History of How 1-800 Numbers Started

1-800 Toll free numbers

Toll-free numbers are telephone numbers with distinct 3-digit codes that can be dialed from landlines with no charge to the person placing the call such numbers that allow users to reach businesses and/or individuals out of the area without being charged a long-distance fee for the call.

If we talk about the numbers in the USA, toll-free chat rooms in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) is usually identified as “800 numbers” right after its original area codes which were once used to dial it.

They started including area code 800 from January 1st, 1966, and 888 since 1st March 1996. 877 since 4th of April 1998, 866 since 29th July 2000, 855 since 9th October 2010, 844 since 7th December 2013, and 833 since 22nd April 2017.

Toll-free numbers are particularly common for customer-service calling. Toll-free service has traditionally provided potential callers and others with a convenient and free way to contact businesses. Wireless callers, however, will be charged for the airtime minutes used during a toll-free call unless they have an “unlimited calling” plan.

Customers can also send text messages to toll-free numbers, so long as those numbers are “text-enabled,” and businesses can send texts in response.

Toll Free Codes: 800, 877, 855, 888, 866, and 844:

Toll-free numbers are numbers that begin with one of the following three-digit codes: 800, 877, 855, 888, 866, or 844. Although 1-800 toll-free code is most popular especially among chat lines, they are not interchangeable. Dialing a number using a 1-800 prefix would reach a different recipient than dialing that number using a 1-888 prefix. Calls to each toll-free number are routed to a particular local telephone number.

How Are These Numbers Assigned?

These numbers are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis by entities called “ResOrgs or Responsible Organizations”. Many of these entities also provide toll-free services. RespOrgs have access to a toll-free database that contains information regarding the status of toll-free numbers. RespOrgs are certified by Somos, Inc., administrator of the toll-free number database.

You can contact RespOrg if you want to obtain a toll-free number. If you need help locating a RespOrg, call or text the Somos Help Desk at 1-844-HEY SOMOS (1-844-439-7666), or visit www.somos.com/find-a-toll-free-number for assistance.

The FCC’s role:

The sets of FCC rules for getting and using toll-free numbers. The FCC will need all the toll-free numbers should be portable. That means that a subscriber can “port,” or move, their numbers to a new RespOrg when changing service providers.

However, the FCC is not involved in the actual assignment for a toll-free number and cannot access the number database. Nor can the FCC provide any information about the status of a number.

What Is a Vanity Number?

A “vanity” number is a toll-free telephone number that spells a name, word, or acronym chosen by the subscriber, such as 1-800-FLOWERS or 1-888-NEW-CARS.

If you are in the business of Chat Line and looking for the best toll-free numbers, 1-800 is one of the most popular numbers start with.