Callers use free phone numbers for a variety of purposes, including as replacements for an existing phone number, an alternate contact number, as a means of maintaining a number in a different area code or as a way to screen calls. It is also possible to use a free phone number as a business number for a local, national or international entity.
One common use for a free phone number is as a secondary contact method, used in addition to an existing cell or land line number. This allows the owner to share the free number with her primary number and provide friends or business acquaintances with an additional way to reach her. Similarly, some may use the free number as a dedicated emergency contact line. By entering the free number into various forms that ask for a number to call in an emergency, the owner knows that any messages that come through the line are urgent.
Some free phone number services, such as Google Voice, also include features that allow the owner to route calls to the free number onto another number. In this case, the service prompts the caller to say her name during the routing, which allows the owner to screen her calls more effectively. Many free phone number owners use the number for business purposes, often as a primary business line. Some business owners who live in one area but want to have a presence in another region use free phone numbers to get a number in the second area code.