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1800 numbers
Who previously owned them?
abbeyvet




msg:652590
 4:39 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am not sure this is the right place for this question - if not can someone with the power to so do move it.

I am about to order a 1800 number for a site and I know precious little about them. It is an Irish based tourism site, so the number will actually ring in Ireland.

I am just concerned that we will have a second-hand number and waste a lot of time (and money) answering calls from someone elses customers. I cannot see that there is a way to know in advance the number you will get, not where I am looking at buying anyway, so have no way to check it first.

Is this a likely thing to happen? Is there a way to avoid it? Should I get one of the other free phone numbers?

 

jsinger




msg:652591
 2:28 am on Oct 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

In the U.S. 800#s are kept unused for a year before being reissued. Don't settle for an 888 or especially an 877 or 866. Get the "real thing."

We don't get calls for the old owner of our number but we get some wrong numbers. Yes, we have to pay for them. Not a huge deal. About two calls a day; most last 15 seconds or so.

Alphawolf




msg:652592
 5:48 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

In the U.S. 800#s are kept unused for a year before being reissued. Don't settle for an 888 or especially an 877 or 866. Get the "real thing."

Often, getting a toll free # is part of one's branding...a vanity number. It's VERY tough to find a 1-800 that has any elements of what you desire in the number.

If it came between getting a 1-800 # that was just a random bunch of numbers or an easy to remember 866 or 877 number that would help with branding- I'd go with the 866 or 877.

After shows like American Idol used the 866 (or was it the 877 number and emphasized it was toll free...people caught on. You could always put in small but readable text *toll free near the 866 or 877 number for those who may not know.

Just my .02

Regards,

AW

jsinger




msg:652593
 7:18 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

That's a valid point. But plenty of people are wary of those Bahamas pay-per-call "809 numbers" that charged up to $25 per minute to be on hold for some psychic or whatever.

People universally know that "800" means: 1) REALLY toll-free; 2) the company has probably been around for awhile; 3) the company is probably fairly large. (yes, I know there are many exceptions)

I surveyed some of our store clerks and found that NONE knew a 877 (or even 888#) was toll free.

-----------
You are right that it is very difficult to find a branded number of any kind. I tried it. The 855 block is opening soon and you might get a "855-widget" number.

Alphawolf




msg:652594
 8:03 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

That's a valid point. But plenty of people are wary of those Bahamas pay-per-call "809 numbers" that charged up to $25 per minute to be on hold for some psychic or whatever.

I wasn't- never been into that. :)

Regardless, if the 1-866 or 1-877 number is on a business card or website it's clear the number is for that business and not a psychic. ;)

People universally know that "800" means: 1) REALLY toll-free; 2) the company has probably been around for awhile; 3) the company is probably fairly large. (yes, I know there are many exceptions)

Sure. It is the .com of 1-800's and 866 and 877 is the .net so to speak.

But even large comapnies will advertise with 866 or 877 numbers. Cablevision for North East US advertises their Digital IO service under an 866 number.

I think 866 is pretty well known as toll free...877 a bit less. 855 I wuld not know was a toll free.

I surveyed some of our store clerks and found that NONE knew a 877 (or even 888#) was toll free.

I think I saw that response from you in another thread- didn't you ask "What area code 866 was in?" Trick question. :)

Since we are dealing with websites (we are, right?) a little text "Call us Foll Free at 1-866-GO-WIDGETS" would live no doubt.

As to a 1-800 being more authoritative and giving a better impression- I dunno. You and I know getting a good vanity number in 1-800 is tough.

People who haven't looked into toll free numbers usually presume a "toll free number" is very expensive.

When I mentioned I was getting a toll free number most people thought it was a big investment.

With AT&T I pay $12/mo on average because it's called very rarely and 7 cents per minute for calls.

It's actully cheaper or the same price for making LD calls here in the US depending on one's phone plan.

I'd be interested to know how much it costs to forward calls to one's toll free to other countries from the US. I recall when I filled out the form online I could only put in a US based number. Perhaps a search is in order...

Regards,

AW

abbeyvet




msg:652595
 9:01 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thank you for all those thoughts - it helps a lot.

I have looked for some sort of vanity number with the 866, 855 etc but not been able to find a suitable one anyway, so I am going with the 1800

You are right about it being cheaper than you would think. When the number is sourced and bought in the US even diverting the calls to Ireland is very inexpensive - works out at about 9c a minute - certainly far, far cheaper (actully in a different league entirely) than trying to source a number from Ireland to use in this way.

Alphawolf




msg:652596
 9:38 pm on Nov 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

abbeyvet,

You are right about it being cheaper than you would think. When the number is sourced and bought in the US even diverting the calls to Ireland is very inexpensive - works out at about 9c a minute - certainly far, far cheaper (actully in a different league entirely) than trying to source a number from Ireland to use in this way.

What service are you using? If you'd rather not state it here then can you sticky me? I searched AT&T a while and could not find any prices or info on simply forwarding the toll free number to another country. They have the International toll free, where you can have a toll free in various countries, but I just wish to have the toll free forward to a single number in a country outside the US.

Thanks,

AW

jsinger




msg:652597
 12:18 am on Nov 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Cheaper than one thinks"

Absolutely, and that's one reason they're kewl. About 25 years ago I priced toll free inbound service and rates started around $300 per month, minimum. That included all U.S. states but not our own. There was an additional $250+ bucks for in-state service. You paid beyond those rates if you received a huge volume of calls.

