|Service||Lowest Rate / Minutes||Extra Minutes||Free Trial (Days)||Customer Rating|
|RingCentral||$9.79 / 300||4.9¢||30||
|Project a professional image to customers, partners and prospects. RingCentral's award-winning, feature-rich services integrate PSTN, VoIP, cellular, email, voicemail, fax, SMS and the Internet into a unified package. Tons of features, great service, and low price. Try RingCentral Mobile FREE for 30 days | RingCentral Reviews | RingCentral Office Reviews|
|Phone.com||$8.88 / 300||4.9¢||30||
|Tons of features, easy to setup, and cost effective, the Phone.com virtual office is flexible enough for almost any situation. Service was the 2008 Product of the Year Award recepient. Phone.com Reviews|
|Grasshopper||$49 / 2000||6.0¢||30||
|Toll free service for entrepreneurs & small business. Easy & instant setup. Includes advanced features other companies charge extra for. 24/7 support. Grasshopper Review|
|eVoice||$9.95 / 300||5.9¢||30||
|Includes a virtual receptionist and an easy-to-manage phone system that's perfect for your growing business. You can customize a virtual PBX phone system that easily guides callers to any employee at any location. 2 extensions included. eVoice Review|
|iTeleCenter||$19.95 / 500||5.9¢||14||
|Perfect for home-based businesses, internet marketers, direct sales people, real estate agents, and any small business looking for a phone solution that will keep their personal numbers private. $15 activation fee. iTeleCenter Review|
|VirtualPBX||$19.99 / 1000||4.4¢||30||
|With a few clicks and a couple of minutes you can have a fully automated, cutting-edge Virtual PBX small business phone system with advanced call routing, simple administration, and US-based professional support. No contracts, No setup fees. No cancellation fees. VirtualPBX Review|
|Kall8||$0 / 0||6.9¢||0||
|Service is pay-as-you-go. No confusing packages, no hidden fees, and no monthly minimums. High quality, great customer service, and fast setup. Instantly activate and forward your 800 numbers, view calls, and analyze the results of your ad campaigns online. Go... | Read kall8 Reviews|
|Freedom Voice||$9.99 / 300||4.9¢||30||
|Features include auto attendant, Follow-me call forwarding with hold music, Voicemail boxes, faxing from your desktop, and lots more. Go... | Freedom Voice Reviews|
800 phone numbers dramatically increase the professional perception of your business – especially if your 800 number spells your business name or area of specialty (e.g. 800-GOT-MILK). Virtual 800 providers offer lots of features to make your small business sound more professional and streamline its communications by creating a virtual office that connects callers to employees wherever they are, on any type of phone – home, office, VoIP, or mobile – without any equipment to purchase or maintain. Have your 800 number calls forwarded to any number or to multiple numbers, simultaneously or one at a time.
Advantages of 800 number phone service
- Sound more professional with a custom recorded main greeting
- Better manage incoming calls with multiple extensions for employees and departments
- Simplify the ways callers reach you with live call forwarding and transferring
Better manage voicemails and faxes with message delivery – listen to voicemails and view faxes right on your computer. All of these providers have no contracts and offer vanity phone numbers for a one time setup fee of approximately $30. Once you pay for at least one month’s service, you then “own” the 800 number and are free to transfer it to another provider if you choose. Use the table below to help you narrow down the field of service providers. Just decide how many minutes and the exact features you need, and you’re set to increase your professional image and more easily manage communications.
800 numbers are numbers that begin with one of the following three-digit codes: 800, 888, 877, or 866. 800 numbers allow callers to contact businesses and individuals without having to pay for the call. The charge for using an 800 number is paid by the called party (the toll-free subscriber) instead of the calling party. 800 numbers can be dialed directly to your business or personal telephone line. 800 numbers are very common and have proven successful for businesses, particularly in the areas of customer service and telemarketing. 800 number service provides potential customers and others with a free and convenient way to contact businesses. 800 numbers are also increasingly popular for personal use. For example, parents can obtain 800 numbers to give to a young adult who is away at college, allowing that young adult to call home anytime without having to make a collect call or pay for the call. Most plans include a set number of minutes for a fixed amount each month.
Toll-Free Codes – 800, 888, 877, 866, Today, there are four toll-free area codes: 800, 888, 877, and 866. Although 800, 888, 877, and 866 are all toll-free codes, they are not interchangeable. 1-800-234-5678 is not the same as 1-888-234-5678. Calls to each 800 number are routed to a particular local telephone number.
800 Directory Assistance. Toll-free directory assistance for some 800 numbers can be obtained by calling 1-800-555-1212. With the yellow pages of today, the service is free. Not all 800 numbers are listed – only those for subscribers that choose to list them. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to address how to promote competitive business among various providers of phone directory assistance, including directory assistance for 800 numbers. In the meantime, 1-888-555-XXXX numbers are not being assigned to subscribers.
How Are 800 Numbers Assigned? 800 numbers are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. 800 service providers have access to the SMS/800 database, which contains information regarding the status of all 800 numbers. 800 service providers can access the database and reserve a number for subscribers. There are several hundred toll-free service providers in the United States. You may find a list of all 800 service providers on the SMS/800 Web site, www.sms800.com/ or you may call the SMS/800 Help Desk at 1-888-SMS-3300.
