History and Interesting Background of Toll-free Numbers


How long have you been using toll-free numbers for your business to generate leads and for facilitating customers’ communication? Do you wonder from where these numbers have originated? Given here is a quick view about the history and its interesting background that you would like to know.

Though these numbers have become pretty common these days, but  when they were introduced, they had brought a sea change in the telecommunication industry and a whole new world of opportunities for generating leads was opened for the business enterprises.

When and Why Toll-free Numbers Came into Being?

It was in 1967 that AT&T had created the first toll-free number 800 for the purpose of reducing extra human operators who used to get overwhelmed by the collect calls that they processed on a daily basis. Initially, the service was known as INWATS (Inward Wide Area Telephone Service). Sheraton Hotel Chain was the first business to adopt the system of toll free numbers in the year 1970.

What was Data Base Communication Processing Method?

Roy.P.Weber coined the term Data Base Communication Processing Method for the modern toll free number used by the enterprises. AT & T did not expect that in a few decades, toll free numbers would become a significant part of the marketing strategies for innumerable small and big businesses.

AT &T Was the Sole Proprietor Till 1984:

Till 1984, AT&T was the sole proprietor of toll-free numbers. It was in 1991 that AT&T ordered implementation of number portability process and this had increased competition in the market. It was something great because it had allowed the subscribers to switch the carriers and retain their original numbers. Many phone carrier service provider offered these numbers and soon consumers had a variety of options to choose. Many phone carriers began to offer these numbers and that led to the origin of vanity numbers.

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