Sunday, August 23, 2009

I don't want to pay for your 800 number.

According to,

“800” number –noun any toll-free telephone number, usually with a 3-digit code of 800, established, as by a business, so that people from widespread areas can call for merchandise, information, or services.

Like it says, 800 numbers are useful for calling what would otherwise be a long-distance number.Who wants to pay to call their credit card company?

Not me.

And so companies establish these "toll-free" numbers.

But they're not really toll-free. The company has to pay for it. And guess what, they pass the bill along to you, their customer. So you really are paying for that phone call. Hopefully, you're still saving though.

So what about cell phones?

Yes, cell phones don't have "long-distance". I can call anyone in the 50 states for the same price.

Wait, you can call anyone for one rate?


So, you could say... call your credit card company in Dallas.

Yes, if my credit card company was located in Dallas, it would be the same as calling a local number here in Indy.


I know.

So why are you calling an 800 number from your cell?

That's a good question. I'm using my minutes to make the call. And they're using their 800 number. So we're being charged on both ends of the call. And then part of my payment is going towards that 800 number. I'm being charged TWICE for one call. I need to find a local number for my credit card company.

It's on your bill.

It is?

Yeah. It's labeled "collect". If you need to call them collect, they list a local number for that purpose. The number works whether the call is collect or not. Just don't dial from your land-line.


So why do companies still have 800 numbers then?

A couple of reasons:

  • Habit. They've always had one, why wouldn't they?
  • Not everyone has a cell phone. Some people still need it.
  • Mindset. You feel comfortable dialing an 800 number.But chances are, you don't need them.

A while back, I signed up for Vonage. Any VOIP provider that offers "unlimited nationwide calling" has no reason for an 800 number for their customers to call.Sure, have one for your potential customers, but when I call to ask a question, why waste the money?

1 comment:

Mathman said...

Those are some excellent points. I also get unlimited long distance on my home phone, and I work from home, which is why I never dial the 800 number when calling my coworkers in any of our other offices.