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How to obtain toll free number for small business?

ivedtara 140 48 December 4, 2015 at 03:57 PM
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Seeking recommendations for toll free number providers that are reliable and also good deal. Thanks!

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#2
The options you have, and cost, depend a lot on:
1) Volume of calls/minutes per month? The more you need, the cheaper it is per call/minute.
2) How will the calls be delivered and will there be integration with your existing phone system? For example, if you have a VoIP PBX that's capable of additional SIP trunks, you can terminate the TF DIDs directly in without having to route into your ELS/LI DID (phone number) across the PSTN. If you can do this, it is almost always cheaper since you are only paying for one leg of the call.
3) Where are you getting TF calls from? Generally speaking, the closer you get to wholesale rates, the more the location of the origination of the call comes into place. Calls from certain places like Canada, USVI/Caribbean, Alaska and Hawaii will have much bigger surcharges. If you accept calls from a payphone (they still exist surprisingly enough) you will get hit with a huge per-call surcharge.
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#3
Our startup used VirtualPBX for our first service. They usually have services to get you going with toll free numbers.

We recently changed to Grasshopper. Much more user finely.
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"This whole.. I have XX company so my pee pee is 2" longer talk is hilarious. Who cares what company is cheapest, best, etc. Pick the company and plan you want and keep it to yourself."
#4
you don't really need a toll free number any more

most people have free calling,it used to be good for phone boxes but you would have a hard time finding one
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#5
Quote from astequess View Post :
you don't really need a toll free number any more

most people have free calling,it used to be good for phone boxes but you would have a hard time finding one
Not true. While it's certainly a fact that the financial benefits of a toll-free number to a caller are pretty much gone (people don't care about calling long distance anymore as you pointed out), the psychological importance for a company is very much a factor.

Businesses should have a toll-free number if they want to come across as legitimate, established, large and professional. It doesn't matter who is picking up the bill for the call, toll free numbers make a company look better and more appealing if they plan on serving clients outside of a small geographic area. If a company advertises itself with a regular number, it comes across that they are small and, possibly, far away. With a toll-free number, you don't have that stigma. Now if all you care about is local customers, it's not that big of a deal and probably not worth it. But if you operate in a larger market, it makes sense to get one since the cost is fairly minimal and can pay for itself.
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#6
Quote from phonic View Post :
Not true. While it's certainly a fact that the financial benefits of a toll-free number to a caller are pretty much gone (people don't care about calling long distance anymore as you pointed out), the psychological importance for a company is very much a factor.

Businesses should have a toll-free number if they want to come across as legitimate, established, large and professional. It doesn't matter who is picking up the bill for the call, toll free numbers make a company look better and more appealing if they plan on serving clients outside of a small geographic area. If a company advertises itself with a regular number, it comes across that they are small and, possibly, far away. With a toll-free number, you don't have that stigma. Now if all you care about is local customers, it's not that big of a deal and probably not worth it. But if you operate in a larger market, it makes sense to get one since the cost is fairly minimal and can pay for itself.

people want to do business with local buisneses
why you don't want a toll free number
http://www.businessknowhow.com/ma...llfree.htm
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#7
Quote from astequess View Post :
people want to do business with local buisneses
why you don't want a toll free number
http://www.businessknowhow.com/ma...llfree.htm
First, I assume you didn't bother to read what I said. If you did, you would have seen where I made it clear that if your company only cares about local customers (in your city or or general geographic area), then a toll-free number would not be beneficial and could be counter-productive. So if your business is a plumbing company, local restaurant, or something else that has no interest in getting calls from 1000 miles away, just stick with a local number.

Second, the author of your citation is a paid public speaker. He doesn't have a company per se -- he sells himself and his services as a consultant to do presentations and training. In his case, a toll-free number would seem less personal, and counter intuitive to his business model, so it makes sense that he wouldn't want one. If someone wants to contact him, seeing a non-vanity 'local' number makes you think that you're calling his personal line (which might be the case, since I've never heard of him and he's probably not that popular or in-demand), having the exact opposite psychological effect. But his personal point of view is irrelevant for a real company wanting a nation-wide foot print.

Lastly, his reasonings for suggestion not to have one are a bit ridiculous. Let's see:
1) He reviewed his phone bill and saw that all the toll-free callers were his friends and family. Sounds like a personal problem, Maybe he needs to focus more on getting calls from actual paying clients as a first priority. Not to mention telling his friends and family to call him on a different number. In any case, completely irrelevant.
2) Some other company accidentally gave out his toll-free number instead of their own in a marketing campaign. Definitely a concern, since it would be a pain to deal with that and would result in some added expenses, but still fairly irrelevant for the topic of why not to have one. A local company could have the same 'oops' and give out your local number (albeit without as much of a financial impact).
3) He felt that people would ignore his sales calls if he placed them from a toll-free number as they would think he was just trying to sell them something. Ironic, no? There are a few problems with that. The first is that he shouldn't be using his toll-free number as his caller-id. While you can, you don't need to and generally should not. Toll free numbers were not designed for that and you can actually run into technical issues doing so. For example, calling a toll-free number from a toll-free number can result in a failed call. If anything, I would say that your outbound number should be 'local' to make the call more personal. Many companies will actually buy and use local numbers in markets they are targeting sales calls to for the purpose of looking more local when they are not. But setting aside that, it has nothing to do with people calling you. So again, irrelevant.
4) After coming up with his own belief about the value of a toll-free number (to him), he decided to gather 'objective' opinions on the issue. So what did he do? He surveyed 25 other public speakers -- all in the same line of work as him! Not very objective now, is it? On top of that, a 25 person one-man-business sample size doesn't make for very good statistics.

At no point does he actually talk about the pros and cons from a business aspect. Probably because he doesn't know.

So I stand by my earlier statement. If you have prospective clients around the country and want to appear more professional, a toll-free number is a better option.

Here are some citations a little more reputable than the random guy you picked:
http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/...umber.html
http://grasshopper.com/blog/5-rea...ee-number/
http://www.nytimes.com/allbusines...llbusiness
http://blog.globalcallforwarding....-business/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bri...63492.html
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#9
Thank you all! I think I will go with grasshopper.
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