800 Number

I live in a small, rural county. As elsewhere, phone number prefixes distinctly indicate where in the area a business (or residence) is located.

I often wonder if my current prefix leads potential (YP or other tool) customers from calling my number.

I am considering adding an 800 number if that has had positive results with regard to this (possible?) issue.

Has anyone successfully done this? Or, is adding another business line with a target area’s prefix a better alternative?

I have battled with the decision on a 800 # for many years. I will get one next season.

I may also get an 800#. I think it can help and hurt at the same time. On the one hand you obviously incur the costs of incoming calls. On the other you may get more calls because it is tool free. What allot of companies do around here is get a lot of different prefixes around the area they work. I guess it makes it seem like they have a bunch of different locations. I think juggernaut has an 800#, maybe he can tell us how it is working for him.


This may help with your decision.


I have had experience with an 800# in my contracting business (bathroom refinishing) that I operated for 15 years.

For 2 years we replaced our regular number with an 800# in all our yellow page advertising which covered 2 area codes. During that time we showed no significant change in our calls. An interesting note is that many people who called wanted to know where we were located. They thought that we were out of the metro area because of our 800#. When we switched back to our regular # we experienced no decrease in calls. As a matter of fact we saved money by getting rid of the 800 service.

Your situation is different due to your area. I am assuming that you market Chico and Oroville, or do you go farther? You might be better off going with separate #s for each community. This may be more pricey than an 800 service, but it will give you a connection to each community. In my opinion 800#s make people think that your located somewhere else.

Since you’re dealing with small communities they might expect to see an 800#. What works in one area may not work in another. The only real answer is to test.

Hope this helps!

I would not be replacing my current number; I would (if I pull the trigger) be adding an 800 number alongside within my current advertising (which clearly states that I service the County.) Folks could clearly see my existing prefix to identify my location.

Costco Business Services offers an 800 number at a very low price:

Call forwarding, VM, and vanity numbers available…

Larry be careful who you get the number from. I bought mine from ATT. Regardless of if it’s a vanity or not. With some companies you do not OWN the number. If they start charging you crazy fees and you decide to leave them, they keep that number. I pay out $35 per month for my number plus the incoming calls. My biggest bill was $57 in June. I think with most 800 services it’s a fowarding deal. So the number can be forwarded to your current business number. It was very confusing for me to figure out which way to go and in the end I decided on a company that has been around forever cause I knew they would not go out of business and I lose the number. I can’t say one way or the other if it helped my business. I think it does. But for the money I am spending on it, I’m not really worried. I got the number mainly for the vanity side of it. I wanted something that while driving down the road at 70mph was easy to read and easy to remember. If you say my number 3 times, it sticks in your head. 877-shine-88.


Their current rate plan is 5.9¢ per minute with 11 month term commitment
6.9¢ per minute with the no-term plan

I rarely spend over 10 minutes on the phone with a customer, so even at their highest rate what would I spend? 69 cents? Well worth the cost of landing the customer.

Another toll-free option that I have used for 3 or 4 other businesses that I’ve been involved in over the past few years:


Amazing product, forwardable to ANY phone number(s), 10 extensions included, voicemail sent to your email inbox, and more.

Plans from $10/mth, $35 one-time fee for vanity number selection, or take whatever number they give you instead, and forget the fee.

The system is online-based, and VERY VERY versatile. I wholeheartedly recommend it. Takes about an hour to figure it all out, but you’ll love it once you’ve got it, and it is amazing. Their customer service is also good.

(You can also check the availability of vanity toll-free numbers as many times as you wish…)

My partner and I are considering purchasing a toll free #.

We service two different area codes in Southern California and we are afraid that if we purchase a toll free # we will lose our local feel. However I have heard that a toll free # is good for the website?

what do you guys think?

My assistant, who is a recently laid off marketing exec, had this conversation last week. She thinks I should get an 800 number and I disagree.

Her points -

An 800# will legitimize the business
It will make my business appear to be a larger firm
Some people still use land lines
With the proper vanity number, people will be more apt to remember it

My points -

I don’t advertise in the phone book, so I don’t think an 800# would really affect anything
My business forwarding line is only $5 a month, (Residential VoIP and VoIP Reseller Program - VOIPo) 800#'s are expensive
If the 800# is useless, and I decide to pull the plug, all marketing using that 800# will be rendered useless
Most people use cell phones
My current 908 area code number eludes to the actual physical location and service area of my business

I don’t think I’ll be getting an 800# anytime soon, but I think we both have some valid points

800 numbers do not legitimize anything. I can see where people my think we
do not service an area because of the prefix.

Chris (WCR) services a massive area, so it may make sense for him… but somehow
he grew to a large company without it. In fact all the successful companies I know
don’t use an 800 number.

It may disconnect us from the community also.

I wouldn’t do it as I see no viable reason (beyond assumption)

Ive decided not to ever get one… I do strongly recommend getting a google voice # though. They are free… and awesome!

My thoughts exactly. I serve 4 different prefix’s as well. My competitors that come to mind have not gone the 800 route, instead buying the area code prefix’s they service. Does anybody know if you can buy prefix’s through a cell phone provider?

I use Voipo. You can choose area code and prefix through them, and the number and forwarding are less than $5 a month. When I started I had set up with them quick because my cell’s area code is a New York City number, and that confused my New Jersey customers.

I have not a single complaint about Voipo, been using them for 5 months now :slight_smile:

Life rule #32: Never take marketing advice from a laid off marketing exec.

Haha lol, it was more like everyone in the NJ office got laid off, they’re closing it and moving ops to Atlanta

Excuses, excuses :slight_smile:

If they were good at selling the stuff they were selling, they wouldn’t have had to close down shop and move!

I’m just kidding…

Sounded funny, though, when I read it.


Their loss, my gain.

hahaha! Yeah, like I told my Edward Jones Financial planner, if you’re great at picking these stocks, why aren’t you rich?