Inbound Calling: Who Can Call My Phone Number?

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At AVOXI, we sell a variety of different numbers. From DID to Toll Free and International to Local, we have numbers for almost every location in the world.

As we built out our shopping cart, we thought it time to revisit this question to help customers make the best decision on the type of number to select for their business needs. And, it’s an important question to ask. Depending on the type of number you purchase, there are certain restrictions involved. Let’s take a look at the different types of numbers AVOXI offers and tell you exactly who can call your number.

Who Can Call My Phone Number: Toll Free Numbers

Toll free numbers, also known internationally as freephone numbers, allow your customers to call your business without being charged for the call. Instead, your business pays for each call. The popularity of toll free numbers continues to grow and availability increases across the globe. Customers typically recognize these numbers as a free and convenient way for them to contact your business.

USA Toll Free Numbers

A USA Toll Free number is specific to the United States, Canada, and other select countries in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). That means that callers located specifically in the United States, or NANP counties like Canada, can call the number without incurring charges on their phone bill. US Toll Free numbers start with either 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, or 833 followed by 7 digits. An example of the dialing format is AVOXI’s USA toll free number: 1 800 462-8694.

International Toll Free Numbers

An International Toll Free number is like the US Toll Free number mentioned above, but instead, it is country specific for other countries around the world. The prefix and dialing format looks different depending on the country. An example is AVOXI’s UK toll free number: 0800 652 5029.

The one thing to keep in mind about toll free numbers is that they’re country specific. They only work in the country for which you bought them. So if you have an interest in these numbers, make sure you get one for every country in which you have customers.

Universal International Toll Free Numbers (UIFN)

A UIFN, or Universal International Freephone number, is similar to an international toll free number in that the caller isn't charged for the call, the called party is. But unlike other toll free numbers, a UIFN works in multiple countries, not just one. Sounds great. But, there are restrictions and drawbacks to setting up UIFNs.

About 40 countries around the world recognize and allow their residents to call these global numbers. And, there are registration requirements and associated fees. If you have a UIFN, anyone located in the participating countries can call it. Not as readily recognizable by customers as a toll free number, the dialing prefixes vary slightly depending on the individual country.

Another consideration is that if your customers are located outside of the 40 participating countries, you'll need other numbers that they can call.

Who Can Call My Phone Number: DID Numbers

A DID, also known as a DDI or local number, is a number that is specific to a certain city. These numbers are available for thousands of cities around the world. The advantage to a DID number is that it gives your business the appearance of a local office in your customers’ area.

These numbers, although local, are accessible from almost anywhere in the world. For local callers pay a standard local calling fee. For other customers, their fee varies based on their geographic location. For example, someone in the US calling a Paris, France DID will pay an international calling fee.

Who Can Call My Phone Number: Shared Cost Numbers

Shared cost numbers are country-specific phone numbers that have a typically small connection fee or shared usage fee chargeable to the caller. The minute usage fee is generally paid by the business. One reason to consider a shared cost number is the accessibility and availability using mobile. Although accessibility and restrictions vary depending on the country.

China is a good example. AVOXI offers China 400 numbers that are accessible from mobile phones. That means that landline and mobile users have access across all the Chinese provinces. The shared cost is comparable to charges for local calls.

Other Restrictions

Of course, depending on your specific business requirements, you need to check with your provider for any restrictions based on your virtual number selection. For example, some numbers do not allow incoming calls from mobile phones. When purchasing a phone number, keep your customer in mind. After all, they're the reason you need a number in the first place.

For more information on types of virtual numbers, download our guide or talk to a specialist about your specific requirements.

You can also check out our online shopping cart for number selections and pricing.