Does it matter if a phone sex company has the 800 Version of a number?

Question:

Bill,

I found a number that I like that is coming available soon, but I noticed that the 1-800 and the 1-888 variations of this number are owned by a sex line. The number I want is 866. I’m a little worried that my customers might call the other numbers by mistake and be pissed at me/my business … what are your thoughts on this? This type of misdial probably happens all the time, which is why sex lines own these numbers! Should I keep looking for another number??

Thanks, Dan

That’s a good question, Dan. Primtel has about 2 million ’800′s so since there are 8 million different numbers all together, you would literally eliminate 25% of all numbers if you did that. Actually I should probably say you would eliminate the best 25% of all numbers if you rejected the ones where Primetel has the 800 version.

I’ve also never heard of anyone judging anyone by their “phone neighborhood.” I’m woing to work on something that may allow the computer to calculate how popular the misdials to a number are so you can at least a chance at predicting wrong numbers but it’s not something that is really possible to do or even really consider. I think everyone understands that you’re not responsible for the behavior of anyone even one digit away from your phone number. It might be annoying to get a phone sex company and it might make me double check my dialing and the number but it’s not their fault I dialed wrong and nobody would blame or think badly of you.

The Conversation continued:

Thanks Bill. I guess more what I’m asking is if someone calls the sex line by mistake, do they automatically get charged $X.XX for the first minute?
That’s where I can see someone getting pissed, not necessarily at me, but pissed that my number was close to a phone sex number or getting confused thinking that MY number was actually a phone sex number? Thanks for the info!

No, they don’t automatically charge anything. They tell you to call another number and unless they go call that other number they won’t get charged. The closest thing to what you’re afraid of, that I’ve seen is something that I think is Signal One’s expensive directory information service. It tells you for additional information on the owner, to press pound. If they do that, that will be charged some $8 fee or something like that, for directory assistance, which will just ask you what company and give you a phone number.

But overall, I don’t think there’s any significant concern. It’s definitely not an issue that makes you have to go look for another number. It’s hard enough to find a good number available. Don’t eliminate 25% of them just for the small percent that would notice and see it as an issue.

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