Just What Is A Toll-Free Number?
Toll-free numbers (they begin with 800, 888, 877, 866 and 855) are numbers that can be dialed by anyone, from anywhere in the United States (and sometimes Canada and the Caribbean) and the recipient pays for the call. This is referred to as "toll free," because they are free to the user and the owner of the number must pay for the minutes used.
1. It is easier and more cost effective than looking for change or using a calling card, when you (or others you designate) have to call the office or home.
2. Businesses will frequently put a toll-free number on a fax line, so sales representatives can place orders from the field, saving money for your company.
3. A toll-free number is a cost effective way for your loved ones or field employees to call in without using a cell phone or calling card, saving money for your company.
5. You can run different ads on the Internet, newspapers, etc., each with a different toll-free number, and be able to see which ad has the best response.
6. You can use a toll-free number to ring at your home so you can dial a toll free number from the road. The cost per minute (5-10 cents per minute) for your own toll-free number is generally less than other 800 dial-up services, and there is no fumbling with a calling card, no high hotel room access charges, and because it is your number, it rings directly to any number you want. You can change the ring-to number whenever you want.
Yes!! Anyone can have a toll-free number. Many carriers do not promote this option and many residential users are not aware of how a toll-free number can benefit them. Here are some ideas:
1. You can have a toll-free number so your college student can call home. It is more cost effective than the dorm long distance carrier, and your child can call you from anywhere. We have one client who put a toll-free number on his son's dorm room telephone number in a different state, so he could call his son from the road.
2. Family or Personal 800 Number: You can call your spouse and tell them you are running late, or ask, "Honey, I stopped at the grocery store, do you need anything else?" If you talk for 30 seconds it will cost less than 5¢. Try finding a pay phone or cell phone that is this inexpensive.
3. Traveling: When you are on vacation, or just away from your home, you can call your toll-free number to access your answering machine or your voice mail.
4. Home Based Business: If you are just starting a home based business, it may help you appear larger and more established.
5. Calling Card Alternative: A toll-free number is easier and more cost effective than looking for change or using a calling card, when you have to call home.
With most long distance companies, the odds are against you. (GLOBALnet TeleManagement has 800, 888, 877, 866 and 855 numbers available to be assigned today.) Toll-free numbers have become such indispensable business tools that many businesses with 800 numbers then requested the same 888 number; i.e., 1-800-Flowers requesting 1-888-Flowers. As a result, many of the 888, 877,866 and 855 numbers are already reserved or taken.
Many people think they only want a toll free number that is 800, not 888, 877, 866 or 855. Some will change their mind after a few months. Since "800" numbers have been around for a long time, if you get one, chances are that Frank's Transmission had it first, then Bugs-B-Gone, then Vinnie's Pizza, and now you. You may receive calls (which you will pay for) from people that still think they are calling Frank's Transmission, or Bugs-B-Gone, or Vinnie's Pizza.
On the other hand, odds are that if you get an 855 number, you'll be the first user of that number. All your calls will be yours.
You should ask the following questions:
Is a term contract required for toll-free service? Some carriers do not require a contract. (GLOBALnet doesn't require a contract on any of our services. We think that once you get to know us, we won't need a contract to keep you as our client!)
Are there any recurring monthly fees? Many carriers charge as much as $20.00 per month to maintain your toll-free number! Very few (like GLOBALnet) only pass through what we pay to the toll-free number administrator. Be sure to check!
Vanity number searches are often charged by carriers, and can be as high as $50.00 per search. (A vanity number is a number which, when used in conjunction with the letters on the touch tone key pad, spell a word or phrase. The phrase can be anything from your name to the name of your business (1-800-MY COMPANY). It can describe your business in general or as specifically as you would like. It can inform your customers of your service or product (1-800-FREE 800). It could be a well-known term, a cliché or a popular saying (I-888-JUST DO IT). It could be a name of a city, state, or country (1-888-SAN DIEGO). It could be an easy to remember number for your child-student (1-800-I LOVE YOU). But one thing is for sure, it will be easy to remember.) GLOBALnet does not charge for this service.
What is the minimum billing increment? Some carriers still charge in full minutes; others (like GLOBALnet) bill in 6-second increments.
For most clients, the answer is YES! Your toll-free number is yours and you can move it to any carrier you choose. This called is called "portability," as your number is portable and can be transferred. Beware, however, if you are "renting" a paging or voice mail service, the toll free number is probably not yours.
We only pass through the fees we pay. As of January 1, 2013, this amounts to $3.01/month.
We urge you to check the terms and conditions of your contract, but, in most cases, no. A carrier may offer great outbound rates and awful toll-free rates. Many companies split out their outbound and inbound toll-free services due to these pricing differences. The savings can be substantial.
Your vanity phone number works 24 hours a day; can provide prestige to your organization; it can identify your service or product; and it can be easily remembered. WARNING: Vanities are not easy to obtain. If you don't have toll-free service and you want a vanity number, call the toll free number before you request it. See if it is in use. If it rings, it is taken. Even if it is not answered, it is taken. If you hear a fast busy signal or operator intercept message, it may be available.
Many carriers charge a "search or retention" fee to check for vanity toll-free numbers. Some even apply the fee if the number you request is not available. These fees can be as much as $50.00 per search! We at GLOBALnet think this is ridiculous.
First, almost all of the 800 numbers are gone and most of the 888's are as well. Next, many toll-free numbers are regional. A landscaper in Atlanta with 1.800.LANDSCAPE doesn't want calls from Maine, Florida or Oregon, so he just allows calls from his area code. You may get a fast busy like it isn't working and he doesn't pay for your call. Also, large companies take blocks of 100 numbers and only activate 10 at a time. Additionally, there is an inventory of toll-free numbers on hold with hundreds of companies like GLOBALnet, so it may be possible that a specific vanity number is available, but sitting in some carrier's reserve.
If you have an existing 800 number it typically takes 5-10 business days to transfer your service to GLOBALnet. If you are requesting a new, non-vanity toll-free number, we can have your service up and running in as little as 24 hours.
Carriers file rates with each state for instate calling. Be sure to investigate both the interstate and intrastate rates before accepting a carrier's offer.
No, your toll-free number "rings to" any existing number you have, whether your home number, the fax at work, etc. Think about which line in your office you are going to have it "ring to." If you have multiple 800 numbers you can have them all ring to the same "ring to" number or to specific line to track response.
That's easy. In the comments box, include your toll-free request.
All of this is available from the leader in small business telecommunications consulting, where you'll have a dedicated account manager who will act as your single point of contact for all things telecommunications-related, whether we represent the product or not. Great rates, your own account manager, and free consulting services. Only from GLOBALnet TeleManagement.