It all began with the 800 area code. It’s the one that’s been around longest, and to be honest, is the one that people trust most. Therefore, 800 toll-free numbers are the most coveted of all 800 numbers. It’s been that way ever since all 6.5 million of them were snapped up and other toll-free service numbers had to be set aside.
If you’re intent on getting an actual 800 code for incoming and/or outgoing calls, we can help you. But first, let’s learn some history.
Before the 1-800 Area Code
Long distance service was always considerably more expensive than it needed to be. That’s because it was subsidizing the local calls which were almost universally free.
Businesses that were not local — think national stores that had catalogs — still wanted customers even if they were hundreds of miles away. To woo out-of-town customers, they would accept collect calls. In this instance, they would be paying the full cost of the calls with no discounts for bulk. This all started in the days of the switchboard operators.
The Advent of the 800 Area Code
That all changed in 1967 when the first cross-country 800 service was established. At first only very large companies and the government could afford such a luxury, and they were paying so much for the service that they received unlimited calls. In the early- to mid-1980s, computerized switching and tracking allowed even small businesses to afford 800 numbers.
There were over 6.5 million 800 numbers available (some were reserved or blocked by the FCC), and that number wasn’t depleted for nearly 30 years. But by the 1990s, additional 8XX numbers were rolled out over the following decades. These included 833, 844, 855, 866, and 877 area code numbers. 822 is expected to be the next to be used.
The Advantages of 800 Area Codes Over Other 8XX Numbers
You might think to yourself “aren’t all 800 numbers the same?” Call-wise, they all tend to work the same. But since it all began with 1-800 numbers and remained that way for decades, those numbers put people more at ease because they’re so easily recognizable as toll-free. Sure, there are many different toll-free numbers such as 833, 844, and 877, but people will still have “wait, is that really toll-free, or am being scammed?” in the back of their heads. After all, 817 is long distance for Fort Worth, and 876 is associated with the Jamaican lottery scam. Having one of the original 800 numbers simply gives people a better view of your business. With a 1-800 number, you don’t even have to use the words “toll-free” in your advertising materials. Everyone knows that the 800 numbers are always going to be toll-free.
800 Means “Legacy”
Besides being the easiest to remember of all of the 800 numbers, there’s another advantage of having an 800 area code: trust. People know that the new 8XX numbers have been rolled out over the years because the 800 numbers have all been claimed. When they see an 800 number, it gives your business a clout because it appears to have been around for at least 20 years.
But Weren’t They All Used Up Years Ago?
The broadening of the toll-free system with 833, 844, 855, 866, 877 and 888 was a direct result of the original numbers being distributed. As more and more businesses were interested in obtaining 800 area codes, the number of available combinations dropped exponentially. Most of the 6.5 million numbers were snatched up years ago, and once they’re grabbed they are seldom seen again. However, companies do go out of business or are absorbed by other companies, which could cause them to become available on the open market.
Whether you’re interested in getting an incoming toll-free number for your business so that they can call in, or an outgoing one so that it shows up on their caller ID, 800 area codes are a great way to instill a trust in your customers before they even pick up the phone. eToolFree.net can get you a great legacy 800 number that might have been unavailable for many years. Contact us today to learn more about them.