Toll-free phone numbers begin with any of the following three-digit codes: 800, 888, 877, 866, 855 or 844. Toll free is considered to mean any phone number that can be dialed without a charge to complete the call.
Toll-free numbers are used most often by businesses to allow their customers a free and simple way to contact them for information, prices, locations or other services. However, they are also occasionally used by individuals who receive a large volume of calls. Charges for toll-free calls are paid by the subscriber, or the called entity, so the contacting user sees no charge for the call.
Toll-free numbers are acquired through companies known as Responsible Organizations, often telephone companies, who have access to the SMS/800 database of used and available toll-free numbers. While all six codes are toll free, they are not interchangeable. For example, 1-800-FLOWERS and 1-888-FLOWERS is not the same number, and one or more combinations may not even be valid numbers.
Numbers such as 1-800-FLOWERS are known as vanity numbers. A toll-free service provider such as AT&T or Verizon can help select a vanity number that works with branding or campaigns for a company. The FCC oversees toll-free services and numbers, and it allows porting a number between providers.