By: Corinna Underwood
Toll free numbers have been around for more than 40 years and in that time, they have evolved significantly. But with the popularity of mobile phones, which often will use minutes no matter who is paying for the call, it makes us wonder: are 1800 numbers still relevant today?
The History of 1800 Numbers
From the development of 1800 numbers in the 1960s through the 1980s, AT&T had the monopoly on them. During that time, the company charged a premium for calls which was much higher than the cost of regular calls. That ended in 1984 with the enactment of MFJ (Modification of Final Judgment) which opened the doors to a more competitive market. Because 1800 numbers were now more affordable, they also became more attractive, particularly with the introduction of portability. This permitted users to transfer their telephone numbers to different carriers who offered a lower rate. It also meant that subscribers could look for certain numbers. Thus, was born the vanity number. By the late 1990s, 1800 numbers had become so hugely popular that there were few left, which led to the creation of 888, 877, 866, and more recently 855 numbers.
Are 1800 Numbers Still relevant?
The new age of technology has presented a myriad of options for voice communications, from mobile phones, to Messenger, and VoIP. As well as communications, this has also had an impact on how consumers do business. Despite this, toll free numbers are still in demand today. Not only do they offer a professional image for businesses, they are also invaluable for businesses that wish to have a virtual presence in different states or countries beyond their physical location.
But there is another reason why 1800 numbers for sale are relevant today. Consumers still need toll free numbers because, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, 59 percent of U.S. households still have landlines.
Myths About 1800 Numbers
The notion that 1800 numbers have become extinct is not the only myth currently circulating about toll free numbers. Here are some of the others and the facts that contradict them.
- 1800 numbers are expensive: This may have been the case 50 years ago but it’s no longer true. In actual fact, 1800 numbers are currently less expensive than they have ever been. Furthermore, businesses often recoup their expenditure on toll free numbers from the increased revenue made from the incoming calls very quickly. Today, 1800 numbers are not a luxury that only large corporations can afford; they have become a cost-effective necessity for start-ups and small businesses.
- Vanity numbers are a waste of money: What you could be wasting if you don’t use a vanity number is the chance to add authority, credibility, and stability to your company’s image. They also provide an effective way to facilitate word-of-mouth marketing. They are very simple to incorporate into your marketing strategies across all media, and they help establish consumer trust.
- Nobody makes calls anymore: Not everyone prefers emails and texts over calls. Actually, a Pew Research Center Survey revealed that 51 percent of U.S. adults prefer to make a call rather than text even though 83 percent of U.S. adults own a cell phone.
- A 1800 number doesn’t drive traffic: This is another myth. While it may not entice consumers to visit your website, it will encourage customers to call. Don’t forget that 15 percent of Americans still do not use the internet.
- The best toll free numbers are already in use: This is also not true. There are still thousands of available 1800 numbers out there. Not to mention toll free numbers with other prefixes. There’s also another toll free option which allows companies from all over the globe to share toll free numbers so long as they are not located in the same geographical region.
- 1800 numbers are only for large-scale companies: On the contrary, 1800 numbers have proven to be very effective for small businesses, and even start-ups because they are cost-effective. If you really understand marketing, you should be able to see the many possibilities for making the most of toll free numbers.
It’s a pain to have to change your number: You don’t have to make any changes. When callers use your 1800 toll free number, calls are routed to your regular business number. Everything works exactly the same.