BT is introducing guidelines for phone users to know the difference between their area code and their phone number. Some people quote a shortened version of the code and stick the remainder of the code onto the start of the number.
So, for example if the area code was 01234 and the numbers under this code were 567890 and 123456, some people would consider 0123 as the code and have the two numbers as 4567890 and 4123456.
Whilst dialling 4567890 and 4123456 in the 01234 area will still work, BT is trying to make it clear that what is common to all numbers in any exchange is part of the code, so the 4 stuck on the front of these numbers should really be part of the code.
01234 567890 | 01234 123456 - Correct
0123 4567890 | 0123 4123456 - Incorrect
To do it the BT way means that while dialling from outside the area makes no difference, when dialling within the area users have to press one less button. This will speed up the system and has less wear on everything including their buttons so their buttons will last longer before they need attention.
01234 is common throughout so there is no need for it to be shortened to 0123 with 4 at the start of the number, so 01234 should be recognised as the code.
Research shows that people who are more imaginative and intelligent preferred the BT way as it had consistency, efficiency and seemed more logical, whereas the toffee-nosed and narrow-minded within society (both double-barrelled descriptions) preferred a shorter code and a longer number.
Psychologists said that having a shorter code for the area could make people feel more important since major cities have shorter codes whereas smaller towns have longer codes and this may be the reason for preferring the 'feeling important' factor over the 'logical and efficient' factor.
Whether it is with numbers or the way people think, the BT way separates the common from the different by grouping all the common together which is a good thing in today's society.