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How toll free numbers work


Toll free numbers act as a costless option for the customer when they need to reach your business. A toll free number is an easy way of saying thanks to your patrons for their business and cac ensure that every phone call is met with prompt, professional service and reachable from anywhere in the country. Considering a toll free number for your business? Keep reading to learn more about how toll free numbers work.

Toll free means….?

A toll free number will allow customers to reach your business without any phone charges on their end. Long-distance fees won’t apply on the customers’ end, so they can call from just about anywhere and essentially get a free phone call.

Your business will own the toll free number, and is therefore responsible for covering the cost of each phone call. Many toll free plans are set up similarly to regular phone plans, with long-distance call options and a fixed monthly charge or per-minute charges.

Toll free does mean free in a way, but only if you’re the customer making the call. Since your business is providing the customers with a phone number that’s free of charge to dial, your patrons will feel your business is much more legitimate and professional, and will certainly appreciate not incurring those costly long-distance or minute-to-minute charges.

The prefixes

When you obtain a toll free number, it will be of one of range of number varieties: 800, 1800 etc, depending on your location. These numbers identify your toll free number as such and can be dialed from a cell or landline anywhere in the country.

You’ve likely seen some kind of ad which prompted its viewers or listeners to call toll-free number for more information or to order the advertised product/service. Anytime you see a toll free number it won’t cost you a dime if you’re the caller.

Vanity numbers

Vanity numbers add an extra feature to your toll-free prefix. A vanity number will include an acronym that identifies either what the business sells or the industry they work in, and are much easier to memorize than the sequences of random numbers that make up your toll free number.

For instance, a law firm may have a vanity number such as 1-800-LAW-HELP so customers can easily memorize the number. Vanity numbers can contain just about any acronym you can think of, provided it is appropriate and fits into the 7-digit number structure.

Where do I obtain a toll free number?

There are dozens of websites and businesses that offer toll free numbers, including the following:

Freedom Voice




…and many more!

These services will provide you with a toll free or vanity number, with monthly rates varying among each company and plan. Once you’ve obtained your number, it will be maintained by the company you choose, but if you switch providers, you can take your number with you.

Can I route a number to a local line?

Toll free numbers can also be forwarded to local lines, so even though the customer is dialing an 800 number, you’ll be answering on your own landline or cellphone. This is incredibly useful for small businesses who want a toll free number but don’t have the resources for call centers or dedicated answering services. Small businesses can benefit from toll free numbers as well.. they’re not reserved specifically for the giants in the industry.

Are the services monitored?

The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, sets rules on acquiring and maintaining toll free numbers, but doesn’t have access to the database. They simply ensure that fair practices are being followed and that you are able to switch your number to a new provider should you switch.

Do I really need a toll free number?

A toll free number can not only add a level of legitimacy to a business, but can also increase your customer service and satisfaction. When asking yourself whether or not you need a toll free number, consider how your customers currently communicate with your business.

Are you using your personal cell phone? A landline? Is your number a local phone number or out-of-state number? How often do you miss calls? Depending on how you answered these questions, a toll free number may be the better option for your business. Having a dedicated support line that’s free to call for your customers can really help boost your customer service record.

Toll or toll free?

In the toll vs toll free argument, the answer truly depends on the needs of your business. If you have a great phone plan already that’s meeting the needs of your business, a toll free number might not be necessary. Compare the cost of a toll free number to the cost of your current phone service to get a true idea of the financial impact the change would have on your business.


With enhanced customer service, a free phone line, and a dedicated answering staff, your business’s reputation will experience a boost and put you at the forefront of your industry. Blow away the competition by providing a safe, secure, and best of all, free way for your customers to voice their comments, complaints, or questions. The more you communicate with your patrons, the more you’ll understand not only your customer base, but also your own products and how your business operates.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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