Toll Free Numbers – A Deeper Look Into the Basics of Toll Free

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In times like these, companies are constantly looking for ways to get an edge over competitors. Many companies have discovered the use of toll free numbers, commonly called the 1-800 number. Callers don’t have to pay fees to call, and creates an easy way to provide customer service 24 hours a day. If the toll free number is properly integrated in the daily protocol of a company, it can be a lucrative tool to attract, please and retain customers.

The concept of toll free numbers is easy to understand. A toll free number usually begins with a three-digit prefix, 800, 888, 877 or 866. The cost of a call to this number is charged to the company or the person being called. This means a business with an 800 number would be able to offer services nationwide by telephone at no cost to their customers.

To acquire a toll free number, a company must first find a responsible service provider. The company’s budget and the package’s features will determine the best provider. Most local telephone companies can offer toll free numbers forwarding while online providers offer a service much more robust, especially when integrated with a virtual PBX system. Both services are generally accessible and within the budget of small businesses. Companies usually have toll free numbers that are easy for consumers to remember, making it easier to lift the phone and call.

The FCC or Federal Communications Commission is the governing body of toll free numbers. A set of rules restricts the hoarding and brokering of numbers by a company. The restriction on the accumulation means that a company cannot allocate more numbers than they intend to use. All company must also be aware that it is considered illegal by the FCC to sell the toll free number to make a profit.

Subscribers who hoard and sell toll free numbers are subject to sanctions by the FCC. Rules also state that because the company is paying for the call, they are entitled to know who is calling. This means that the company will be able to capture the caller ID of their partners, even if they are blocked or unlisted.

Calls to toll free numbers however, go through a very different process than simple phone calls. Most of the 1-800 numbers are of long distance. The long distance carrier then picks up the call and record the data necessary for billing before routing the connection.

Toll free numbers are different than local numbers in many ways. Understanding a little about how they work and how to get one can be a powerful tool for any business. They are accessible and easy to implement in any company with the ability to pay great rewards including increased lead generation, better customer service and successful marketing campaigns.

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