What is a Toll Free Number?

15 September 2020

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Heard good things about toll-free numbers, but not entirely sure what they are? Rest assured, you’re not on your own and, the G Tele experts are here to answer all your questions – including what they are, how they work and how you can get one. So, stick around to find out more.


No matter what industry you’re in, every legitimate company needs a way for their customers to contact them. When you start small, you can get away with using an office landline. However, as you expand, add departments and grow your customer base, one desk phone may not be enough to handle the vast number of calls you receive from customers daily. It’s for this reason that many businesses opt for an international toll-free number.

What is a toll-free number?

A toll-free number is a phone number that starts with a distinct, preassigned 3-digit code, i.e. 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844 and 833. These are defined by the local regulator and are generally well known by the public in country as free to call.

Typically, these phone numbers are used for customer-service calling but also provide existing and potential customers with a free and convenient way to contact businesses for further guidance and support.

Who pays for a call to a toll-free number?

The owner of the toll-free number is billed for the incoming and call forward activity, meaning that anyone can call the number from a landline without incurring any charges. In essence, businesses are paying for customers to call them – that’s why they are predominantly used for customer-service and sales calls.

How does a toll-free number work?

The idea behind a toll-free phone number is simple. Anyone who needs to contact customer service has likely already purchased a product from the company and is seeking information, advice or perhaps even wants to place a new order. In one way, by not charging for the phone call, the company is saying ‘thanks for your custom!’.

Numbers can lead directly to a dedicated line or be routed through a forwarding service which diverts the call to one line, several lines, an answering machine or call centre.

How do you call a toll-free number?

You call a toll-free phone number in the exact same way you would any other freephone number in your country. There is no difference at all.

Should I get a toll-free number for my business?

Toll-free numbers are great, and there are countless reasons why you should get one. A toll-free number helps you to:

avoid appearing local if you cover various locations

encourage return and potential customers to get in touch

make your business look more professional

see who is calling (receive full itemised call statistics on your toll free number so you can report on who calls you)

remain contactable even when relocating – no need to change your number

Are there any downsides to toll-free numbers?

Like anything else, there are a few downsides to toll-free phone numbers, including an increased phone bill for the owner. But what many companies do, once they have a toll-free number, is look at ways to reduce the amount of time necessary to service a customer. Often, this means setting up an automated phone system – also known as a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) to gauge the reason for the call and route them to the appropriate department – reducing call time.

Unfortunately, toll-free phone numbers don’t come with PBX systems, however, we do providehosted PBXservices as an extra, here at G Tele.

How do I get a toll-free number?

The easiest way to get a toll-free phone number is through G Tele. We provide numbers for more than 132 countries and strive to provide the most competitive prices. All you need to do is select a country and choose a number from the list, and we’ll take care of the rest. It’s as simple as that.

Still got a question?

We would love to chat with you some more about toll-free numbers and how we can be of assistance. So, what are you waiting for? Send us a message via our online enquiry form or drop us an email at sales@gtele.com, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.