Recognizing calls from an 800 number

Recognizing calls from an 800 number.There are basically 4 different ways that you can differentiate or recognize calls from your 800 number as opposed to calls to your local number. With regular toll free service a call to your toll free number gets forwarded to the ring to number and everything works the exact same as if they dialed your local number directly, in terms of the ring, voicemail, call forwarding, hunting and caller ID, etc. If you need to be able to know when a call is coming from your toll free number as opposed to your local number you will need to use one of the following 4 options.

Caller ID is the simplest way

I hear you saying but I don’t know the numbers of the people that are going to be calling my toll free number. That’s right, but you do know the numbers of 95% of the people that call your cell phone. You probably already have them programmed in so their name shows up and you may even have a different ring for them too. So if you point your toll free number to your cell phone you can just assume that callers that aren’t programmed in are to your cell phone are probably calling from the toll free number.

This is usually the easiest solution and if it allows you to put off having a regular land line for your business for the first few months, that alone will probably save you much more than the cost of getting the toll free number.

Get a distinctive ring line from your local phone company

Your local phone company can give you a distinctive ring service which will make your phone ring differently when people call that second number. Don’t give out the second number but point your toll free number to it. Then when people dial the toll free number you’ll always hear the distinctive European sounding ring-ring. This only costs a few bucks per month from your local phone company.

Use an Enhanced Voicemail Service that announces calls

Another easy way to accomplish this is to use almost any of the enhanced voicemail services. Most of them have a feature called Call Announce. When a call is forwarded to you in most enhanced voicemail systems, a computerized voice will announce the call for you and ask what you would like to do with it… Answer it (to be connected live), Send it to voicemail, Forwarded it to someone else, Return to the que, etc. while the customer is on hold. This feature is sometimes called Whisper or if it prompts them for their name it may also be called Call Screening since you would know who they say is calling when you decide to accept it or not. This makes it very easy to tell when it’s a call from your toll free number because you don’t have to use your business voice unless you press the button to accept it after you hear the voice.

Some services like Kall8 (one of the enhanced voicemail services) can also tell you the number the caller dialed instead of the callers phone number in the caller ID. This could be an additional way to tell a toll free call from a call to your local number.

Get a Separate Line

Of course you can always get a separate line. Many services allow you to have a second line very inexpensively.

It’s also important to point out that you might start out by simply using the first option, with caller id on your cell phone and then switch to the second option, using distinctive ring on the local line once you get things going. Then when your business starts to grow and you begin working with more people, many companies switch to an enhanced voicemail service to create a virtual office. Then if you ultimately do get a full office you might graduate to the last option with your own pbx phone system and/or a receptionist.

It’s important to realize that your needs can change and just because you pick on of these options, doesn’t mean that you can’t use any of the others later on. The whole point of our service is to guarantee you flexibility.

We understand that it can be very important to keep things separate when you’re running two separate businesses, or if you’re starting a new venture on the side and there are definitely some good ways to do what you need to do. I hope this is helpful but if you have any questions you can of course call 1-800 MARKETER for more or email Bill Quimby at

UPDATE: Another way I just found. offers an option to have your toll free number show up on the caller ID instead of the caller. This way you can tell on any phone that shows caller id, if it’s coming from your toll free number and a business call.

    1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
    Loading ... Loading ...

    1 Comment »

    Bill Quimby (666 comments.) says:
    December 15, 2008 at 1:35 am

    When I say calls coming from an 800 number, I’m not referring to calls that show an 800 number in the caller ID. That is usually a telemarketer. I’m referring to how to recognize callers who dial your 800 number and get forwarded to your local number as opposed to people who dial your regular local number.


      1 ping

      Pointing your 800 number to your cell phone can save you money at says:
      January 4, 2009 at 12:45 am

      [...] are 3 more ways to recognize calls from your 800 number if that’s important but using your cell phone and the Caller ID is the simplest way. (No [...]

        RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

        Leave a comment

        Random Testimonials

        Testimonial 1394 out of 1983

        Thanks for such a great service!Servicing the Insurance Restoration Industry

        Ryan Smith

        Testimonial 325 out of 1983

        Your site is wonderful! We used it a lot and got a great number thanks to it.

        Lisa Arias-Moening

        Testimonial 1264 out of 1983

        Your system was so easy and user friendly. I was up and running in less than 1 hour! I dialed our new number several times just to make sure.... I am so impressed!!

        Gavin W. Ekstrom
        Loan Officer

        Testimonial 606 out of 1983

        Your site was the ONLY one I found that did very nice work of searching for possible toll free numbers without having the hassle of registering or creating a user account. I've forwarded the site to several colleagues already. Thanks again.

        Have a Great Day,
        Rick Sietsema

        Testimonial 528 out of 1983

        I was very pleased with the service. You were very knowlednable and personable in helping me find the vanity number that fit my business to the T. The website works great, and your follow up emails were even more helpful.

        Ed Friedman, President

        Testimonial 1652 out of 1983

        I have been a member of your email lists for some time now. I have very specific needs when it comes to 800 numbers. I read all your emails with interest and the amount of possible combinations of numbers you present is staggering!

        I have had the number 866 Skytowing for some time now. Imagine my surprise when you notified me that 888 Skytowing had come available! Of course I snapped it up immediately!

        Thanks for your hard work and the quality of service you bring to the internet and to the 800 number markets. Many of us could not have procured our toll free numbers had it not been for your website. It was money well spent and you can count on my continued support. Towing, recovery, motor clubs, dispatching, accidents in Denver CO.

        Bill Weihrouch
        Skyline Recovery Systems LLP
        Denver Co.

        866 Skytowing
        AND NOW....
        888 Skytowing

        Testimonial 1465 out of 1983

        Thank you so much for your service! We spoke several years ago briefly when we registered our first phone number with you (1-877-FOOD-MINISTRY) and you were easy to reach, helpful, and very attentive to our needs. We have since registered six additional numbers, including 1-800-COMIDA-9 and several memorable 800 numerics. One time our printer made a mistake and printed our toll free number incorrectly on 10,000 DVD covers. We were able to retrieve the EXACT misprinted number from your site and have it pointed to the right number in minutes. You saved us thousands of dollars in reprints -- what a lifesaver!

        We will continue to use your service for all of our future campaigns simply because of the integrity, quality and speed of your service. Your easy-to-use website, low prices, email monitoring service and instant activation are unparalleled in the industry. Thanks again! 1-800 ministries for food

        All the best,

        Sam Pfanstiel I.T. Director
        Angel Food Ministries

        Testimonial 426 out of 1983

        Bill Quimby is not only a toll-free number expert, but he is also the most knowledgeable, accessible, professional, courteous, and helpful person in the toll-free industry. Period.
        Bill ALWAYS goes the extra mile for his clients, doing EVERYTHING that he can to ensure that they receive the best information, the best customer service, and, ultimately, the best toll-free numbers for their businesses.
        And Bill’s website “ is unsurpassed in the toll-free industry. It contains helpful information and tools that facilitate the learning and acquisition process in the toll-free sector.
        Put simply, Bill is the “go-to? man in the industry, and everyone relies on him for critical information, assistance, and acquisitions.
        Lastly, Bill is an honest man who puts his clients’ needs first and charges very reasonable rates.

        Kevin Caruso

        Testimonial 864 out of 1983

        Thanks for your superior service and offerings.
        I look forward to doing more business with you in the future.

        David Sher

        Testimonial 1289 out of 1983

        I just wanted to thank you for the way in which you sent up my toll free number and securing same. I first reserved the number & then decided to register my number after I had done exhaustive research on this type of service. I compared your site and benefits with several others and found that your service was far superior. The number did indeed work within a very short time after set up and I especially like the "birth certificate"

        I immediately received, showing that I now own 877.707.7155. I know that this number, (easy to remember) will help increase business for advertising and my web site and Again, thank you for your professional service and doing exactly what you said you would do.

        Chuck Hayes / 214/ 385-1088