Since its first appearance in the late 1960s, 800 numbers have come a long way. We not only have the traditional 1-800 number to choose from today, but also its successors — 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844. However, the original 1-800 continues to be the most popular and most regarded of them all.
Our customers often ask us, “what’s the difference between an 800 and 877 toll free number? Is one better than the other?” Which is what prompted us to write this article. We want you to understand that no prefix is better than another. It all boils down to availability and personal preference. The only difference between an 866 number and an 800 number is last two digits. And all of the prefixes can ring through a land line, cell phone, or VoIP, and you can even get vanity numbers.
What’s the Difference?
One of a kind for many years, 800 numbers have been renowned for helping businesses earn credibility and trust amongst customers. Although the most common of all the toll free numbers, the inventory of available 800 numbers has started to decline. So for all those who are looking for an updated, fresh toll free number, we introduce the newer prefixes.
Beside the granddaddy of them all, 888 numbers are the most established of the ‘new’ toll free numbers. For nearly 20 years, 888 numbers have been used and have gained credibility and a strong customer base.
877 is slowly grasping a loyal customer base, but is still seen as a younger, more edgy alternative to the well established 800 and 888 toll free.
866 and 855
The popularity of these two have been mainly attributed to the success of the 888 and 877 numbers. Although they lack the high opinion of their older counterparts, they are attractive and useful, regardless.
Since the current inventory of 800, 888, 877, 866, and 855 numbers are being depleted, the FCC released the 844 prefix last December. It’s slowly becoming more popular.
So which of the toll free numbers is right for your business? A newer prefix or the tried and true 1-800? Or both? Or perhaps one of each?