VoIP and Toll Free Numbers
The results are in! Well, they've been in for a while now - quite a few decades! Toll-free numbers are a massive factor in attracting new customers and huge brand appeal. Why not, on the 50th anniversary of the toll-free number, get yourself one today? Here's how to do it with VoIP.
Are Toll-Free Numbers Free Over VoIP?
In the vast majority of cases, yes, they are. When you place a call, there are obviously two parties being connected. That's you and the person you’re calling. Along with that, there are two telecoms companies involved - yours and the company which owns the number you're calling.
In toll-free calls, the company that you're calling (who “rent” the number from their telecom company) take care of paying for both parts of the call.
Some small VoIP operators may charge you regardless of which number you’re calling. But, this is very rare.
Toll-Free Number on My VoIP PBX?
If your company uses a VoIP PBX (a Private Branch Exchange), you may be worried that, since you don’t have a traditional phone line, that you won’t be able to offer your customers a toll-free number they can call you on.
In the early days of VoIP, this fear was justified. However, the FCC soon changed that. Many telecoms companies now offer toll-free numbers that can be diverted to any number or device you choose.
For instance, you can forward it to your landline, to your cell phone, and yes to your VoIP PBX.
Where Can I Get One?
Toll-free numbers are handled by companies called "RespOrgs". Why such a weird name was chosen is anybody's guess, but you can find a list of them here - https://www.somos.com/find-a-toll-free-number.
There's no shortage of companies you can choose from. A good suggestion is to contact your current telephone company and then choose three others from this list. Once you've got the fact and figures for each, you can do your own price and feature comparison.
Using Toll-Free Numbers With Your VoIP
There are lots of different ways you can set up a VoIP phone system, so there's no one-size-fits-all answer. Don't worry though - it's not complicated.
Just call your friendly IT support person. Your VoIP PBX keeps a permanent registration with your VoIP service provider. That means you can make and receive calls. This registration address looks exactly like an email address. It's unique to you and visible worldwide.
After you have purchased your toll-free number, you just get your toll free provider to forward all calls to this VoIP registration address. Hey presto - you receive all your calls.
What if My Internet Connection Drops?
With VoIP, you make and receive calls over the internet. If the internet is down, you won’t receive any calls.
What to do? Make sure you pre-arrange an automatic message with your toll-free number provider in case they can't connect to you. Better still, choose another number and your provider will divert it there if they can't complete the call via VoIP over the internet. So, no lost calls!
Now you know how toll free numbers and VoIP can work perfectly together, why not take a look at the best deals available? Our in depth reviews on the top ten VoIP providers take a closer look at what’s out there.