What Is A Vanity Number and How Can I Get One? A vanity 800 number is a toll free number that spells a company’s name or word or acronym that is chosen by the subscriber. 1-800-FLOWERS and 1-888-NEW-CARS are good examples. To find out whether a specific 800 number is available, contact any 800 service provider.
Get an 800 number today…
How Does an 800 Number Work?
Years ago, the expense of setting up a toll-free number prevented many small and mid-size businesses from getting their own 800 numbers. Even today, most people think of a 800 number as unattainable for most small businesses – which is probably why it impresses customers so much. On the contrary, though, an 800 number is relatively easy to acquire. In most cases, all you need is an existing phone, even a cell phone. With cell phone accessories being quite affordable today, anyone can afford their own 800 number.
800 Forwarding Versus a Dedicated Line
For the typical small or mid-sized business, the 800 service provider forwards incoming calls to the designated number. Depending on your business setup, that could be your office phone, your home line, or even a cell phone. Some providers will even forward the call to multiple lines at once, allowing you to answer the call wherever you are at the time.
Businesses that receive a large number of calls might want to consider a designated line instead. Basically, you will need to have a new phone line installed, which will be used solely for incoming toll-free calls. Although you will need to pay for the installation and setup, you will get a better per-minute rate on incoming calls, which will more than make up for the initial expense. Today, more than ever, small businesses need to save money every way they can. Whether by lowering energy costs, outsourcing, or improved efficiency, if you don’t make the changes, your competition will.
The 800 Prefix
It used to be that an 800 number was the only kind of toll-free number. However, as these numbers became more popular for businesses, other prefixes were added in order to increase availability. The benefit is that if an 800 number you want – such as one that is similar to your local number, or one that spells something out is already taken, you can get it using another toll free number prefix.
The prefixes for toll-free numbers are:
Finding an 800 Number Service Provider
Unlike creating a website, getting a toll free number is easy. There are many 800 service providers to choose from: the big, well-known providers such as AT&T and MCI, as well as many smaller providers. Perhaps surprisingly, larger providers cannot offer you a greater choice of numbers. Although each provider typically has a pool of available numbers under their name, you can choose any 800 number that is not already in use. Since the availability of numbers is the same for every provider, you are free to choose your provider according to the rates and features they can offer.
Finding the Best 800 Number Rates
Rates can vary widely between cheap 800 number service providers. Although many people believe that large service providers will be able to offer the best rates, in fact the opposite is often true. Your best bet is to shop around, comparing the rates and features offered by different providers.
There are two basic types of rates you will need to compare:
- Monthly rates Most toll-free service providers will charge you a base amount every month, whether or not you receive any incoming calls. Monthly usage costs may be as much as $20, or you may not need to pay any at all.
- Per-minute rates On top of the monthly fees, you will need to consider how much you are charged per minute for incoming calls. In general, these rates range from 5 cents to 35 cents per minute, although smaller businesses will pay more per minute than those that receive a higher volume of calls. You should also compare 800 number service plans and the cost of billing increments between plans – the smaller the additional cost, the better – and avoid 800 number providers that require you to pay for a certain number of minutes every month.
Deciding What 800 Number Features You Want
There are a number of features available for 800 numbers. You will need to decide which features you would like to have, and then compare the availability and price of these features between different providers.
Some of the features offered on Toll Free numbers include:
- Call blocking This feature allows you to block callers who are not within your coverage (and would therefore cost you more than other callers), such as calls originating from pay phones.
- Account codes By requiring employees and/or customers to enter an access code, you can ensure that only authorized callers get through.
- ANI ANI service tells you who is calling before you answer. This feature can also be set up to display the caller’s information on a computer.
- Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS) If you have more than one 800 number, DNIS lets you know which number was called. This is particularly useful if you are running multiple marketing campaigns, and would like to know which is the most successful.
Choosing an 800 Number
As already noted, your choice of a toll-free service provider will not limit the variety of cheap 800 numbers available to you. You can either choose a number from the provider’s pool, or a vanity number.
Choosing from the Provider’s Pool
Service providers generally have a pool of toll-free numbers that have been set aside for them. Because these numbers are already in the provider’s system, your 800 number can be set up much more quickly than if you choose a number from outside the provider’s pool.
Selecting a Vanity Number
A 800 number that you choose yourself, either because it is similar to your office number or because the corresponding letters spell out something memorable, is known as a vanity number. As long as the number is not being used by another business, you will be able to claim it. However, if it is not already in your provider’s pool of numbers, you will need to wait about a week for the number to be transferred and your account to be activated. The good news is that once you have claimed an 800 number, it is yours: Even if you decide to change providers, you can take your number with you.
Call Center Service
Call centers serve as a centralized office used for the purpose of receiving and sending telephone calls, usually in large volume. Call centers are used to administer product support or information inquiries from customers. Outgoing calls are typically used for the purposes of telemarketing, product services, and debt collection. In addition to call center service, handling of letters, faxes, and emails at one location is called a contact center.
Using Your 800 Number
Once you have selected an 800 number and a provider, you need only to wait for your account to be set up. Before you start giving your 800 number out to customers, you should test it with the help of family and friends in various locations. After you have ensured that the toll free number works and the sound quality is acceptable, you are ready to benefit from the added credibility an 800 number gives to your business!
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