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Toll Versus Toll Free: What’s the Difference?

The difference between toll and toll free.

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When purchasing a new phone number for your business, you will be able to choose between different number types.

In this post, we will explain the differences between toll numbers and toll free numbers.

Understanding the Difference Between Toll and Toll Free Numbers

A phone number is either toll or toll free. The difference between the two number types is the concept of a “toll,” which refers to a fee or tariff. Calls to a toll number incur a charge, while calls are free to a toll free number.

What are Toll Numbers?

Toll numbers are your regular telephone numbers where the caller is charged per minute for calling. This is not an official number type. It is referred to as a toll number because it charges a toll for calling. Therefore, if you are charged a local calling rate when calling a number, then it would be considered a toll number. Toll numbers usually consist of home phone numbers, local numbers, and so on.

Premium Rate Numbers

Premium rate numbers are a type of toll number, specifically 1-900 numbers, that use a pay-per-call model to provide services via calls and charge higher than normal rates. Unlike a regular call, part of the charges for these calls is paid to the business using the number. This way, businesses could be funded via these calls. For example, a caller would call a business (e.g, psychic services) and pay for the minutes and time spent on the call as part of the service itself. These numbers were commonly used for tech support, chat services, directory questions, weather forecasts, televoting, consulting, and so on.

Toll Free Numbers

Toll free numbers are the opposite of toll numbers in that these numbers are toll-free. In other words, callers do not incur a charge for calling these numbers. The format for these numbers is very distinct and different from regular phone numbers. They usually begin with a special prefix such as 1-800, 888, 877, 833, and so on, followed by a subscriber number.

However, there are certain rules. For example, calls to a country’s toll free number are free only when called from within the country. A US toll free number is free to call by locals and businesses within the US.

Benefits of a Toll Free Number

TFNs are generally used by well-established businesses as a way of making it easier for customers to receive support. A local customer does not have to worry about calling fees when dialing a toll free number. This, therefore, encourages them to place calls to inquire about a product or speak with customer service.

Additionally, since TFNs have been traditionally used by large corporations, getting such a number for your business can build trust. Customers will appreciate your efforts to make your business accessible and easily reachable.

Reasons to Consider an International TFN

Furthermore, you can even use an international toll free number to extend operations to different countries around the world. How this works is you get an ITFS number for a country and callers within the country can call your number for free. These incoming calls get forwarded to a destination number of your choice in your specified country. For example, your UK business can get Singapore and Australia toll free numbers through a service provider like United World Telecom. Then, callers in Singapore and Australia can call their respective numbers for free, and you can have those calls routed to your UK office. ITFS numbers help businesses expand globally without moving physically.

Speak with an Expert About Toll Versus Toll Free Numbers

If toll or toll free numbers are what your business needs, then we can help! You can buy global phone numbers for more than 160 countries around the globe. And so, whether you want to offer free calling within your country or for other countries, we’ve got you covered. Sign up on our homepage today or call us to learn more!

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