Personal 800 numbers make staying in touch with family, friends and even clients hassle-free. The types of personal 800 numbers you can sign up for include 800, 888, 877 and 866. However, you can also choose a vanity (1-800-Michelle) or customized number for your business such as 1-800-DECORATOR.
Decide if an 800 number is right for you. The reasons for taking up a personal 800 number vary, but sometimes include:
- If you move around a lot, contacts only need to retain one number.
- Children living or studying away from home are able to call their parents for free.
- If you're travelling a lot with business, you can call home without running up bills on your company cell phone.
- Military personnel can call home without having to schedule a call.
- Employees can be contactable after hours without giving their personal telephone details out to clients.
- Businesses use 800 numbers as a marketing tool to promote themselves above the competition.
- Business owners can have one constant number for clients to call them on throughout the day.
- People living overseas can obtain a personal 800 number for family and friends to call them anywhere in the world for free.
- Toll-free fax reception for customer orders.
Telecommunication experts are predicting that the traditional home phone will be replaced within five years by portable telecommunication systems. Personal 800 numbers can provide one number directed to a cell phone rather than needing to pay both house (and/or office) and cell phone subscriptions.
Decide which features you need. Personal 800 numbers are available through various companies and plans, meaning that you need to choose the plan and costs that best suit your needs. Some of the options available in personal 800 plans are:
- Pre-paid and auto top up plans.
- Online management of your 800 toll free number.
- Scheduling of call routing depending on the time of the day. For example, to your office during the day and your cell phone after hours - this can also be managed online.
- Built in voicemail and fax reception.
- Call notification emails with call details.
- Conference calling features.
- Personal 800 numbers can be routed to landlines, cell phones and fax machines anywhere in the world.
- Options available for the hearing impaired to route their personal 800 number to a videophone system.
Choose an 800 service company. The Federal Communication Commission oversees the regulations and providers of personal 800 numbers. This means that the competition and quality of services have a government watchdog. The toll free numbers all come from a central database, which each personal 800 number provider accesses for each new subscription. The public can find toll free number providers at BestTollFree800Numbers.com.
Personal 800 numbers are transferable between providers, meaning that you can keep the same number even if you choose to change your subscription provider. All charges for the calls are paid for by the subscriber and not the caller and many providers allow subscribers to sign up online. Activation varies from immediate to 2-3 business days.
Most personal 800 number providers have international call plans so that their customers can route the toll free number to a number anywhere in the world. You can also choose whether or not to include your personal 800 number in directory listings. If you are a business thinking of taking up the option of a toll free number, take into consideration that any overseas clients will not be able to dial a toll free number.
My advice is to first decide the type of plan you need for your personal 800 and then research providers for the most suitable plan and best pricing available. The reasons for taking up a personal 800 number are numerous and the options in the plans available are user-friendly and subscriber-orientated. The most important benefit of all – people can reach you no matter where you are on just one number.
Tracey Parker recommends you compare 800 number services before deciding on a provider. Kall8 provides personal 800 numbers starting at $2 per month and 6.9 cents per minute.