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Using 900 numbers to offset costs.

tips?

     
4:35 pm on Dec 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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We are considering shifting the cost of a currently toll-free phone line to some customers.

We are not interested in making much of a profit off the 900 line. We want to charge a low flat-fee, something like $2.99 for a call averaging 9 minutes. Just enough to cover the cost of the call.

It appears as though no major carriers still deal in 900 lines. A few service bureaus exist, but the minimum they charge is $1.99 per minute, just to redirect a 900 number to our live operator. This sounds outrageous to me.

Does anyone know any secrets to low-cost 900 lines?

8:13 pm on Dec 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Too many horror stories out there regarding people getting ripped off using 900 numbers. Regardless of your advertised rate, people will run from it like rats from a burning ship.

We use a 800 line that immediately call forwards to one of our local lines. If that line is occupied it forwards to another local line. All customers are dealt with quickly at a minimum of 800 time usage.
When all out of the office we put yet another call forward to our local lines to a cell phone. Those forwarded cell phone calls, no matter where they originate, get charged as cheap local ones because they come from our local line.

We also publish the 800 line selectively.
i.e. Complaint Department has the standard long distance number.
Sales inquiries, the 800 number.

9:20 pm on Dec 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

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nell, Can you be a little more specific on the type of forwarding you're using?

I've got an 8XX number currently, looking at another, but am still being charged real time minutes on it. What gives?

2:46 pm on Dec 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

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j2 Global Communications
8:50 am on Dec 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

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What about an interim plan to see if people will call less than they do now? Just give out your usual phone numbers?

There is a physiological effect between using 800#, regular long distance and 900#.

Also, look at what's at the base that's making you consider going to an 900# system. Is it time to raise the level of your clientele?...

2:10 pm on Dec 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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We do want to test the 900 number in one market, to predict response in the others. Raising the level of clientele is no possible, unfortunately. We are a niche focused at the lower end of the market.
2:21 am on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Be aware that many corporate phone systems block 900 number phone calls. Just have an 800 for sales calls and regular long distance line for support, if your margins are so thin they won't support that, might be time to change markets.

g

 

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