Toll free numbers can give your business a much needed boost. Accepting charges from customers gives them a tremendous incentive to call and find out more about your company. Yet businesses should not be happy with the terms offered by the first provider they find. The toll free number provider you choose should depend on your company’s needs and expectations. As such, there are some questions you need to ask before signing a toll free contract with any organization.
Will The Majority Of Your Calls Be Within Your State?
If you expect most of your customers to call you instate, be sure to check the rates offered by providers as many of these companies charge more for instate calls than interstate calls. Look for a provider that charges a flat rate for instate and interstate calls. For example, Kall8 charges $0.069 per minute for both types of calls. RingCentral is another company that doesn’t have a disparity between interstate and instate calls.
Do You Expect Lots Of Callers From Payphones?
This is significant as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled in 1997 that owners of payphones should be paid compensation when people used their payphones to make toll free calls. 800 number carriers have passed the extra charge on to their customers. If you don’t think there will be many calls from payphones, contact your provider and ask them to block calls from payphones.
Do You Need A ‘Brand’ Name Provider?
The most commonly known toll free number providers are not always the best in terms of service or value for money. Smaller companies such as Americom and Pioneer offer excellent customer service and rates.
How Long Will Your Calls Be?
Billing can be made in large increments such as per minute or small increments of six seconds. If you believe your phone calls will be less than six minutes on average, look for the six second billing increments option as this could save you up to 10% on your monthly bill. However, if you expect calls to last longer, full minute incremental billing could see you receive lower rates. Kall8 only offer per minute billing whereas Americom offer six second billing. Bear in mind that six second billing will be more expensive than per minute overall. For example, a full minute plan may be $0.059 while the six second billing may total $0.072 per minute.
How Busy Will You Be?
Some providers give you contracts which have a monthly minimum requirement when it comes to volume. If you don’t meet this volume, you are given a financial penalty. It should be noted that there are providers who drop this charge if you choose credit card billing.
Will You Have Customers From Alaska & Hawaii?
Expect to be charged huge amounts if you receive calls from either of these two states. For example, Kall8 have a $0.07 a minute surcharge on top of your usual per minute fee. Accu800 are one of the few providers to charge the same for calls from Alaska as they do from mainland states.
These are just some of the things you need to consider before choosing a toll free provider. One final word of advice. Avoid signing any long-term agreement as these ensure you are charged the same rate for the next 1-3 years. In recent times, toll free number prices have gone steadily downwards. Choose a carrier that does not ask you to sign a term agreement.