What is an 800 number?
Before we talk about how to get an 800 number for your small business, first let’s explain what it is. A 1-800 telephone number is a toll free number with the toll free area code prefix 855, 866, 877, 888, or 800. Business owners often wonder, if they get an 800 number, do they own it? The answer is yes – unless the phone company is “renting” the number. With UniTel Voice, for example you own your number with no strings attached. And in most cases, unless you agree to their special terms and conditions, you own the number and can port it to another provider at any time. Toll free numbers are the only telephone numbers protected by special FCC toll free number portability rules. As long as you are in good standing with your toll free service provider you can port your number to another phone company. Why is this so important? Let’s say you’ve spend time and money marketing your business’s phone number and you move locations, or you change phone systems, or your phone company goes out of business, or your phone company raises your rates. Toll free number portability means you have the right to port your number away from your current phone company without service interruption. Note: Some companies (UniTel Voice excluded) have cancelation fees or “porting” fees. Make sure you read their terms and conditions carefully.
Why should I buy an 800 number for my small business?
There are many reasons you should buy an 800 number, even in 2014. First, there’s no question that a toll free 1800 telephone number gives your business instant credibility and a nationwide presence – if you are small startup company or a home-based business that little bit of credibility can go a long way. However, the most important reason to buy 800 number service is the ability to own your business phone number. Toll free numbers are the only phone numbers protected by special FCC number portability rules that protect businesses and ensure the ability to take your number with you wherever you go. You invest in marketing your number – don’t lose that investment by marketing a local area code number that is not protected. Get a toll free number with the area code 800, 888, 877, 866, or 855, and protect your investment, and as a bonus, give your small business a nationwide appeal with a big business image.
How to Get 1-800 Numbers with affordable service
You can get 1-800 numbers from almost every major phone company. However, toll free service providers are not all are created equal. In fact, you can get the same quality of 1800 number service from a smaller company for a fraction of the price of going to one of the huge telecom providers. Not only do the smaller telephone companies have less expensive rates, the smaller phone companies have better customer service and more features (like 800 number voicemail and auto-attendant call routing). You might be wondering: If I get an 800 number from a smaller toll free phone service provider, will the call quality be the same as the large telecom providers? In most cases the answer is yes. Companies like UniTel Voice for example, use the same underlying toll free forwarding network as the major telecommunication giants. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the US government deemed the large telecom companies “monopolies”, forcing them to allow smaller phone companies the opportunity to use their networks as their underlying carriers. Once the monopolies were broken down, free market competition kicked in. As a result, the small phone companies innovated, making 1-800 toll free service more affordable, adding cool phone system features, and providing better customer service. That’s the power of the free market! Breaking up the telecom monopolies increased competition, lowered prices, and increase innovation across the board. See UniTel Voice’s Low Cost Toll Free Number Plans.
Toll free numbers with virtual phone system features
Today, toll free service providers have combined cloud-based technology and with traditional toll free service to offer Virtual Phone Systems that provide small business with all the power of a traditional PBX business phone system without the hassle of equipment or software. Learn more about UniTel Voice’s Virtual Office Phone System.