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How To Get A 1 800 Number

Updated on September 16, 2011

How To Get A 1-800 Number

Acquiring a toll-free 1-800 number is not only a fantastic way to appear professional, it is also a much-appreciated service to offer your clients, increasing both brand loyalty and your company's ability to entice prospective customers. Additionally, individuals and families have begun erecting their own toll free numbers so that their children (for instance) are always able to call.

From the company's perspective however, there's nothing free about a toll-free number due to the fact that they will have to shoulder the burden of the call price. The cost per minute varies greatly but you can expect to pay more than a $0.05 and less than $0.20 per minute. During the course of this article I will attempt to cover a few options and detail specific case-by-case costs.

Considering the cost of the service is only one option to consider, however. And only one of the steps along the way to getting a 1 800 number. Let's start from the very beginning.

1-800, 800 and 0800 are toll-free numbers. But they aren't the only ones.
1-800, 800 and 0800 are toll-free numbers. But they aren't the only ones.

New Toll-free Extensions

The demand for toll-free numbers has boomed so much that operators have begun to offer newer extensions to accommodate the demand. Here are a couple of examples that are now commercially available:

  • 888
  • 877
  • 866
  • 855

Advantage: New chances for unique stylized numbers that were previously taken.

Disadvantage: Are not as notorious and may not be as instantly recognized as toll-free.

Finding The Right Responsible Organization (RespOrgs)

Researching the right service provider (RespOrg) is multi-stage process, but in it's simplest form you'll be making two important decisions:

  1. What provider to go for.
  2. What number to claim.

1. Toll-free providers are not necessarily phone companies. You can browse a list of these companies by viewing the following provider database. You're best bet is to manually scour the web for the right provider. Keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Price per minute.
  • Services (for example a web interface, voice mail to email, call forwarding and many, many more).
  • Whether the offer the right sized plan for you.

2. Choosing a number requires registration, which is an easy and painless process. I find it laughable that some companies charge a small fee to tell you whether or not a given number is already taken, when all it takes is a phone call to find out for yourself.

You can also opt to register what is known as a toll-free vanity number. This is a fancy customization which replaces numbers with letters to make your number both memorable and personalized. For instance:

  • 1-800-123-4567 becomes 1-800-THOO-GHUN.

Given how easy it is to register this numbers, the FCC have prohibited service providers from hoarding numbers in an attempt to then auction them off (much like Internet domains today).

Registration Speed

Setting up your number can take less than 10 ten minutes! I could have renamed this article "how to get a 1 800 number in 3 minutes". Don't forget many established service providers offer free test drives of the tools and number itself!

Selecting The Right Plan

Not all services behind the numbers are identical. If you're a parent extensive global coverage or fancy call routing services, but if you're an Internet-based firm, you may do. Make a list of essential qualities that need to be fulfilled and match them up to plans you are offered. Many websites and companies also offer a free pricing calculator that you can play with, that give you full control over how you spend your money. Here are some commonly neglected facets involved in tailoring a perfect plan:

  • The extent of coverage the service will provide, do you need national or global coverage?
  • Subscription and contract pitfalls. If there is a chance you won't need the number in the near future make sure you are free to "opt out".
  • Setup and administration fee structures.
  • Phone traffic costs (free minutes, mobiles e.t.c).
  • Special fees, surcharges and taxes.

Getting a number up and running can take a handful of minutes, but research should take as long as it needs to. I suggest contacting service providers by phone so you can ask direct questions, rather than risk being sucked in to an inefficient deal thanks to fancy wording.

I hope you enjoyed this article, and that at the very least it has pointed you in the right direction! Feel free to use the comment module below to outline any concerns, suggestions or criticisms!


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    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Wow, what a compliment! Thanks a lot fastfreta.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 6 years ago from Southern California

      I don't like to spend too much time on any one author, but you have such interesting hubs, I just had to come back. Very useful hub, voted up, useful, interesting.

    • thooghun profile image

      James D. Preston 6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Thanks for your time and comment Thranax!

    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 6 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      Nice guide on getting a 1-800 number. I always wondered about them but didnt want to look them up before, thanks to your hub I know more then I did and am satisfied in knowing that degree about 1-800 numbers.