify +49 (0) 2103 123456 the number cannot be dialed automatically by a mobile device, Notes live text etc ...

    I still get many emails with the embedded "(0)". IMHO everyone knows how to dail national and international numbers and the zero is more confusing that it helps anyway.

    What do you think about it?

    -- Daniel

    1Karsten Lehmann  18.09.2009 10:13:46  Phone Number Format

    In the last holidays in Greece, I read a description for the hotel numbers when called from a foreign country. They explicitly added then "0" after +33. I think on the page for German callers there was no "0", but for other countries. Don't know if this was a mistake.

    2Jan-Piet Mens  18.09.2009 11:52:13  Phone Number Format

    I get upset at anything in the phone number that makes it un-dialable, for the same reasons you do. Astonishingly, about the only country that gets it right is the US, because all their numbers follow a fixed format. (Although they often omit the + before the 1)

    3John Dalsgaard  18.09.2009 13:25:09  Phone Number Format

    In Denmark it is easy. There is no "0" to be added. The international version of our number is: +45 4914-1271 and for callers in Denmark simply 4914-1271.

    If I understand you correctly the calling +49 2103 123456 from outside Germany is equal to calling 0 2103 123456 from inside Germany. Is this correct? If so, it may not always be so obvious when to add and when to not add a zero....


    4Daniel Nashed  18.09.2009 14:23:53  Phone Number Format

    yes in Germany inside a town you just dail the number like 123456 if you are dailing a number in another town you add a 0 to indicate you are dailing a national not a local number and than the prefix of the town. in my case 2103.

    if you dail internationally you would normally dial one 0 for the national call and another 0 for the international call. so I could also dail 00 49 2103 123456 from my phone. the + stands for 00 in Germany but it could be different in other countries -- like in Denmark (just stands for one 0).

    So the purpose of the + is to have a standard that works the same way in all countries. I am adding all phone numbers into my mobile phone in international format since ever. that way the number also works when I am on the road.

    -- Daniel

    5Peter Seifert  18.09.2009 15:02:18  Phone Number Format

    as for nearly everything in Germany, we have a DIN standard for this (DIN 5008). The international phone number should look like +49 30 12345-67 ...

    wikipedia has a good entry on this issue: { Link }

    (in german)

    6Grant Norman  22.09.2009 11:07:47  Phone Number Format

    I ran into this particular issue when trying to manhandle a CRM system, a number of years ago now. The data I came across indicated that many people had no idea about UK number formats, let alone international ones.

    In the UK, the traditional way to write your phone number for international callers is to have the (0). It is only since mobiles became common place that this has started to prove a hindrance for today's communicative masses.

    Standardising formats makes sense but it is people actually running into the issue you describe that will affect behaviour more than any regulation/standard which will just get the traditionalist and anti-European lobbies up in arms.

    7Smithe469  30.05.2014 20:15:42  John

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