U.S. Supply of 1-800 Numbers Running Low

Experts warn that the U.S. supply of available 1-800 numbers, dwindling for years, is now nearly depleted.

Toll free numbers enable callers to reach businesses, organizations, and non-profits without having to pay for the call. This marketing tool has been so successful that the available 1-800, 888, 877, and 866 numbers are decreasing while demand is growing at unprecedented rates.

The popularity of the 1-800 number, launched in 1967, led the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to add the new pre-fixes 888 and 877 in the mid-1990s. When availability of those numbers plummeted, 866 was added in 2000 to overcome the shortage. Now, eight years later, the stock of toll free numbers in the United States is once again severely limited.

Industry insiders are recommending that anyone wishing to obtain a toll free number secure one immediately. There are an average of 8,000 new toll free numbers registered each day. With a limited number of numerical possibilities, the finite supply is nearly expended.

There are no immediate plans to add another toll free pre-fix. In fact, the reserved 855 pre-fix is not expected to be released for several years. Meanwhile, toll free phone numbers have become a staple of the business world and demand is consistently rising.

According to the FCC, toll free numbers are becoming increasingly popular for business and personal use. The supply of disconnected numbers is low because 800 numbers are extremely effective in helping businesses thrive. Toll free numbers increase market reach, enhance customer confidence, establish recognition of brand image, and sustain businesses during a weak economy. Because businesses that offer 1-800 numbers prosper, disconnected numbers returned into the system are scarce.

The best way to obtain a toll free number before supply runs out completely is to contact a reliable toll free service provider that has access to the database of available numbers. On the SMSGOV.COM “companies” page, we list providers that will assist subscribers in finding a quality toll free number at a very low cost. Until a new pre-fix is launched, which could take years, it appears the race is on to secure the remaining numbers.

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69 Responses

  1. tisk

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

  3. oh man, this is getting serious

  4. the time to prevent the low supplies is now people

  5. more info at fcc.gov

  6. where can we get more info?

  7. are there any stats that go along with this?

  8. these studies are damning. 800 stocks need to be replenished quicker than any time in history

  9. sad to say, but it seems to be true

  10. good point

  11. Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.

  12. I must agree. . . I don’t mind pdf, but the acrobat plugin’s at work don’t work, and then they won’t close right, so I have to reboot. I can’t install a good plugin and have no choice. PDF is fine so I know to view it at home, just please post a WARNING that it’s pdf so it doesn’t mess up my computers at work unknowingly…

  13. Ummm….Popularity Dialer hasn’t been down since September, I guess due to some flack from the FCC.

  14. These are only Japan based manufacturers. American companies have made no such agreement.

  15. i tried to call but accidently hit my head with the phone.

  16. (800) 588-2300, Empireeeeeeeee! Call Empire today!

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

  17. If Sallie Mae stops calling me by using #1… I will be lonely cause no one else calls me 😦 I refer to “Sallie” as my girlfriend… God, im pathetic..

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

  19. If you don’t know where you’re going how do you expect to get there ?

  20. Being cool, is not trying to be cool.

  21. Life is like a dream, sometimes it is good and somtimes it is bad, but in the end it is over.

  22. A smile is the lighting system of the face, the cooling system of the head and the heating system of the heart.

  23. For those unfortunate times when you forget your cellphone at home and need to call a taxi (Or some other business), you can use Goog411 to make free phone calls from a payphone…

  24. Teamwork…means never having to take all the blame yourself.

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

  26. The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions.

  27. well, since 1960, 800 numbers have been increasing in popularity

  28. Fish and visitors smell in three days.

  29. Teamwork…means never having to take all the blame yourself.

  30. 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.

  31. I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.

  32. Copying from a single source is called plagiarism, copying from multiple source is called research.

  33. now they just have to make it free to call in the united states

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

  35. 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.

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

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

  38. It was about time! This is good news! Hopefully they’ll do the same with the others

  39. Tip for Sprint Cell phones: you can erase a voice mail message as soon as you hear the robolady start telling you the number or you hear their name. Works really great for getting rid of those message left for you by those angry parents…or angry spouses… or angry anyone.

  40. Can anyone vouch for Tip #1? Because it would be damn awesome if it works.

  41. Teamwork…means never having to take all the blame yourself.

  42. Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at.

  43. just because you have a number doesn’t mean you’re going to be heard.

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

  45. I don’t think so. I just bought a vanity 888 number to go with my company’s name. It’s not so much because it is toll free, it is because it is a little more professional to give out an easy to remember number than just any old regional number.

  46. Well it’s an interesting idea, but I would not trust my freedom to a line trick if your worried about a phone tape. Use an encrypted phone link.
    The standard encryption in your digital cell phone does not qualify. As a matter of fact a cell phone is one of the worse things you could use for “Private” conversation. Not only can some one automatically route a copy of your call to another receiving party. They know within 100 feet where you are this is without your phone having A GPS chip. If your phone is GPS enabled “they” can know your location down to 10 feet.

  47. A friend is someone who has the same enemies you have.

  48. To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

  49. 1-800-I-love-brand-new-carpet

  50. Sports do not build character. They reveal it.

  51. Phone call for Al…Al Coholic…is there an Al Coholic here?
    Wait a minute…
    Listen, you little yellow-bellied rat jackass, if I ever find out who you are, I’m gonna kill you!

  52. it is better to stay silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.

  53. Now all we need is a connection to the computer standard to!

  54. […] Read more on the depleted stocks of 800 numbers […]

  55. […] 800 Numbers Running Low Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The Price of Toll Free Numbers May Be Going UpNo Title […]

  56. […] while demand is growing at unprecedented rates. Read more on this immediately by clicking here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Talk About ColdMy Boy Tinie Tempah Signs to […]

  57. […] Experts Say, “Don’t Delay!” Posted on December 18, 2010 by smsgov It’s estimated that 8,000 toll free number are taken each day. Because toll free numbers have been around for tens of years now, this number is worrying experts. Numbers that are released are held for a period of a few months before being put back in to the system. Here’s the kicker, more number are being than are being release… Check it out in detail here. […]

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