[telecom] Introducing 844 Toll Free Numbers

Somehow this snuck up on me. I didn't realize these were about to get launched.

- And I've also got to ask why there's still such a huge demand for "tollfree" numbers. More and more people, and pretty much all businesses by now, have calling plans that are no longer distance sensitive.

There's a bit of a cachet and "branding" issue, for example "800-USA-Rail", and a fair number of places don't want to be associated with Lower Cupcake, SD, but I'd have thought that's all been pretty much exhausted by now.

Anyway, here's a note that my "800 vendor" just sent me. (I considered redacting their name, but figured people here can deal with it...)

---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2013 23:33:19 +0000 From: "kall8.com" Subject: Introducing 844 Toll Free Numbers

Dear Valued Customer,

Announcing a rare opportunity to get a premium toll-free number! On December 7th, the new 844 toll-free number prefix will launch providing a small window of opportunity to acquire the perfect vanity number. There will be a large amount of competition for these numbers and each service provider will have strict limits on the amount of numbers they are able to reserve. We want to provide you with the opportunity to reserve the perfect number for your business.

The 844 toll-free exchange is brand new so there are many possibilities! Find the perfect keyword for your business such as 844-GET-A-JOB,

844-MORTGAGE, and 844-BUY-CARS.

  • Choose a number that is easy to remember such as 844-444-4444,

844-400-4000, and 844-414-1414.

Thank you, Kall8 Customer Service

***** Moderator's Note *****

Toll-free numbers are more popular than ever, not only because long distance rates have fallen, which makes calls cheaper no matter /who/ pays for them, but mostly because 800 calls provide ANI info to the called party, bypassing any caller id blocking. Those numbers are a

*VERY* valuable commodity, not only because cell calls are not subject to cold calling, but also because a cellular number is an invaluable cross-reference that stays with a buyer across multiple companies.

Bill Horne Moderator

Reply to
danny burstein
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Almost every number I was looking at was held in reserve by some company or the other, and finding one even going through all the prefixes was quite a search. All of these numbers rang to an intercept or something else, none of them went through to anywhere.

One would think that they were speculators sitting on it until the right deal, but contacting the RespOrg on the # was pretty much a bust for any sort of response. Granted, I wouldn't have paid much for any number anyway, but you'd think they'd have some sort of process having listed themselves as the RespOrg.

So, it must be fairly cheap to sit on a number, and many companies are doing so for unknown reasons to me, other than they are a resource, maybe holding things until the right set of circumstances.

Reply to
Doug McIntyre

You must have missed this:

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Neal McLain

Reply to
Neal McLain

"More and more people" is not all, and many marketers want to reach those who do not have "free" long distance. There must be a substantial number, considering the pitch Cox Cable makes incessantly to change your phone service to Cox to get the "free" long distance.

Wes Leatherock snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com snipped-for-privacy@aol.com

Reply to
Wes Leatherock

And this is interesting to me since in the Netherlands there seems to be "premium" 0900 numbers for pretty much everything whether it's calling the police (other than 112) calling an infomercial on TV, calling your mobile provider's customer service number or calling to donate to a charity. On the other hand "freephone" toll-free numbers are very rare and in fact some freephone numbers are just four digits long!

Another interesting thing about freephone in the Netherlands is that you can have freephone numbers that begin with a 0 such as AT&T Direct which is - 0800-022 9111 !

***** Moderator's Note *****

A lot of toll numbers start with "0" in Europe, since zero is the /first/ position on a dial phone there. It's like dialing "One-plus" in the U.S. or Canada: a single pulse that triggers special treatment for the call

Bill Horne Moderator

Reply to
Joseph Singer

It's extremely cheap. My 800 number costs me $1/mo retail, and I know that's far from the lowest price. We have practically no traffic, but I hold onto it because it spells my wife's name.

I share your impression that there must be a market in toll-free numbers somewhere, but I have no idea where to find it.

Reply to
John Levine

I've noticed the same thing, the Dutch are oddly willing to pay extra to call organizations that we'd expect to call for free.

Here in the US, 900 numbers are dead because there are no longer any carriers that will bill for them.

Reply to
John Levine

Many people have free long distance on their cell phone, but conventional service on their landline phone. In my area, landline unlimited still costs more than plain service (about $30/month more). So, the toll free number is still attractive. Also, at some work- places, there is low-cost long distance, but not free service, so the meter is still running on toll calls.

But I think the moderator's point is the big one--true ANI that can't be altered or blocked, even if the caller think's it is. That allows anyone you call to subsequently call you, even on your cell or un- listed number, to solicit you since you now have a "prior relationship". Whether that truly counts legally as a prior relationship I can't say, but I'll bet it's good enough for a business to make use of it.

I've noticed many local and regional businesses getting 800 numbers, and I'll bet it's for a similar reason. Also, many regional busi- nesses once had FX lines into nearby areas that otherwise would be a short-haul toll call to reach them.

Reply to

That's part of it, but I expect that the sophisticated routing available for toll-free numbers is a big part of it. Companies with call centers can dynamically route traffic to wherever there's an available agent.

Reply to
John Levine

They aren't distance sensitive, but they are still time sensitive. "It's a toll-free call" seems to be the excuse for slow customer service.

It was really easy to blow 60 hours of phone time on hold in the first two weeks of October trying to sign up for Obamacare, and that's not counting time talking to an actual person (at first, some of that was on a cell phone, then I switched to landline. But that's over 7 months worth of included minutes if it had all been on a cellphone with my somewhat stingy plan), nor any of the time trying to log in on the Internet.

That's not to say I successfully signed up after those 60 hours. I was left waiting for an event which would never happen, and fixing it involved one call on hold over a whole weekend (Friday morning to Monday afternoon - a single 76-hour call, although if they'd answered over the weekend I probably would have been asleep or away from the phone) to get through.

Just today I blew another half hour asking them to send me a bill on time.

I suppose that when your average hold time for customer service is

20 minutes or more, there is an advantage to not having customers try to include the phone bill in the lawsuit for a defective product or a billing error.
Reply to
Gordon Burditt

On Wed, 20 Nov 2013 18:54:54 -0500, danny burstein asked:

And those who, like me, have per-minute cell phone plans, pay the same dime a minute to dial a toll-free number as to dial any other domestic number -- so I'd use a flat-rate land line, rather than a cell phone.


-- tlvp

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