800, 888, 877, 866 — what do all of these numbers have in common? They’re all toll-free area codes and many small businesses use them. As a matter of fact, when you get a business telephone line your ISP automatically assigns you with a toll-free number. You might be wondering what’s so great about the 800 and 888 area codes and why so many businesses use them instead of local numbers? Well, we’ll get to that in a moment.
You may have heard that a local number can come off as less polished and can also pose logistical challenges for international business communications. Not to mention clients may even assume you’re a scammer if they receive a call from an out-of-area number. Instead, you may want a toll-free business number with an 866 area code.
What is an 866 area code number?
Wondering what an 866 toll-free number is? Let’s be clear, a toll free number is a local telephone number that does not charge long distance fees. Although most numbers need to be in the local area for us to not incur extra charges, an 866 number can be placed anywhere within the United States or Canada – with only some exceptions. More than 40 years ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved an area code called 866 which allows consumers in the US and Canada to call toll-free without incurring long distance charges.
866 is the most commonly used toll-free area code in the US, although many call it a vanity number because it does nothing to help consumers identify your business by name. It is similar to an 800 area code for domestic calls, as both will route calls to anywhere in the U.S. Simply having that number makes your business appear larger and more prominent to people who may not be familiar with it. 866 numbers often represent a specific category of business. This includes financial institutions, government services, medical centers, and even health insurance providers. In Canada, the equivalent is the 877 area code which has the same functionality of the 866 area code in the US.
How do I get my own area code 866 number?
Getting your own area code 866 number requires you to contact the Federal Communication Commission. These organizations are in charge of handling toll free numbers and operate at a first come first serve basis and sometimes by means of auction.
Benefits of having an 866 toll-free phone number
1- Area code 866 is an excellent way of being in contact with long distance callers without them knowing about it, for instance if you are a retail business that is just getting started and don’t have many clients within Canada such as if you sell the internet services like hosting or phone plans you’ll only deal with people from outside Canada since these services are not particularly popular yet, but area code 866 can make it seem as though your business was calling from the local area while it is actually far away, making your customers more comfortable.
2- Toll-free numbers aren’t limited to a specific geographic area, and neither is your business. With an 800 or 888 number, you can serve customers everywhere in the country and beyond, without the limitations of a local phone plan or the time and money it would take to get a number in other parts of the U.S. An 800 number could even help you regain lost customers, who may be looking for you on the toll-free line that they typically call you on. Even better is the fact that these numbers are unlikely to be mistaken for spam or robocalls across vast distances, long after they’ve been used by other companies.
3- If a company has a catchy phrase that is relevant to your own business, it makes sense to try out a vanity phone number. For example, if your business is sovaldi called A Handyman in San Francisco, and uses 1-415-HANDYMAN as its toll free number, it could potentially be improved upon with a vanity number (the hyphens aren’t required). You could use the term Handyman in San Francisco and tie it into their branding with a vanity number like 1-415-HANDYMANSFSANF for instance.
Is Area Code 866 Toll-Free?
Yes it is. When you call an 866 area code number in North America, it is toll-free for a customer to call. To ensure reliability, every 866 area code has been divided into geographical service areas (also known as a local access and transport area or LATAs). The boundaries of LATAs are defined by the local telephone carriers who offer service in those areas. If a number isn’t toll-free, the carrier must pay a fee to the phone company to interconnect the calls between their networks and this fees are passed on to customers in the form of higher call rates.
Is area code 866 a scam?
Scams have been around for as long as there has been human interaction. People have tried to exploit, pry, and trick each other since the beginning of time. In those days, a scammer would probably ask you to pay taxes on some random, useless contraption and then might show you a fake transaction record of some sort.
If you have ever received a call or text here’s what you should do. You need to make sure that they are actually calling from the business that they say they are. Take a minute and find the number yourself. If you can, verify that it is actually the business by calling them. You could even go into the branch in person. So, if you get a call or text and you aren’t sure whether it’s legitimate, just do a quick search to see if there is anything of interest to be found.If someone claiming to be from a particular business calls you up, ask for the name of the business and quickly look it up. If discrepancies arise and you feel it to be suspicious, block the number immediately.
How do I stop 866 calls?
You can register your home and cell phone numbers at http://www.donotcall.gov/ or call 1-888-382-1222 (TDD: 1-866-290-4236) from the phone you want to register. It’s 100% free.
Toll-Free Area Codes
There are several area codes. Most companies have their main number within a certain area code. However, some businesses such as call centres may operate via toll-free numbers which are 866, 877, 888, 855 and 844. All of these are toll-free area codes throughout the United States and Canada. They serve as customer service numbers and can be used by other parties.