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How to Dial a UIFN Number

So, you’ve purchased a universal toll free number (UIFN) and want to learn how to use it. UIFN numbers are a good resource for businesses looking to expand internationally. But before we discuss how to dial a UIFN number, it is important to understand what such numbers are and how they work.

What are Universal Toll Free Numbers?

Universal International Freephone Numbers, or UIFN are similar to international toll free numbers. They make it free for customers to contact your business, with the added benefit of using the same number in multiple countries. Businesses looking to expand their growth to cover more countries across the world will find a need for a UIFN number.

How this works is that the UIFN number is a unique number that can be reached from any country in the world. And so, instead of advertising multiple contact numbers for each country, you can advertise one universal number that is toll free, no matter where callers are calling from.

Countries Where UIFN Numbers are Available

Now, you can also request a UIFN for the 3 or 4 countries you want to connect with. Say, your business is located in the United States but you want to create a communication channel with Australia, Brazil, France, and Germany. You can request a UIFN for these countries and then add new countries — that is, new markets — while keeping the same number.

Only a limited number of countries participate and work with UIFN numbers but more are being added. UIFN numbers are currently available in up to 62 countries spread across the globe. A few of these are:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Martinique
  • Mayotte
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Reunion
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan

UIFN Calling: Regulations

While UIFN numbers seem like the ideal way to connect with customers across the globe, it is important to keep in mind that there are some regulations and restrictions applied. For example, certain origination countries may impose restrictions on calling abilities and the networks your customers can dial from. Additionally, countries have different prefixes that need to be dialed before dialing the 800 number. Some of the regulations regarding purchasing and dialing UIFN numbers include:

1. The UIFN number needs to be registered in at least two countries.
2. These numbers require a one-time set-up fee.
3. The number needs to be activated for inbound calls from at least two country codes within 180 days.
4. A different format is needed to dial UIFN. Customers will have to include a country code or international access code as a prefix at the beginning of the 800 number.

How to Dial a UIFN Number?

Now that you have a better understanding of how UIFN numbers work, let’s look at how to dial a UIFN number. UIFN numbers start with “800,” assigned to them by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). With this, customers from anywhere in the world can dial and call a UIFN number without being charged for the call. However, the format varies depending on which country is being called. The format generally is:

International access code (IAC) + 800 + 8-digit UIFN

And so, to successfully dial a UIFN number, customers need to know the appropriate international access code. Then, they can add 800 and dial the rest of your UIFN number. Always confirm with your provider what your customers will need to dial to reach you.

Now you know how to dial a UIFN number. But, as you can see, the process can be slightly complicated. Additionally, when dialing, customers may not recognize this number as a toll free number. They are typically more accustomed to 800 numbers or their national toll free number formats.

Universal Coverage with UIFN Numbers

If you want to expand your business globally and work with customers from different countries, then request a UIFN number.

4 Things to Consider When Setting Up International Call Forwarding

Answering phone calls from your customers is an important part of doing business. Current customers and prospects might call a business for customer support or to make a purchase. While email is an effective way to communicate, many consumers still prefer to do business over the phone.

Businesses have a few options to communicate with international customers: most popular are email and phone. Emails can easily be sent and received internationally with no restrictions, but international phone calls are a different story. Check out this page about how to make an international phone call.

For one, callers need to pay international calling costs. Secondly, dialing international phone numbers with foreign country codes can be confusing. The bottom line is that customers prefer not to make long distance calls.

In order to eliminate international calling costs and country code prefixes, smart businesses set up international call forwarding. Basically, any business can avail local or toll-free numbers in their top markets, and forward calls internationally to any destination. This is known as international call forwarding.

International call forwarding is easy to set up. However, each business has unique telecom needs. Here are 4 things to consider when setting up international call forwarding:

What are your top markets?

Which countries drive most of your sales? We recommend getting virtual numbers in at least your top 3-5 markets. This will ensure that you capture the most business and maximize earnings potential.

The best international call forwarding service providers offer phone numbers in more than 100 countries and thousands of cities worldwide. It’s important to determine your top markets, and get numbers in those countries. Customers will prefer to dial a familiar phone number in their native markets.

  1. National, local or toll-free?

    There are choices to be made when you set up international call forwarding. One of the most important decisions a call forwarding subscriber makes is which type of virtual number he avails. Subscribers can choose either national, local or toll-free numbers, depending on the needs of their business. What’s the difference, you might ask?

    The best virtual number for your business depends on your unique requirements. National numbers will give your business a national presence in a target market. They can be dialed nationwide, and internationally. Local phone numbers have area codes that correspond to particular cities. Finally, toll-free numbers are free phone numbers that can be dialed from within a specific country.

    The type of number depends on your business because each phone number has different advantages.

  2. How do you plan to use international call forwarding?

    There are many ways to use the service. Before setting up international call forwarding, you should determine how you plan to use the service.Many subscribers publish contact numbers on their website or in marketing materials. It enables any business to advertise a business phone number, and in some cases, a virtual office location.

    In addition, some subscribers use their virtual numbers as a booking hotline or for customer support. There are many ways to use international call forwarding, and it is important to determine how you will use the number before activating your service.

  3. How much traffic do you expect?

    This is a good question to answer because it determines which plan is best suited for your business. The cost of an international call forwarding plan will vary depending on the number of included minutes.

    If you feature the number in an advertisement or marketing materials, expect heavy call traffic. The same goes for hotlines- booking hotlines and reservation numbers typically receive a lot of traffic. On the other hand, an alternate backup phone number might not receive as many incoming calls.

    It’s prudent to have a good forecast of how many minutes you will need but rest assured if you are still uncertain. Global Call Forwarding allows subscribers to upgrade their plans free of charge.

Tips for other call forwarding subscribers

We hope these tips help you when setting up international call forwarding. Can you think of anything else to consider? It’s our priority to help businesses connect with their customers.