How to Get an 800 Phone Number

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Getting an 800 number by contacting an authorized Responsible Organization.
Getting an 800 number by contacting an authorized Responsible Organization. (Image: numbers image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com)

Toll-free numbers, often referred to as 800 numbers, start with specific three digit codes: the traditional 800, followed by 888, 877 and 866. An 800 number allows customers to contact your place of business without incurring phone charges. You, as the toll-free subscriber, hold liability for all charges related to usage. Getting an 800 number involves a simple process of contacting a Federal Communications Commission authorized organization and requesting the number you want.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet access
  • Telephone

Visit the SMS/800 website to obtain a list of “Responsible Organizations,” and then contact one of those organizations to request an 800 number. The organizations have authorized access to the SMS/800 database, which is a centralized repository for the management of 800 numbers. The FCC authorizes a few hundred “Responsible Organizations” and selecting one is a matter of personal choice. Each one offers the same numbers in the database. Some may be telephone companies, other may not be.

Ask for a “vanity” number if desired. A vanity number might spell a person's name or a business such as 1-800-Pro-Game or 1-800-Joe-Roth. Ask if your chosen vanity number is available and if so, request it.

File a complaint with the FCC if you encounter an issue with a Responsible Organization complying with your request for an 800 number. Attempt to resolve any issues with the company first, but if the company fails to respond or act, direct your issue to the FCC. File your complaint online, at the FCC website. Include in your complaint your name, email address and phone number. Provide the account number in question and the nature of your complaint in the body of the complaint. Provide all details of the company with whom you have the dispute.

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