The 877 area code is a North American exchange that does not belong to a geographic location. Instead, it’s designated as a number for toll-free calls.
What Is a Toll-Free Number?
A toll-free number is a three-digit exchange that can be dialed from a landline at no expense to the caller. It eliminates the cost of a long-distance call for someone who wants to reach a business out of their local area. Instead, this cost is passed on to the person or business who owns the number.
Toll-free numbers are commonly used in customer service departments as a way for a customer to contact a business without being charged. They are also viewed as a way to make a business appear more professional and attract a clientele across a greater area.
What Are the Toll-Free Numbers?
Area code 877 is not the only toll-free exchange. There are six other toll-free codes including 800, 833, 844, 855, 866 and 888. New toll-free numbers are introduced into rotation every few years as needed. The next number to be introduced into the rotation is the code 822. While 811 follows consecutively after 822, it will never be used as a toll-free exchange because it is currently used for governmental info lines in certain areas.
How Do I Get a Toll-Free Number?
Toll-free numbers are available for sale through major phone companies. To get a number, check with any phone provider who offers landline service.
Toll-free numbers are under the regulation of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). While the FCC doesn’t assign these numbers, it does stipulate that the numbers must be portable. This means that a business can move their number from one provider to the next.
Can You Use Toll-Free Numbers Internationally?
Although it is free for the caller to dial a toll-free number within the United States and Canada, these numbers may not be free for international callers. Because international rates and fees apply, there may be a surcharge for placing a toll-free call outside of the country. Some toll-free providers block international calls because of the extra fees involved. If you need to call a company from abroad, it’s best to use a non-toll-free number.
Area Code History
The first area codes were established in 1947 by AT&T and Bell Laboratories. Called the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), the area codes were three-digit numbers assigned to states and other regions based on population density.
Originally, there were 86 area codes. Today, there are 335 area codes within the United States. There are an additional 42 in Canada. In all, there are currently 25 countries that participate in the NANP.