Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Toll Free Numbers Prefixes

Toll free numbers are special telephone numbers that are being used by businesses to provide free support and services to callers. A toll number is preceded by a prefix of either 800, 866, 877 or 888 and usually comes in the form of 1-8xx-xxxxxxx in the US and Canada.

While all of the prefix offers the same set of features the 800 number prefix is the most widely used, expensive and scarce. This prefix is noted as the most effective because it is the prefix first used since the advent of toll free calling in the 1960s. In fact this prefix has come to mean toll free number.

The 866 and 877 prefixes are the least popular among the others because callers who encounters these toll free prefix often mistaken them as area code numbers. As a results callers, who are not aware of their free nature, will not call these numbers thinking that these are home-based or new business numbers.

Since the 800 prefix is rare to find nowadays, 888 is accepted as the best alternative. It is also cheaper compared to the 800 prefix and can create similar credibility and professional image for the business.

And when it comes to the point of adapting one for the business it does not matter which toll free prefix to use. All of them can provide the business with branding, marketing, professional image and increased volume of calls. What is important to consider are the price affordability, toll free plans and the suitability it can give the business. Whether a prefix has a positive or negative intuition it only depends on how well a business use them and how well they market their number to make callers aware.

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