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You can get one from a variety of toll free service providers. The good news is that these numbers are portable. This means that if for any reason you are unhappy with a specific provider or carrier, you can port – or transfer – your number to a different one. Many providers offer these numbers along with a subscription to a virtual phone system. This allows you to answer calls on any handset or mobile device without being tied to one physical location.
8-0-0 numbers are considered premium toll free numbers. They typically cost a bit more than 888, 877, 866, 855, or 844 numbers. The reason for this is that since they were the original toll-free prefix, there just are not as many available anymore. Some people think the original 800 prefix lends a greater degree of legitimacy to a business than the others do. However, most consumers in the US and Canada recognize all toll free numbers as legitimate business numbers.
There are a variety of providers. Some will sell you a number that is tied to your office system. Other providers, like iTeleCenter, provide the number with a virtual system. Calls to your number will forward to the number (or numbers) you define. You’ll be able to answer calls anywhere and screen calls to see which ones to send to voicemail. And as stated above, you are not tied to the provider you purchase the number from. You can move it to a different service at any time.
Most providers let you search for the number you want. While there are not as many of these numbers available as the other prefixes, there are still plenty to choose from. iTeleCenter’s signup page allows you to pick from a large list of available numbers.
Costs vary from provider to provider and typically depend on what type of service you are getting. Most providers have different plans that vary in price based on how many minutes are included and how many extensions are included. There is a generally a lower cost per minute on overages on plans with a greater number of included minutes. iTeleCenter plans vary from a low cost monthly service that includes 100 minutes to a premier plan with 5000 minutes per month. The only additional cost for this type of number is a one-time $25 fee.
There are many benefits of using 800 numbers for businesses. They give you a national presence – allowing callers from within the US and Canada to reach you at no cost to them. They add credibility – the average consumer recognizes a business that uses a toll free number as an established, reputable company.
One of the biggest perks is the ability to use one number for a distributed or remote team. Employees or departments can be assigned an extension that then forwards calls to any number in the US or Canada. And as a company owner, you can have the peace of mind knowing that your business doesn’t stop when you go away on vacation or spend time at your child’s soccer game. Important calls are not missed just because you want to spend precious time with your family.
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