ITFS is the acronym for International Toll Free Service, and International Toll Free numbers, also known as ITFS numbers, are some of the most widely requested virtual phone numbers on the market for international free phone calls. But despite their popularity, these numbers aren’t without their own quirks. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to communication tools. To use them successfully, it’s essential to understand the specifics behind these phone numbers. In this article, we’ll discuss the top 3 problems with ITFS numbers and how to solve them so you get the most from the service.
Problem #1: ITFS phone numbers aren’t accessible in every country
International Toll Free Numbers are country specific. For example, an Australia International Toll Free Number is specific to Australia, meaning only callers within that country can take advantage of its toll free calling functionality. Therefore, if you have customers in different countries across the world, you want a solution that includes more than one phone number.
The most popular remedy for the country-specific problem is to purchase a toll free number for each country in which you have customers. For example, if you have customers concentrated in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia, purchase an ITFS phone number for each of these countries.
Alternatively, Universal International Freephone Numbers (UIFN) phone number offer an option to multiple international toll free numbers. With UIFN, you get ITFS numbers in each country, but the numbers all have the same dial code. For example, customers in France dial the same number as customers in Germany. This makes it easy for your marketing and support materials and web sites to show a single number.
The UIFN number format has a 3-digit country code followed by an 8-digit numerical code. This is not always easy to recognize as a toll-free number but it is, in fact, toll free to the caller. There are approximately 40 countries in which a UIFN number is available. If you wish to use the same dial code for multiple countries, contact your provider for more information.
Problem #2: Your ITFS number can’t be dialed by a specific type of phone
As mentioned, ITFS numbers have some limitations, especially since each country has its own version of this type of phone number. One of those limitations is the type of phone that can dial your number. Most international toll free numbers allow calls from mobile, landline, payphones and VoIP but others may only allow incoming calls from one or some of these options.
Various factors define the accessibility of ITFS numbers through mobile networks, VoIP, and pay phones. Country regulations, carrier mandates, and telecommunications providers determine whether callers are able to access your toll free number using a mobile phone, pay phone, or through an Internet Protocol (IP) address. For example, Denmark toll free phone numbers are accessible from mobile networks at premium rate while the United Kingdom toll free numbers have mobile access with no additional charge, but they are not accessible from pay phones. Talk to your provider about coverage and restrictions by number and country to understand the accessibility of your specific toll free number.
Problem #3: Your ITFS number lacks calling features you need
Your International Toll Free Number provider plays a big part in the functionality you receive with your toll free phone number. Calling features are key in determining how well the number serves your business need. Some providers offer their phone number free of any type of calling features; others provide their phone numbers paired along with a Cloud PBX type service that includes business-class features such as call recording and time of day routing.
Does your company need advanced calling features? If so, your best bet is to use a provider that offers this type of service. Keep in mind, this added service for international free phone calls may cost more per month, but the benefits often save overall costs in terms of efficiency and customer satisfaction. Check out the business-class calling features available from your provider with the use of your international toll free number. Determine what business needs you have and how you want your international free phone calls handled.
Understanding the capabilities and limitations of International Toll Free Numbers allows you to realize the benefits. For instance, AVOXI offers ITFS numbers in more than 120 countries and provides 40+ business-class features with the phone service. The online portal allows our customers to manage their numbers and features according to their specific business needs.
Interested in more information about these virtual phone numbers?
- ITFS – International Toll Free Number
- What’s the Cost of International Toll Free Numbers?
If you’re interested in International Toll Free Numbers from AVOXI, talk to a specialist today.