Q:

How can you find out which telephone prefixes are toll-free?

A:

Quick Answer

To find out which telephone prefixes are toll-free, visit FCC.gov. The Federal Communications Commission lists on its website the six three-digit toll-free prefixes as of 2015 and explains how they are assigned.

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Full Answer

On the homepage, click the Guides tab, and then click More to access the Consumer Publications Library. Scroll down to the Telephone: Bills and Charges header and click on the What Is a Toll-Free Number and How Does It Work? link.

The FCC explains that 800, 888, 877, 866, 855 and 844 are the six unique toll-free three-digit prefixes in use in the United States. They are not interchangeable; the prefixes are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Calls to toll-free numbers are routed to another local telephone number.

844 is the newest toll-free prefix as of 2015, in use since December 7, 2013. Prefixes reserved for future expansion include 833, 822, 880 through 887 and 889.

Toll-free numbers have proven to be successful business tools, according to the FCC, especially in customer service and telemarketing. The charge for using a toll-free number is paid by the called party instead of the calling party, meaning customers have a free way to contact businesses.

To file complaint against a company providing toll-free numbers on the FCC's website.

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