New Word on Reintroduced Ration Bill

Growing concern about the limited stock of 800 numbers is creating an even higher demand. The FCC cites toll free service as a “proven” marketing tool for increasing and sustaining business. In fact, studies show that telephone orders can increase up to 60 percent and word of mouth referrals can rise by 200 percent. American adults report that they make an average of 60 toll free calls per year.


AT&T’s Stance on Toll Free Number Brokering

Toll-free service turned 30 this year and its growth has absolutely exploded, because of its increased use by small-business owners, people with pagers, home offices and even parents who want their children to be able to reach them at work or in the field.

Read more here.

Low Income Citizens Provided Free Cell Service

Free cell phones are now being provided to needy residents of the U.S. The program is called SafeLink and is intended for low-income families and anyone receiving Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income and other government assistance programs. Safelink is being hailed as a safety program for those who cannot afford phones to stay in touch with children and family or who may need to contact police and medical personnel.
For more information on the free cell phone program go to or call 1-800-977-3768.

11PM Release Helps Toll Free Customers

To help users get the numbers they wanted and to help alleviate system congestion, the SMS/800 Management Team worked with the Resp Orgs and the Federal Communications Commission to make the change and set a regular sparing schedule.

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Possibility of Toll Free Rationing?

In the past few years, proposals to ration toll free numbers have been narrowly defeated. Yet, rumors are still swirling that a rationing program for the few remaining 800 numbers is imminent. Supplies of 800, 888, 877, and 866 numbers are so depleted that availability is at an all-time low. But some say rationing the numbers, as the federal government did in 1995, is not the answer and could have a negative impact on the business community.

Toll Free Area Codes (866)

1-866 numbers are increasing in popularity. For many subscribers, it is easier to find a suitable 1-866 number these days than a 1-800 number. They are widely recognized as toll free numbers. AT&T introduced 800 numbers in 1967. Two decades later, when most of the 7 million possible numbers were taken, the 888 pre-fix was introduced. It took just two years for that supply to run dry. The FCC then launched 877 in 1998 followed soon after by 866.

Stay Informed About Toll Free Costs

Once cost prohibitive for small businesses or personal use, toll free service has now become affordable and easy to obtain. Experts say that most consumers recognize that the advantages of 1-800 numbers far outweigh standard local phone service.

Read more here.

Consumers Expect 800 Support

American consumers expect a toll free call. Those of us in the telecommunications industry know that if company does not offer 1-800 numbers to assist customers with tech support or payment assistance, it may not succeed.
Toll free phone service has become such a staple of retail and service companies that they are now expected by most customers. Without toll free, many companies are at risk.

Toll Free TTY Access

Sprint and Southwest Airlines now offer toll-free TTY (teletypewriter) and video relay access, giving deaf and hard-of-hearing customers direct access to Southwest Airlines customer service. With this toll free service, deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech disabled customers needing to call Southwest Airlines can dial a dedicated toll-free TTY telephone number: 800-533-1305. That number is answered by a Sprint relay agent. The Sprint relay agent relays information between the Customer Service representative and the relay user in English or Spanish.

Release 855 Numbers

We hear a lot about the possible release of new toll free area codes (specifically the 855 numbers) but separating fact from fiction is the tricky part.
What we do know is that the Federal Communications Commission has a stockpile of new 855 numbers reserved to address the shortage but these numbers are not expected to be released anytime soon. We also know that available 800, 888, 877, and 866 numbers are at an all-time low, hurting business and creating a black market. Might be time for the 855 numbers, don’t you think?