The Original Toll-Free: Why 1-800 is the best

The Original Toll-Free. 1-800 is the best

Quick, think of a toll-free number. How does it start?

We thought so. Because 1-800 was the only prefix for the first 26 years after toll-free numbers were established, it’s by far the most memorable. That’s why 1-800 numbers are still so much more popular than the newer alternatives (888, 877, 866, 855, 844, or 833). Research shows consumers are much more likely to remember vanity 1-800 numbers than other numeric numbers. In fact, the prefix is so ingrained in people’s minds, companies attempting to use other prefixes typically find 20 percent of their calls misdialed to the 1-800 version.

That’s a big loss for businesses dependent on calls for their revenues.

“If that (leads to) an adult entertainment company or a competitor, it could be a real problem for your business,” notes Chairman Scott Richards.  The company banks thousands of toll-free numbers with the prefix 800, and  receives some  100,000+ misdialed or accidental calls to those numbers each month.

Why Memorable Toll Free Numbers Matter

Back in 1967 when toll-free debuted, there were plenty of 1-800 numbers to go around. By 1993, so many had been distributed that more prefixes were established.

RingSquared, however, has access to some hundred-thousand 1-800 numbers and specializes in pairing them with strategic words. Numbers alone without context are too abstract to remember for long, explains Harvard University Psychology Professor Daniel Schacter on To achieve that memorable quality they must be linked with something meaningful to the end user such as a vanity number that spells out a word, or a memorable repeating pattern.

“If a number’s prefix is not immediately recognized by your audience’s working memories as toll-free, (that’s) one additional chunk of information their working memories will need to keep track of,” explains author Craig Borowski in the article. “For this reason the toll-free prefixes have a hierarchy of desirability, with 1-800 being the most sought-after.”

Aside from being memorable, toll-free numbers pay off for businesses by being portable, creating a nationwide presence and making the company seem larger and more credible.

“Businesses want memorable toll-free numbers, and it’s easy to see why,” notes Borowski, “Writing a number down or looking one up online are barriers to a completed transaction. Removing barriers can add customers and increase sales. That’s a fundamental strategy for growing a business.”

Shop 1-800 Toll Free Numbers from RingSquared

It’s easy to search for business phone numbers with RingSquared’s massive online phone number directory. Your business can purchase a new phone number and have it set up quickly with our expert Account Management team.

Don’t wait, get your memorable 1-800 toll free number today and start maximizing your call traffic!