Yesterday, I got call on my stupid cell phone from one of my potential clients. While I was talking to him, I was wondering what would I say if he asks my office number (FYI: I dont have an office phone) or what if he gets a stupid busy message when I cant pick up the call sometime?. Well it could be very easy to just get a new phone and dedicate it for the freelancing business I do, but I was also interested in going one step further than typical local numbers. I researched a little bit about 1-800-numbers and I was amazed how affordable they are these days. With packages starting at just $9.99 a month (only $4.99 at Office Depot), I went on spending couple of hours on proper research for a reliable 1-800 provider.
While the providers are many, it becomes more difficult to choose the right one. I went through the websites of the following providers and I really liked what they have to offer. Although I am not sure how good is their customer support and quality of service but with the way they’ve put up their website, talks a lot about how serious they are with the business. Another interesting thing to note would be, the major telecom providers such as sprint, verizon, aren’t in the market. I can only see AT&T with little share (and I wont be surprised if they plan to exit the market). The toll free number market is flooded with new comers and business who first ran as an ISP. With dirt cheap prices of toll free numbers, may be the major companies realized it is not good for their business model? Anyways, here is the short list I was talking about:
Phone.com – Very neat website and clear info on packages. The company is surely more reliable than anyother.
Halloo – They probably got one of the best client testimonial database. Their services look cheap if you want to stick with a random 1-800 number. But if you need a vanity number, it can add a small setup fee.
PhonePeople – I might be ending up with these folks. Their economy package fits me very well and the features are exciting too. I found lots of things very clearly explained in their policy. – With plans starting at just $5/month, this service is ideal for any Freelancer. Nice features and vanity number at $30 only.
OfficeDepot – We all know Office Depot, we all know how their service is. Getting a toll free number from Office Depot could be one of the safest move.
AccessLine – A lot big names use their service.
Update: Here’s an update to this post, I now own a 1-800 number.