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What is a Toll-Free Number and How Do I Get One?

Professional Answering Service

September 25, 2023

Ever wondered what those telephone numbers with unique area codes like 800, 855, or 833 signify? These are toll-free numbers, the equivalent of premium digital domains in the realm of telecommunication.

What is a Toll-Free Number and Why Are They Used?

Designed to be more memorable than ordinary local numbers, toll-free numbers provide a convenient way for people in the U.S., Canada, and a select number of other countries to reach your organization without worrying about long-distance charges.

In an era where digital communication seems to have nearly erased geographical barriers, the notion of long-distance may sound almost archaic. We live in a time when social media, instant messaging apps, and video conferencing tools allow us to connect with anyone, anywhere, almost instantly—and usually for free. So why do long-distance charges still exist when it comes to traditional phone calls?

The answer lies in the complex infrastructure and operational costs that telecom companies still have to manage. While data packets for digital services like email or social media may traverse international borders at negligible individual costs, voice calls through telephone lines or cellular networks involve a more intricate—and expensive—system of local, national, and sometimes international routing. Additionally, regulations and tariffs can differ from one jurisdiction to another, creating a layer of complexity that often translates into additional charges for the end-user.

While we may live in a digital world, the “real world” of telecommunications still comes with its own set of financial considerations—making toll-free numbers a valuable asset for businesses looking to eliminate this friction point for their customers.

How Are Toll-Free Numbers Assigned?

Getting a toll-free number typically involves going through a telecommunications service provider. Your service provider helps you choose from the available toll-free area codes and then assigns a number based on your preferences and needs.

Consider the benefits of a toll-free number:

Increased credibility: Toll-free numbers often give businesses a more professional image.
Geographical flexibility: As toll-free numbers aren’t tied to a specific location, they are ideal for businesses operating in multiple cities or countries.
User-friendliness: Toll-free numbers, again, are free of charge for your callers, making it easier for them to reach you.

The Synergy with Call Forwarding and Focus Answering Service

Toll-free numbers work exceptionally well when paired with call-forwarding solutions, particularly if you’re outsourcing phone responsibilities to a professional answering service.

Call forwarding solutions are relatively straightforward to set up. At Focus Answering Service, for example, we assign you a unique toll-free number and you get a specific forwarding code from your carrier.

Options for call forwarding include:

Automatic Call Forwarding: Ideal for after-hours operations, this option forwards all calls directly to your answering service.

Manual Call Forwarding: Your team chooses when to transfer calls to the Focus team.

Delayed or conditional call forwarding: Reroute calls after a set number of rings.

Busy call forwarding: Automatically divert calls to Focus agents when your office line is busy.

Scheduled call forwarding: You determine in advance which calls are rerouted.

Why Choose Focus Answering Service

Focus Answering Service offers seamless call-forwarding solutions. No more phone tag, missed calls, or voicemail issues. You set your terms, and our dedicated and approachable team ensures that all calls are handled professionally and compassionately.

What is a toll-free number and how can one help your business? We have answers. Give us a call at 800-886-6696 or request a free quote online.