Looking for the right toll free number for your business? Not sure where to start? Trust us—you’re not alone. And don’t worry—we’re here to help. Since 2001, AVOXI has been a leading provider of US toll free numbers and ITFS numbers, and we can help you choose the best option for your growing business.
In the telecommunications industry, we love acronyms. And sometimes, it’s hard to get past the technical jargon and figure out what your business needs to communicate with customers at home and abroad. In this post, we’ll discuss one of the most frequently used global communications acronyms, ITFS, and talk about the difference between a US toll free number and an ITFS number.
What does ITFS mean?
ITFS stands for International Toll Free Service. It can be used interchangeably with the term “international toll free numbers.” Don’t take it too literally … just remember that ITFS refers to geo-specific numbers that customers can dial free of charge (to them). The business that rents or owns the international toll free number pays for the entirety of the call.
For example: a customer physically located in Germany can call a Germany toll free number (Germany ITFS) for free. The business who owns the number pays for the call.
ITFS numbers, or international toll free numbers, cannot be dialed from every country in the world. They are country-specific, and your business must have an international toll free number for the country or countries that you wish to target. If you’re interested in a “global” toll free number, ask an AVOXI VoIP specialist about UIFN phone numbers.
How is a US toll free number different than an ITFS number?
In theory, a US toll free number is no different than an ITFS number. Both US toll free numbers and ITFS numbers are:
- Free for customers to call
- Proven to increase incoming prospect and customer calls
The most obvious difference between US toll free numbers and ITFS numbers is that a US toll free number is only free for people physically located in the United States to call. And the good news is that people in the United States are familiar with the format of toll free numbers. US residents know that numbers that start with 1-800, 1-888, 1-877, 1-866, 1-855, 1-844 don’t cost them anything to dial.
Starting June 3, 2017, 833 toll free numbers will be the newest addition to the United States’ collection of toll free numbers. These phone numbers were just released, and offer companies the opportunity to get a US toll free number that hasn’t been used by another business.
Really…what’s the difference?
We did say that US toll free numbers were different than ITFS numbers in practice. But, it’s hard to describe the true differences, since ITFS numbers are available for over 100 countries worldwide.
The most important differences between US toll free numbers and international toll free numbers come down to accessibility and cost.
US toll free numbers can be dialed from almost any type of phone: landline, mobile, and payphone. But, many international toll free numbers have restrictions around the kinds of devices customers can use to call.
Before you purchase an ITFS number, be sure to ask your provider about levels of accessibility. For example, if you know that your customer base uses mobile phones heavily, you need to make sure that you purchase an international toll free number that can be dialed from a mobile device.
AVOXI offers US toll free numbers for as low as $14.99/month plus $0.0175 per minute. Our most popular package is the US Unlimited package, which includes a US toll free number and unlimited* monthly usage for just $39.99/month.
But, not all toll free numbers are that inexpensive. Depending on the location, international toll free numbers can cost anywhere from $22.50/month to $2,000/month. Charges for minute usage also vary.
You’ll see the same variation in costs from other ITFS providers, like TollFreeForwarding.com and GlobalCallForwarding.com. This is because the cost for buying toll free numbers from certain countries is extremely high, and the availability is low.
Getting a US Toll Free Number and ITFS Number from AVOXI
Ready to learn what US toll free numbers and ITFS numbers can do for your business? Talk to an AVOXI VoIP specialist for more information today, and explore these related articles:
- How Can a Toll Free Number Improve Your Business?
- Domestic Toll Free Numbers vs International Toll Free Numbers
- UIFN or ITFS: Which Type of Number Is Right for Your Business?
Learn more about Virtual Phone Numbers.
*Unlimited usage is calculated by fair usage standards. Please see AVOXI’s Terms and Conditions for details.