Every day the internet connects more people together, and it follows that each year more companies are doing business internationally. Email and internet messaging make it easier than ever to connect with people around the world – but that doesn’t mean that phone calls are dead.
There is something about talking to someone over the phone, no matter where they are in the world, that is more productive and meaningful than sending an email or a text.
If you’re looking to add an international toll-free number to your company’s marketing toolbox, there’s a few things you need to know before diving in. Read on to find out more about toll-free numbers, international conference calling, various international toll-free solutions, and whether an international toll-free number is right for your business.
Toll-Free Numbers: The Basics
The way toll-free numbers work is simple. The caller placing the toll-free call dials a phone number with a specific prefix. Then, all long-distance fees associated with dialing out of a local area code are passed onto the call’s recipient.
Toll-free numbers have been around since the 1950s and have basically served the same function ever since. Even though most people rely on cell phones now, businesses still have a need for toll-free numbers since most people use landlines at work.
Plus, toll-free numbers can serve as a status symbol for businesses. If your company has a nationwide presence, as opposed to just working locally in a community, offering a toll-free number can inspire trust in your customers.
What If My Business is International? Are Toll-Free Numbers Free Internationally?
The short answer here is no.
Toll-free numbers are country-specific and typically only work for calls placed domestically. If a caller in France attempts to dial a toll-free number in the United States, either the call won’t go through or the caller will be charged for a long-distance call—completely undoing the purpose of a toll-free call in the first place!
While there are some toll-free numbers that work regionally, they are specific to the region, country, and carrier and the caller can’t be certain that the call is free for them. Depending on where the caller is calling from, and which country they are calling, the functionality and cost can get tricky.
For example, certain toll-free numbers in Canada will work if dialed from the United States, but the number must be specifically set up to take calls from outside the country and the carrier must support this feature.
In another example, certain UK toll-free numbers can be reached from the United States or other countries, but the caller would still get charged long-distance fees.
The closest thing to an actual toll-free international number is called a UIFN or Universal International Freephone Number, but these have restrictions as well. They work in only about 40 different countries and must be registered in at least two.
Plus, UIFNs can get very expensive. As the owner of a UIFN, you get charged for each country with access to the number—so the more countries you need to cover, the higher the cost.
How Do I Get International Toll-Free Numbers for My Business?
Luckily, there are other solutions for international toll-free numbers if you can’t (or don’t want to) spring for a UIFN. Every business should weigh the costs associated with each decision against the gains—and if you don’t do a lot of international calls, it might not make sense to go through the trouble of getting your own UIFN.
For most international companies, their international business is distributed between certain countries. Instead of paying for a blanket international number that might not work in the countries where you do business, the simplest solution is often to get local toll-free numbers in the select countries where you need them.
For example, if you have offices in Sydney, Tokyo, New York, and Los Angeles, you could use a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service provider to link together local numbers in each region to a single line.
International Toll-Free Conference Calling Made Easy
At Branded Bridge Line, we’re experts at providing businesses of every size with toll-free international conferencing solutions that work for them. All our plans are easy to set up and use, and we have coverage in more than 80 countries worldwide.
Since toll-free numbers get complicated when dealing with international callers, we focus on providing local numbers wherever you need them. That way, callers and call participants will always dial local numbers and won’t incur any long-distance fees.
Once you let us know where your callers will be joining your conference from, leave it to us to get your conference call up and running, effortlessly. We use only the highest quality VoIP service and route all the numbers together on the backend to seamlessly join every caller onto a single line.
What’s better is that all of our conferencing plans come with dedicated lines (or numbers) so you and your team will never have to fumble over new conference line numbers again.
Get International Toll-Free Numbers on Your Terms
No matter where in the world you do business, we have the resources to connect you with employees, clients, and customers across the globe. Branded Bridge Line gives you the tools you need to set up an international conference call without having to worry about registering toll-free numbers or learning the ins-and-outs of regional toll-free calling.
Check out more of our international conferencing features to learn how we can get you better international conference calling today.