800 numbers are popular for many businesses. They give you a more widespread feel than a local number and let callers contact you easily. So how do you get a 1-800 phone number for your business?
A toll free number is a special kind of phone number that bills the cost of the call to the owner of the number, rather than the calling party having to foot the bill for any associated long distance or toll charges. There are many advantages to having a toll free number. Here is a good whitepaper that explains those many advantages at: Why Use a Toll Free Number. Getting a toll free number is fairly easy. Getting a true “1-800” number may be a bit more of a challenge.
Where to find a toll free number
There are hundreds – no, thousands – of toll free number vendors out there. Solaxis is a good provider of toll free numbers, so we recommend starting your search there.
Many times, securing a toll free number is as easy as going online, filling out a form, entering your credit card and clicking submit. Toll free numbers are typically offered to customers on a month-to-month subscription basis. You pay a monthly fee along with any and all associated toll charges.
AT&T is well known for its volume of toll free numbers along with their reliability. If you are looking at driving thousands and thousands of calls through a toll free number, AT&T is another good vendor.
If you want a quality “vanity” toll free number (a number that spells a word or has a recognizable number pattern) you better be prepared to pay for it. A lot of businesses think they want a vanity number, but after seeing what’s available and how much it will cost, they often decide to do without one. But if you’d like to have a look for yourself, try Custom Toll Free.
Can I get a true “800” number?
Yes, but you have to look around. Most of the “8-0-0” number inventory was used up years and years ago since they are a very finite resource. That is why toll free numbers nowadays are offered in the 866, 877, and 888 varieties. These numbers work exactly the same, so don’t be afraid to use them.
The “800” numbers have basically all been used, but they do come available and you can find them with some persistent searching. It is particularly difficult trying to find a 1-800 “vanity” number. If you aren’t overly picky about having an 8-0-0 number then you won’t have much of a problem securing a toll free number that at least starts with 8.
One other way you can get a 1-800 phone number is by partnering with an answering service. When they are setting up your account, they should be able to help you secure a good 800 number to use. Good luck!