888, 877, 866, 855, 844, 833, and 800 Phone Numbers

888, 877, 866, 855, 844, 833, and 800 phone numbers are otherwise known as toll-free numbers. They are available from business phone services and are frequently used by businesses as a convenient way for customers to call. 

In this guide, we explain how toll-free numbers work, what a vanity toll-free number is, and the different toll-free area codes like 800 and 888 that are available to choose from.

Recommended: Generate a unique toll-free number using our free Vanity Phone Number Generator.

What Is a Toll-Free Number?

Toll-free numbers permit toll-free calling and don’t require the caller to pay phone charges. They use a toll-free number prefix like 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, 833, or 800. 

Even though toll-free calls aren’t as important today with cell phones, a toll-free telephone number will be useful if you want to expand your business to other cities or states. Toll-free numbers are also universally recognized and provide important safety features. 

If you only want to operate locally, you can stick with a local phone number. This can provide more of a connection to your local customers and community.

Recommended: Ooma offers affordable toll-free service plans.

What Is a Vanity Toll-Free Number?

A vanity toll-free number is a toll-free number that you select because it represents something about your business, its products and services, or its value proposition. Well-known examples include 1-800-XFINITY and 1-800-FLOWERS.

Vanity toll-free numbers usually spell out a word. However, if there isn’t a vanity number available that spells a suitable word, you can choose a memorable number sequence instead.

Why Is There More Than One Toll-Free Area Code?

Companies have been using 800 toll-free phone numbers for more than 50 years, starting primarily with hotels and rental car agencies in 1967. As more and more companies started using 800 numbers, eventually the pool of available numbers was exhausted. 

Starting in the 1990s, the toll-free prefixes 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, and 833 were added to alleviate the shortage.

Learn more: Find out how to buy a specific phone number for your business. 

Which Toll-Free Prefix Is Best?

There is no “best” toll-free prefix for toll-free numbers. That said, 800 toll-free numbers are the most popular and well recognized, and thus many businesses choose them if possible.

If a suitable 800 toll-free number isn’t available, you can always choose an 888, 877, 866, 855, or 844 toll-free phone number that still allows your customers to call without charge. Our free vanity phone number generator can help with this. Or, you can check out our list of the best vanity phone number providers.

How Are Toll-Free Numbers Assigned?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates the assignment and use of toll-free numbers. According to the FCC, most toll-free numbers are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Toll-free subscribers choose entities called "Responsible Organizations" or "RespOrgs" to reserve numbers on their behalf and to manage and administer the appropriate records.

That said, the FCC itself isn’t involved in the actual assignment of toll-free numbers and cannot access the toll-free number database. The FCC also cannot provide any information about the status of a toll-free number.

See our How to Get a Business Phone Number guide for more information about obtaining a phone number for your company, including a toll-free number.

Toll-Free Phone Numbers FAQ

What do the different toll-free area codes mean?

The different toll-free area codes all mean the same thing — that is, they all designate toll-free business phone numbers. They cost the same and perform the same function.

Are toll-free numbers portable?

The FCC requires toll-free numbers to be portable, so they can be transferred from one business phone service provider like Grasshopper or RingCentral to another. 

Is 877 a legitimate area code?

Yes, 877 is a legitimate area code. It is one of the prefixes assigned by business phone services and used for toll-free numbers.

How do I generate a toll-free vanity number?

To generate a toll-free vanity number that best represents your business, visit our Vanity Phone Number Generator.

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