This email is ideal for a person that is wondering if a toll-free number is right for them. If you live in the US, or Canada – the answer is yes. I am also guessing that the rationale is the same in other countries. Now, you maybe saying – Frank, I already have a telephone number, why would I need a toll-free telephone number? That is what this auto-reply will go into. If you decide that you want to be like me – then I would also tell you the best options.
First, if you have a toll-free telephone number, anonymous callers will not be able to hide their phone number. If someone calls anonymously, and calls most toll-free telephone number providers, they will unmask the number calling, and therefore you see who’s calling. This gives you something to work with if someone was vulgar, or threatening to you. I never answered blocked numbers, and I have never set my telephone number to be blocked from caller ID.
Second reason is range. If you go with the right provider, anyone in US or Canada can call you as a local number. If you were to use your regular number, people calling in your country will call as a domestic call. However, people in the other country will call you as an international number. By having a proper toll-free telephone number, all calls in Canada and the US will be treated as a local call. To take it one step further, anyone calling from their landline – the call will be as the name implies – toll-free.
The third reason is professionalism. Think about it, if someone asks for your telephone number, and you give them a toll-free number, it implies that you are together, and you’re professional. I will tie that up with a proper greeting when you answer the phone, but that is my choice. And while you can plaster your toll-free number on your cards, I would also recommend a contact page for all of your contact information.
Fourth is simplicity. If you had to only give one number out, the toll-free telephone number will provide you with one number that works across the US and Canada. Otherwise, you might have to give out one of two numbers depending on who you are talking to. In addition, if you choose my provider, they will also offer support for SMS/MMS, and incoming faxes. You probably can’t receive incoming faxes on your regular cellular telephone number?
Last is convenience. You would install an app on your phone, and from there – you would know if it is someone calling your toll-free telephone number, and can answer that appropriately. This is something you can’t do with call forwarding. The app will also allow you to send and receive SMS/MMS messages. This means you aren’t losing functionality that would be in a conventional cellular number. You could also block individual telephone numbers that are a nuisance or otherwise a problem. If you choose another carrier, you may or may not have these capabilities.
OK, you sold. How will you get a toll-free telephone number? Well, it is simpler than you might imagine. First, you would need a credit/debit card. This is to of course pay for your service. The provider I chosen is prepay which means you pay for the service you will be using. There is also a cap of 5,000 minutes which is 83 hours. This shouldn’t be a problem if you are a single person. You will also need a valid email address. If you need or want another email address – I would recommend Gmail, or to acquire your own domain and use the email from your domain. No matter what, you need a valid email address.
Go to Line2 and select the Buy Now button on the top left corner. From there, you would select your plan. Paying annually will give you a discount, but obviously, you would have to pay more at the time of setting up. If you are like me, you would be best with the Starter Package. Once you chosen your package, you would provide your name, telephone number, and email address. If I remember correctly, you would then choose your number, and then enter your card information. You will then receive an email with your PIN. You can change it when you log into your account. Once you got your email, you would want to download the Line2 app from the Apple App Store, or Google Play store. Login with your credentials for your new toll-free telephone number, and you would be set. If you have another telephone, call yourself from a private number. If your phone number is set to be shown, try dialing *67 followed by your new toll-free telephone number. You should see your phone number even though you set it to block your number. Contact Line2, and ask them to set your CNAM to show your name with your toll-free telephone number. Now, you are ready to give out your new toll-free telephone number. Enjoy and happy calling.
Frank S. Pilone