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Banana

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Curious how many of you have gone away with a toll free number? I've been looking into 'bundle' packages for tv, internet, phone and can save over $100/month if I rid myself of that toll free number. If I want to keep it, it throws me into a business category (versus residential) and the bundle package is not as good a deal. IMO, 95% of the population have cell phones and all long distance calls are free, so I don't need it. OTOH, will I lose a prospective booking just because I don't have it? Saving $100 a month is not worth losing a two or three day booking because they couldn't call me for free.
Thoughts?
 

EmptyNest

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Lots don't have toll free numbers. But..if you have it out there on line and in your marketing materials...you will have to make sure to redo it all. But I doubt that losing an 800 # will make that big a dent these days with cell phones etc. We got rid of our about a year before we closed and I never noticed any differences. But..that is my opinion I am sure others may disagree.
 

Proud Texan

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I agree with Catlady. With the proliferation of cell phones and with the ability to make online reservations, an 800 number is an unnecessary expense.
 

Copperhead

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DH and I were discussing this just yesterday. I have seen my 800 bill dwindle down to just a few calls each month. Most call me on my local number via either their cell or at home with free long distance.
For us, it only costs us $2 a month to have the number. Until we no longer get calls on that line, I can divvy out a couple of bucks for the comfort.
You must be set up differently than I am, as my phone carrier does not know or even needs to know I have a 1-800 number associated with my phone line. I went through a 3rd party and they tied in to my local # - guess simular to call forwarding. Person dials my 800 number and it rings my local phone. I could have the local # changed at anytime and have my 800# follow.
If you are receiving your 800 # through your phone carrier, you may want to contact a 3rd party to see if they would be able to take over that number. I do not know if that is possible but if it can be done, you could have your new bundle and your tollfee and save some $$$.
I understand your situation, we just did the bundle deal and it does save a nice chunck. They all are the latest marketing trend for the media companies...I do wonder what they will try to throw at us once the rate contract expires (for me it is 2 yrs). But like Scarlet, I will think about that tomorrow.
 

Morticia

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We'll keep it because it's been around so long. I guess I should look at the statement and see how often it is actually used and then make a determination. Kind of tough to change a biz number that has been around for over 10 years. It's on so many things.
 

Morticia

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I had an 800# when my kids were in college so they could call home for free. It did not put me in a 'business' group to do that.
 

Banana

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The provider does not offer an 800 number with residential service - I have to opt for business service, which costs more. I'm leaning towards getting rid of it with the current provider, move all the other services to a bundle package, and check into a 3rd party for the toll free number. I never thought of that - thanks CH!
It's actually good timing, because I'm in need of a new rack card order anyway. And business cards are running low. Now to pull out the list of directories...
 

seashanty

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if you want to have an 800 number, you can get an inexpensive pay as you go with my 800 online .com
you pay in advance, i used to pay $20 or so at a time, but could 'recharge' with only $10.
calls come in on whatever phone number you designate
this was great for me as we were only open seasonally. so the calls came to me wherever i happened to be throughout the winter.
but i don't think you can keep your exsiting toll free number ....
 

wendydk

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Sunshine...I did the same, bundled everything through my cable company and dropped the 800#. We are busier than ever, and no one has asked me if I have a toll free number. In fact, my number (because of the bundle) is considered a residential one and thus the business is no longer listed in the phone book. No difference whatsoever that I can see. In fact, solicitations by telephone have dropped dramatically.
 

Banana

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Sunshine...I did the same, bundled everything through my cable company and dropped the 800#. We are busier than ever, and no one has asked me if I have a toll free number. In fact, my number (because of the bundle) is considered a residential one and thus the business is no longer listed in the phone book. No difference whatsoever that I can see. In fact, solicitations by telephone have dropped dramatically..
That's a HUGE bonus!
 