In those days, everything was 800 (the analogy to .com is apt) Having an 800# was almost like saying you were listed on the NYSE! A badge of size and quality.

----------
"But even large comapanies will advertise with 866 or 877 numbers"

Very true. You've got to do some arm twisting to get an 800#. Tell a carrier you will switch to them IF they get you a great number, and they will. There are brokers on the web who handle resales of valuable numbers. In the 90s, tech startups and others hoarded far more 800#s than they needed, causing a shortage. Great numbers are available if you spend time looking for them.

We use Sprint at about 6 cents a minute, U.S. only. (but don't tell our customers!)

Large companies may need blocks of toll free numbers to handle many calls. Perhaps that's why they go with the "dot net" numbers.

jsinger




msg:652598
 12:20 am on Nov 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Cheaper than one thinks"

Absolutely, and that's one reason they're kewl. About 25 years ago I priced toll free inbound service and rates started around $300 per month, minimum. That included all U.S. states but not our own. There was an additional $250+ bucks for in-state service. You paid beyond those rates if you received a huge volume of calls.

In those days, everything was 800 (the analogy to .com is apt) Having an 800# was almost like saying you were listed on the NYSE! A badge of size and quality.

----------
"But even large comapanies will advertise with 866 or 877 numbers"

Very true. You've got to do some arm twisting to get an 800#. Tell a carrier you will switch to them IF they get you a great number, and they will. There are brokers on the web who handle resales of valuable numbers. In the 90s, tech startups and others hoarded far more 800#s than they needed, causing a shortage. Great numbers are available if you spend time looking for them.

We use Sprint at about 6 cents a minute, U.S. only. (but don't tell our customers!)

Large companies may need blocks of toll free numbers to handle many calls. Perhaps that's why they go with the "dot net" numbers.

Hawkgirl




msg:652599
 1:58 am on Nov 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

> could not find any prices or info on simply forwarding the toll free number to another country

Most US-based telecom companies will forward your toll-free number to "ring-to" any number you want. Typically, their regular international rates will apply to the call if it is forwarded internationally. So if you want to forward a bunch of calls to Ireland from the U.S. via a 1-800 number, pick a carrier with (1) 800# capability (most have it, a few do not) and (2) screaming low rates to Ireland - and you'll be good to go.

Rachel




msg:652600
 3:50 am on Nov 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just ordered an 800 number yesterday. I tried looking for a vanity number with any 8** prefix, but couldn't find one. Cost is only 3.5 per minute in the US, 7 per minute for calls from Canada, and 5.5 per minute from the UK. I'd put it off for the last couple of years because I thought it'd be ridiculously expensive. I feel like I'm moving up in the world! ;)

Rachel

jsinger




msg:652601
 4:13 am on Nov 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Rachel, where'd you get that great price? I haven't shopped around for three years.

Hawkgirl




msg:652602
 2:57 pm on Nov 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

> I haven't shopped around for three years.

Get thee to a long distance comparison website. :) There's about sixty billion sites out there that will help you compare rates and then help you switch.

If you're paying more than $.04 a minute interstate, you're paying way too much.

Rachel




msg:652603
 11:37 pm on Nov 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

jsinger, I sent you a sticky with 2 sites I found (one of them is the one I went with). It's my fist time sending a sticky, so let me know if you didn't receive it.

Rachel

jsinger




msg:652604
 1:01 am on Nov 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, I got it just fine. I sent you a sticky thank you.

Alphawolf




msg:652605
 4:48 am on Nov 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hawkgirl,

Most US-based telecom companies will forward your toll-free number to "ring-to" any number you want. Typically, their regular international rates will apply to the call if it is forwarded internationally. So if you want to forward a bunch of calls to Ireland from the U.S. via a 1-800 number, pick a carrier with (1) 800# capability (most have it, a few do not) and (2) screaming low rates to Ireland - and you'll be good to go.

Will call AT&T this week..it's Thailand though (and not Bangkok) which is .25 per minute with my AnyTime Savings Int'l Plan.

AW

percentages




msg:652606
 7:23 am on Nov 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I am just concerned that we will have a second-hand number and waste a lot of time (and money) answering calls from someone elses customers.

Be careful. I have had a 866 vanity number for a couple of years and it works a treat.

Six months ago an 800 number became available which was an equally good vanity number. With Sprint you can have up to 5 toll-free numbers for no additional charge, so I took the 800 number as well.

Within the first 24 hours we got over 80 calls for a certain Insurance company. Not only did it cost a few $$ in calls and time, but the folks calling were generally livid, rude and very difficult to persuade they had reached the wrong folks (the previous owners were not popular people).

I cancelled the 800 number the following day.

I would be wary about 800 numbers in future, certainly try it out for a few days before advertising it.

I've never been asked if 866 is toll-free, but we are totally B2B so the prospects are probably a little wiser/don't care too much.

InternetWebGateway




msg:652607
 12:05 am on Nov 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello

You have to make sure that the service you are using does not use an old 1800 number. I can only speak from experience when I say that the service I use has worked for me for the past 3 years which is called 1800 Voice Solutions. They charge 9.95 per month and ther are many different options you can choose from. One of the main criteria of myself joining back when I did was that I receive a brand new 1800 number which they only supply.
For your information the site is located at 1800voice.com

I hope this helps you a bit.

Cheers

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