Using Toll Free Numbers – A Canadian Perspective

More and more companies are beginning to use the toll free business numbers as a powerful marketing tool to project a professional business image and promote their services. Customers also find it convenient to call an easy to remember and free toll free number. In addition, the ability to reroute international toll free numbers to a local landline or mobile phone has enabled even small businesses to expand their reach in the global markets. The use of personalized vanity numbers such as 1-800-FLOWER has promoted the toll free numbers as a viable and cost effective marketing strategy.

The recent technological advancements in telecommunication network design, VOIP and cloud computing have contributed in making the toll free numbers affordable even to small businesses. Before, the free toll numbers also referred to as free phones or free call numbers used to be the reserve of the large business franchises due to their high cost. The free call numbers were very expensive that even the top companies could only afford a single line.

Free call services offer businesses a reliable platform to efficiently manage and control their customers calling experience. The service provides businesses with the flexibility to forward incoming calls either to existing telephone numbers or to a live answering service. The portability of the toll free numbers provide businesses with the freedom to easily transfer their existing toll free numbers from one Phone Company to another. In North America (Canada and US) all that is required is for the business owner to fill a Responsible Organization Change Form which is faxed back to the existing phone carrier together with the Toll Free Birth Certificate.

With the free toll service, small scale businesses can easily set up virtual office environments at much lower cost compared to brick and mortar office with physical communication infrastructure. Small business owners also benefit from shorter deployment time, low setup and maintenance fee and an easy to use web based management interface. Some phone companies provide virtual fax numbers based on a toll free number to enable business owners send and receive faxes from virtually any part of the world. One such company is Ozetel; an Australian based Telecommunication Company that specializes on the 1300/1800 toll free numbers, live answering and Fax to Email services.

International Toll Free Prefix

Prefix for toll-free numbers is specific to each region or country. For instance a Toll-free number in the United Kingdom starts with 0800 or 0808, in Ireland 1800 and in Australia 1800 or 1300

The prefix for a free call number in the US and Canada is normally 800 and the toll-free numbers in these countries are popularly referred to as the “800 numbers”. According to the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), the toll-free numbers in the two countries can be called from any telephone in the US or Canada. However, some phone carriers restrict the use of NANP numbers and only allow calls from either the US or Canada –sometimes only from particular provinces or states.