Toll-free number use outside of North America [telecom]

Nothing exists in a vacuum. When 800 lines were first introduced,

> consumers liked them because they prevented worries about > long-distance bills. However, since it's a "called party pays" > system, the recipient gets the ANI info; over time, systems have > grown up around that data which make call-center operations so much > more efficient that the cost of an 800 call is a marginal item to > any firm which does business over the phone.

Interestingly enough toll-free is taken quite differently in the Netherlands. Where in the US toll-free is extremely common and rates for incoming WATS is downright cheap at only a few cents a minute, in the Netherlands there's a whole different attitude about "freephone" i.e. toll-free numbers. Some toll-free numbers are only four digits! If you're in the Netherlands you'll very rarely see toll-free numbers listed *anywhere* (their 0800 service.) What you *will* see is tonnes of 0900 pay per call numbers. Call the airline, call wireless customer service, call the POLICE, call an infomercial on TV, call a religious call in show and you'll have to go through an 0900 service. Basically pay for everything with nothing given to call that won't incur timed charges.

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Why is there a per-minute charge to call the police?

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Joseph Singer
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Joseph Singer wrote in :

And avoid being in a "N minutes free" package. The lowest possible 0900 rate 'local call rate' is used a lot. It means the receiver of the call has the extra cool call routing options offered by 0900 *and* avoids unwanted calls by bored persons.

The pizza-place at the end of our street is part of a chain with a 0900 number. When we call it with a number ported from the other side of town we get the wrong pizza-place which does not deliver to our street. We now have the direct number for the place at the end of the street.

It's the "not an emergency" number, and the reasoning is that the local rate will diminish the number of unwanted calls by bored persons. For as far as I know the emergency number (112) is free but I can't find a statement to confirm this on the official 112 website.

Koos van den Hout

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