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What Is the Difference Between DID Numbers and Toll Free Numbers?

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As an international VoIP service provider, AVOXI works with many customers interested in setting up phone numbers around the world. AVOXI offers both toll free and DID numbers, so customers often ask us about the differences between them. As a leading provider of virtual phone numbers for nearly 20 years, we’ll use our expertise to clear up confusion about the differences between toll free and DID numbers in this article.

DID or Toll Free: What’s the Right Choice for Your Business?

Because AVOXI provides DID and toll free number connections in over 120 countries, we noticed that there are many different terms used to refer to these numbers. The various terms depend on the country. Also, there are differences between how these number connections work, and it is important to understand those differences before setting them up for your business.

What Is a Toll Free Number?

toll free number allows callers to reach a business without being charged for the call. Instead, the business pays for the full charge of the call. Toll free numbers are easy to recognize because of their distinct number code or prefix. These dial codes may be two, three, or four digits, depending on the country the number originates from. The most common toll free number codes are 1800, 800, and 0800. In the US and Canada, codes like 833, 844, 855, 866, and 877 are also common. Toll free numbers are also known as 800, freecall, and freephone numbers.

Using Toll Free Numbers for Business

Toll free numbers give a business a more professional appearance. They provide a free and convenient way for potential customers to contact a business. Originally most popular as customer-service lines, toll free numbers are now a consumer expectation when trying to reach a business. Thanks to the rise in VoIP telecommunications, even small businesses can afford to maintain toll free numbers in many countries.

Each country assigns and regulates its own toll free numbers. This means a business sets up a toll free number in each country from which it wants customers to call. A UIFN (Universal International Freephone Number) allows businesses to set up one toll free number available from as many as 40 countries, but these numbers have additional restrictions. Additionally, UIFNs are more expensive than traditional toll free numbers. Each country has difference pricing and restrictions associated with their toll free numbers. AVOXI offers toll free service in over 120 countries.

What Is a DID Number?

DID stands for direct inward dialing. These virtual numbers are local phone numbers in a specific country or city that forward inbound calls to a business line. Charges to customers that dial a DID number are the same as if they call any other local phone number. Most DID service providers also allow outbound calls from DID numbers. In Europe and Australia, DID numbers are more commonly known as DDI numbers. DDI stands for direct dial-in.

Using DID Numbers for Business

DID numbers, also known as local numbers, are most popular for companies that want to create a local appearance for customers in a certain area. DID service makes a company appear to have a presence in many cities around the world—without the need for a physical location or office. Companies also use DID service to set up phone numbers for individual employees or departments. Also, DID numbers are available for fax services.

Unlike toll free numbers, calls made to DID numbers are not free for the customer. However, virtual call forwarding from a DID number is less expensive than traditional long distance calling. Companies often use their DID numbers as their caller ID for outbound calls. Potential customers are more likely to answer calls from numbers with a local area code. AVOXI offers DID numbers from over 2,500 cities around the world.

The Difference Between DID Numbers and Toll Free Numbers

There are a few key differences between toll free numbers and DID numbers, including:

  • DID numbers have local area codes that vary by city, while toll free numbers have distinct dialing codes that vary by country.
  • Calls made to toll free numbers are free for the customer, while DID call charges are shared.
  • Toll free numbers give companies a more established, professional appearance. DID numbers project a local presence to customers.

With AVOXI, both DID and toll free number service includes over 40 advanced VoIP features for your business, including call recording, custom call forwarding, and detailed call analytics. Both types of numbers are useful for connecting with local and international markets.

Still have questions about which type of virtual number to use? Download our Numbers Guide or talk to a specialist today!