What is a toll-free number? In layman terms, any number that incurs costs for the owner rather than the caller is called a toll-free number, also known as Freecall, Freephone, 800, 0800 or 1?800 number. However, there are two primary types of toll-free numbers – international toll-free number aka ITFN and domestic toll-free number aka DTF.
So, what are the differences between these two? And which one is the best fit for your business or organization? Let’s find out.
International Toll-Free Numbers
International toll-free numbers are restricted to specific countries. This means that both the recipient and the caller need to be in the same nation in order to make calls at zero charges.
Once a call is made to an international toll-free number, it can easily be forwarded to mobile devices, landlines, and VoIP softphones. As a result, they enable organizations to offer the same quality of services both for national and international customers.
Sounds great. Now, who can use ITFNs? It is the ideal tool for companies that have operations abroad and offers services and products beyond national borders.
For example, let’s consider a company based in the UK, which has clients in India and the US. The organization can then invest in international toll-free numbers, which are operational in these countries. In such a case, clients in India and America can call in the designated toll-free numbers at zero charges, after which the calls can be forwarded to the main office in the UK.
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Domestic Toll-Free Numbers
Domestic toll-free numbers, also called 800 numbers, are perfect for free-of-charge, in-country calls. Does it sound similar to international toll-free numbers? Well, it’s not. Domestic toll-free numbers come with minimum restrictions.
For instance, when you deploy domestic toll-free numbers, you do not have to pay add-on charges while dialing mobile phones and payphones. Therefore, they are ideal for those businesses who want to make sure that customers can call on their toll-free numbers from any device such as mobile phones and payphones, and at zero costs.
International Vs Domestic Toll-free Numbers: Which one should I choose for my business?
The first question you must ask yourself when you decide on the right toll-free number package is – which one is more beneficial for the growth of my business? Then, you need to pinpoint the demographics of the company and analyze in what regions your customers are located.
For instance, if you are the owner of a small-scale business or a start-up, which has clients scattered across a particular region or country, your best bet would be to go for a domestic toll-free number. Sometimes, it is also beneficial to showcase that you are a local brand and hence, is more reliable. And this can be achieved with the help of a local number.
Now, if your business spans international borders, the go-to option is definitely an international toll-free number. Moreover, if your clients are spread out in multiple countries, you might need to invest in more than one 1800 numbers.
Consider this example. Suppose, you have clients in Germany and you are located in the UK. You should then get a German toll free number so that you can route that number to your central headquarters in the United Kingdom.
You should know that almost all the countries in the world have their own toll-free numbers, which come at various prices. However, in certain nations, the distinction between domestic and international toll-free numbers is very apparent. Here’s the list:
In the Philippines, only Globe Network can be used to dial domestic toll-free whereas Sun and Smart cellular networks can be used for international toll-free numbers.
For Japan, you should use the domestic toll-free 0120 numbers while for New Zealand, 0800 dial-code numbers are not applicable. You can use DTF numbers with the 0809 dial-code. Again, in Singapore, you must use ITFS numbers, with the 800 dial-prefix although domestic Singapore-based companies use 1-800 numbers.