Hoarding Toll Free Numbers is an Actionable Offense

According to regulations enacted on April 11, 1997 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) toll free phone numbers cannot be hoarded or brokered. These rules were approved after the FCC fielded numerous complaints about price gouging for catchy vanity numbers and popular numeric sequences. The FCC reports that anyone caught attempting to sell or broker an 800 number faces significant fines.

Advertisement

Don’t Forget The Regulations

Some people in the toll free industry would be benefited by remembering that according to regulations enacted on April 11, 1997 by the Federal Communications Commission, toll free phone numbers cannot be sold or brokered under any conditions. These rules were approved after the FCC fielded numerous complaints about price gouging for catchy vanity numbers and popular numeric sequences and they are still active and enforced.

Regulations Spurn Hoarding

According to regulations enacted on April 11, 1997 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) toll free phone numbers cannot be hoarded or brokered. These rules were approved after the FCC fielded numerous complaints about price gouging for catchy vanity numbers and popular numeric sequences. The FCC reports that anyone caught attempting to sell or broker an 800 number faces significant fines.

Hoarding 800 Numbers is Against the Law

According to regulations enacted on April 11, 1997 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) toll free phone numbers cannot be hoarded or brokered. These rules were approved after the FCC fielded numerous complaints about price gouging for catchy vanity numbers and popular numeric sequences. The FCC reports that anyone caught attempting to sell or broker an 800 number faces significant fines.

Brokers Should Be Warned

Some people in the toll free industry would be benefitted by remembering that according to regulations enacted on April 11, 1997 by the Federal Communications Commission, toll free phone numbers cannot be sold or brokered under any conditions. These rules were approved after the FCC fielded numerous complaints about price gouging for catchy vanity numbers and popular numeric sequences and they are still active and enforced.

Heafty Fines For Toll Free Hoarders

What happens if regulators discover illegal hoarding or sales of toll free numbers. If the FCC discovers illegal hoarding, they immediately send out disconnect and suspend letters to the owner of the numbers. Additionally, the brokering of toll free numbers can result in hefty fines. Remember, last year, an astounding daily fine of $11,000 was reportedly imposed on a California company accused of improperly using toll free numbers.

Incidents of Number Hoarding on the Rise

Continuing to cause alarm in our industry are reports of increased incidents of illegal hoarding of toll free numbers. The FCC has been clamping down on violations of Section 251 (e) of the Communications Act of 1934, which prohibits the warehousing and hoarding of numbers. The FCC is taking a close look at all suspect activity. This is an ongoing issue. It is imperative that subscribers are educated on the proper way to obtain and use toll free phone numbers.

Beware of Toll Free Hoarders

To overcome severe shortages of available 800, 888, 877, and 866 numbers, hoarding of these cherished phone numbers by toll free providers, and also by individual subscribers, has emerged into an unwelcome black market.
Get more information on this here.

Is Someone Hoarding Those ‘800’ Numbers?

A Flashback article from the NY times, 1995

The telephone industry isn’t just running low on local phone numbers. Supplies of toll-free “800” numbers are also dwindling, creating the kind of demand more often associated with hard-to-get tickets — say, for the World Series or a big rock concert.

An explosion in the number of toll-free services, led by electronic pagers, has caused most of the nearly eight million possible “800” numbers to be taken. So last year, the telephone industry agreed to make the prefix 888 an additional toll-free designator, beginning in April 1996. But the surge in demand for toll-free numbers has forced the starting date to be moved forward one month, to March 1.

In June, worried that the remaining “800” numbers might have to be rationed before new “888” numbers were available, the Federal Communications Commission ordered a freeze on the number of organizations — including telephone companies and corporate users of the numbers — allowed to draw “800” numbers directly from a central data base.

The next week, 113,000 of the toll-free numbers were claimed, about three times the normal weekly average.

Rumors began flying that AT&T and MCI were hoarding “800” numbers, fearing the confusion that is expected early next year until consumers get used to the “888” prefix and businesses update the software in their automated switchboards to recognize the new prefix.

Both companies deny the rumors, saying that they are required to assign “800” numbers to customers within 45 days or return them to the data base.

The F.C.C. has since capped the total of “800” numbers that can be claimed by all parties each week at 30,000, and the agency has begun an investigation of the causes of that June run on toll-free numbers.

“When all is said and done,” said Kathleen B. Levitz , deputy bureau chief of the F.C.C.’s common carrier bureau, “it just may be that there has been an explosion in demand for 800 numbers.” LAURENCE ZUCKERMAN

A Necessary Reminder

Some people in the toll free industry would be benefitted by remembering that according to regulations enacted on April 11, 1997 by the Federal Communications Commission, toll free phone numbers cannot be sold or brokered under any conditions. These rules were approved after the FCC fielded numerous complaints about price gouging for catchy vanity numbers and popular numeric sequences and they are still active and enforced.