Toll Free 1-800 Number Supply Reaches An All-Time Low

An unprecedented decrease in the availability of 1-800 numbers has business owners and organizations nationwide scrambling to subscribe for toll free service.

With more than 8,000 toll free numbers registered each day, the supply of available numbers is quickly depleting. This scarcity is causing a rush to obtain new toll free numbers or obtain disconnected numbers returned back to the system.

Toll free numbers were introduced in 1967. By the 1980s, nearly half of all long distance calls would be toll free. Today, 98 percent of adults say they regularly use toll free numbers. Meanwhile, the supply of 800, 888, 877, and 866 numbers are at an all-time low. More than two-thirds of the available numbers are taken and there are no immediate plans by the Federal Communications Commission to introduce a new pre-fix.

According to the FCC, toll free numbers “have proven successful for businesses and are increasingly popular for personal use.” Toll free phone numbers give companies an edge over the competition by allowing customers to call for information on a product or service without being charged. This type of personal service is key to a successful business. The ability to speak to a company representative about the product, shipping options and availability of the item provides a sense of security in the product and lends legitimacy to the business.

But the limited availability of toll free numbers could have an impact on small business owners. The supply is the lowest it has ever been, while popularity of 1-800 numbers is soaring. Insiders fear that customers waiting to secure a toll free 1-800 number or vanity number may find the supply of suitable numbers gone.

Experts say the demand drastically outweighs supply and advise that the only way to guarantee obtaining a toll free number is to get one immediately.

When a 1-800 number is disconnected and cooled-off, it is returned to the database and becomes instantly in demand. Waiting for a “perfect” retired number is a mistake. Only a small percentage of used numbers become available each year; and new unused numbers are going fast. The most cost effective and efficient way to secure a toll free number is to contact a reputable service provider such as the ones listed on https://smsgov.com/companies/ for example. With these types of services, securing a number can be completed by phone or on the website in just minutes.

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65 Responses

  1. read more at fcc.gov

  2. how can all these numbers be depleted so quickly?

  3. thats a scary thought. I am glad I have some already

  4. does anyone know about how many numbers are left?

  5. is this only 1-800 numbers? I am in germany, does this affect our numbering systems?

  6. An all time low? We need to replenish the stock by eliminating the hoarders

  7. time to replenish the supplies alright

  8. i definantly say that action needs to be taken

  9. steps should be undertaken to prevent this… quick steps

  10. good point

  11. good point

  12. good point

  13. good point

  14. Pressure makes diamonds.

  15. The wisest mind has something yet to learn.

  16. “Please hold while your call if forwarded to our customer service department in India”… ***** ***** ***** *****!!! ‘ello dis is Dakshesh how may I assist you? Hahahaaa….. can’t wait to try that one!! Then I can get out my cursing before the call, great! Who knew?

  17. somewhere a supervisor is yelling “calls in queue!”

  18. Interesting ideas. I’ll check back to see how this develops.

  19. Wow, that google 411 thing almost seems to good to be true. Free 411, sure. Connecting you for free? Sweet!

  20. If you’re not very clever you should be conciliatory.

  21. Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far.

  22. Without a rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar.

  23. Money can’t buy you happiness, but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

  24. Life becomes useless and insipid when we have no longer either friends or enemies.

  25. Ah yes. Another flashback of my youth. Making free phone calls etc.
    The xboxes and playstations only rob kids of these experiences.

  26. The world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps cool.

  27. To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it.

  28. Wow, that google 411 thing almost seems to good to be true. Free 411, sure. Connecting you for free? Sweet!

  29. A word to the wise ain’t necessary — it’s the stupid ones that need the advice.

  30. A little off-topic, but what is the fourth generation mentioned in the article? Looking at some of the cellphones in Japan, i’m wondering what further features they could throw in there…

  31. Without a rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar.

  32. Just keep trying it only took me about 7 tries to get through.

  33. When in doubt, consult your inner child if it doesn’t come naturally, leave it.

  34. (800) 588-2300, Empireeeeeeeee! Call Empire today!

    (You Chicagoland people know what I’m talking about :-> )

  35. HELLO – Sprint has starting doing this ages ago!!!!!!!!! With success!

  36. how long will it take before the NSA starts using this, no more calling from phone booths, to hide your number

  37. Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.

  38. Toll free numbers have a number of features which make them different from standard 1+ switched numbers. All toll free numbers are registered with the national SMS database. Not to be confused with “Short Message Service” on cell phones, the SMS database keeps track of ownership of a toll free numbers via RespOrg (Responsible Organization), and routing of toll free numbers, including time of day routing, area of service routing, and the ability to route toll free numbers across multiple carriers for rudundantcy purposes. At the carrier level, toll free numbers may be pointed to either a customer’s trunk group or to a POTS number.

    Toll free numbers cannot be slammed, the only way to change carrier on a toll free number is to write a letter of authorization to the RespOrg to release the number back to the national SMS database.

    In short, toll free numbers are industrial strength telecom. They’re not going anywhere until someone can build an infrastructure which offers the same or better guaranteed reliability.

  39. Could one of them introduce a product that connects you to a human being when you call?

  40. A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns.

  41. thanks, informative!

  42. Wow, that google 411 thing almost seems to good to be true. Free 411, sure. Connecting you for free? Sweet!

  43. Be of use, but don’t be used.

  44. Speaker Verification has been around for years, and has been successfully deployed at quite a few financial institutions (Charles Schwab immediately comes to mind). This is not new technology — Nuance has had it working on numerous telephony platforms for at least five years. So I’m not quite sure why RSA is tooting their horns about this.

  45. Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far.

  46. HELLO – Sprint has starting doing this ages ago!!!!!!!!! With success!

  47. (800) 588-2300, Empireeeeeeeee! Call Empire today!

    (You Chicagoland people know what I’m talking about :-> )

  48. All it says is “For stimulating conversation call this number”, and then it hangs up on you.

  49. That’s the secret to life… replace one worry with another…

  50. I once had to call eBay… what a nightmare. I wish I’d never found their number, as the “service” was so horrible and the experience even worse.

    Nonetheless, this is a great resource to have handy – I’ve bookmarked it. Thanks for sharing this info with us.

  51. If you’re not very clever you should be conciliatory.

  52. Aim Low, Reach Your Goals, Avoid Disappointment.

  53. Being yourself is being the person everyone else wants you to be.

  54. Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.

  55. Wow, that google 411 thing almost seems to good to be true. Free 411, sure. Connecting you for free? Sweet!

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  62. […] Business Owners Scramble Posted on December 21, 2010 by smsgov Toll free numbers were introduced in 1967. By the 1980s, nearly half of all long distance calls would be toll free. Today, 98 percent of adults say they regularly use toll free numbers. Meanwhile, the supply of 800, 888, 877, and 866 numbers are at an all-time low. More than two-thirds of the available numbers are taken and there are no immediate plans by the Federal Communications Commission to introduce a new pre-fix. With toll free numbers being lost to businesses looking to increase sales it looks like everyone’s scrambling to secure a toll free before they’re all gone. Get more information here! […]

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