Toll-Free Numbers

Arranging toll-free telephone numbers

While toll-free telephone numbers are used for many things—there are toll-free Internet access numbers, crisis hotline numbers and much more—in the business world, they can be a powerful marketing tool and a great way to establish customer contact.

Businesses use toll-free numbers for orders, technical support, customer service and much more. The 800 number is typically easier for customers to remember, which could help increase sales or make it easier to contact the company. If the number is easy enough to remember, customers can skip the process of looking it up in the phone book or accessing a company's website for contact information.

How Toll-Free Phone Numbers Work

Toll-free phone numbers work like collect calls: the person being called is charged for the long distance access, rather than the person making the call. They work with traditional phone lines as well as VoIP phone service.

In the beginning, companies were assigned their toll-free number by their long-distance carrier. As long as they wanted that number, they had to stay with that carrier. Now, long distance numbers are as portable as regular phone numbers, which means you can take them with you from carrier to carrier. It also used to be that toll-free 800 numbers were the common thing, but given the commonality of toll-free numbers amongst businesses and other organizations, other codes, such as 888, have been introduced.

Businesses often use toll-free numbers for marketing purposes, to spell out a brand or a business service. These types of toll-free numbers are known as vanity numbers because they help a company in its branding.

There are restrictions as to which phones can access a toll-free number, depending on the package purchased by the owner and, sometimes, the conditions of the provider. For example, businesses will need to purchase international toll-free numbers if they want customers to be able to call from other countries for free, as most toll-free numbers are limited to the country they are issued in.

Toll-Free Number Prices

Toll-free number prices will vary by provider and type of number requested. Cheap toll-free numbers are plentiful, starting as low as 10 dollars or less for the basic purchase price. Remember, though, that like a regular phone, you will be signed to a contract and will be charged for usage as well as maintenance fees.

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