Copperhead

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Sunshine...I did the same, bundled everything through my cable company and dropped the 800#. We are busier than ever, and no one has asked me if I have a toll free number. In fact, my number (because of the bundle) is considered a residential one and thus the business is no longer listed in the phone book. No difference whatsoever that I can see. In fact, solicitations by telephone have dropped dramatically..
Mine is a residential number as well - never had a business number. Once marketers toss old data, new data (numbers) become available i,e, your website etc, it will be added to their call list. - Be happy while it lasts!
No one asks me for my toll free number, but that does not mean that they would not prefer to contact you on one or that some bypass you to go to another that does. - I am not stating that having a toll free # is a must anymore, it is just that if you have had one, and it is on your marketing materials you should keep it until such time, you do not see its being used.
If someone has your brochure from a previous stay or was given it by others, calls your toll free # and finds it disconnected or assigned to another business...What do you think they will do? With this economy, I would be worried they would think I had closed. - I have had guests book with me still using my 1st brochure I put out in '99!!! They had not stayed with me since 2001 and it was 2006. Lots had happened since that time and many places had come and gone. If I had dropped my toll free #, they would have thought I had closed as well.
 

wendydk

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Sunshine...I did the same, bundled everything through my cable company and dropped the 800#. We are busier than ever, and no one has asked me if I have a toll free number. In fact, my number (because of the bundle) is considered a residential one and thus the business is no longer listed in the phone book. No difference whatsoever that I can see. In fact, solicitations by telephone have dropped dramatically..
Mine is a residential number as well - never had a business number. Once marketers toss old data, new data (numbers) become available i,e, your website etc, it will be added to their call list. - Be happy while it lasts!
No one asks me for my toll free number, but that does not mean that they would not prefer to contact you on one or that some bypass you to go to another that does. - I am not stating that having a toll free # is a must anymore, it is just that if you have had one, and it is on your marketing materials you should keep it until such time, you do not see its being used.
If someone has your brochure from a previous stay or was given it by others, calls your toll free # and finds it disconnected or assigned to another business...What do you think they will do? With this economy, I would be worried they would think I had closed. - I have had guests book with me still using my 1st brochure I put out in '99!!! They had not stayed with me since 2001 and it was 2006. Lots had happened since that time and many places had come and gone. If I had dropped my toll free #, they would have thought I had closed as well.
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copperhead said:
If someone has your brochure from a previous stay or was given it by others, calls your toll free # and finds it disconnected or assigned to another business...What do you think they will do? With this economy, I would be worried they would think I had closed. - I have had guests book with me still using my 1st brochure I put out in '99!!! They had not stayed with me since 2001 and it was 2006. Lots had happened since that time and many places had come and gone. If I had dropped my toll free #, they would have thought I had closed as well.
CH, I understand your concerns. Have I missed three or four reservations because someone tried the toll free number they found printed on something, but didn't try the local number too? Maybe, but frankly I don't care. My numbers are kicking everyone else in the area's butts...even those with toll free numbers.
You can worry about what would happen IF you dropped yours, I did drop mine LAST YEAR and have never regretted it. Just the opinion of someone who's done it.
 

gillumhouse

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Chiming in briefly. I have a toll-free. When I got it, it was through WorldCom because I did not like MCI. I requested and got my regular local number as a toll-free 888. Then MCI bought WorldCom and then Verizon bought MCI. Verizon just sold the land lines in my State and I was waiting to see what happened - Verizon still has my toll-free.
I pay ONLY in-coming call plus taxes. Not worth bothering with for concern about costs. I am listed as a residence with my phones (all), the business is not in the phone book - and only locals have a problem with no being able to find me in the phone book.... My toll-free does not cost me enough that I am going to worry about it - and I can use it to check my answering machine from any phone if I am out of cell.....
 

chrismartin4u

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I agree, a toll free number would be best for you in increasing the booking of your shows. This free calling service will help you in attracting the people towards your shows because people always prefer a free calling service instead of a high call charging service.
 
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