A toll free forwarding service can be a great way to get more customer calls coming into your business. A toll free number allows people to call for free, which is especially useful in situations where they may not have called if there was a charge. Toll free numbers also have the benefit of giving your business the appearance of professionalism and class.

Toll free forwarding allows these calls to be routed to any location, without the need for telephone wiring. Wherever your business is located, or whichever device you prefer, is where your calls will come in.

Which Is Best?
There are many companies that offer toll free forwarding. How do you know which is best? And just as importantly, which ones are the most convenient, allowing you to purchase numbers and features with a minimum time investment?

The top 3 toll free forwarding providers, Avoxi, Toll Free Forwarding, and Global Call Forwarding, provide different features and services that you should be aware of before committing to one. Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each service.

Available Numbers
One benefit of a toll free number is that it is local to the designated geographic area; a phone number in Norway will have a Norway area code, number pattern, and even ringtone. In all ways, your Norway number is a local phone number.

The more local the better — a company that offers you phone numbers that are unique to Toronto, Ontario, and Montreal provides more choice and makes your business seem tuned in with the local people and economy, rather than a company that simply provides numbers for all of Canada.

This means that the more local numbers that are available, and the more specific regions you can get numbers for, the better.

In this regard, it’s important to be aware that (as of June 2018) Avoxi only offers 45 locations for immediate purchase. Toll Free Forwarding offers 120 locations. Global Call Forwarding offers 137 countries and regions that can be purchased.

Outbound Plans
Outbound plans let you use a number that you purchased to receive incoming calls to make calls. You can even have your purchased number display as the caller ID on the phone that’s receiving your call.

This can be important because it avoids the confusion of a customer calling one number to reach you, and seeing a different number on their caller ID when you call them back.
Of the top 3 outbound plan providers:

Avoxi: Outbound plans are not offered / not available for purchase online, during checkout.

Toll Free Forwarding: Outbound plans are also not offered / not available for purchase online,
during checkout.

Global Call Forwarding: Global Call Forwarding offers this service online and shows you the options for outbound calling plans, at checkout.

Call Transfer
Call transferring lets you put an incoming call on hold, while you transfer it to any other number or department you choose just by dialing a pre-programmed code that you designate. The caller does not know they are being placed on hold. You can even speak to the person or the department you’re transferring the call to before the call is picked up, which really comes in handy if you want to brief someone on what the call is about.

Call transferring is very convenient because unlike call forwarding, not all of your calls have to be re-routed — only the ones you want to re-route or transfer. Additionally, your calls do not have to be re-routed to the same number every time, as they are with call forwarding. You can route the first call to the sales department, the second to marketing, etc.

Avoxi: Does not offer this feature.

Toll Free Forwarding: Does not offer this feature.

Global Call Forwarding: Offers call transferring features.

US 1-800 numbers
U.S. 1-800 numbers are universally recognized as toll free; having a 1-800 number tells people your number is toll free without having to announce anything. As the most widely recognized toll free prefix, it is easily remembered, and it gives your business the appearance of evident professionalism.

You would think that of the top 3 toll free forwarding providers, this feature would be widely offered, but it is not.

Avoxi: Does not offer U.S. 1-800 numbers.

Toll Free Forwarding: Does offer 1-800 numbers.

Global Call Forwarding: Does offer 1-800 numbers, as well as other toll-free prefixes, such as 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, and 833.

Ordering Process
Ordering toll free numbers is usually done online, making the process simple and easy. The last thing you want is to have to spend forever on the phone with customer service agents just to order a product, or to have to spend an entire day online with customer service agents just to get your toll-free numbers.

So how easy is it to order multiple numbers and features?

Avoxi and Toll Free Forwarding: Neither company allows you to order multiple phone numbers at once. That means you’ll have to go through the online checkout process for each number. Of the top 3 toll free forwarding providers, only Global Call Forwarding allows you to purchase multiple numbers at once, with one checkout.

Additionally, neither Avoxi or Toll Free Forwarding allow the purchase of outgoing calling plans at purchase. Only Global Call Forwarding allows this.

Vanity Numbers
Want a vanity number? While Global Call Forwarding allows you to choose a number and purchase it online, Avoxi does not, requiring you to contact their customer service for more information. Toll Free Forwarding offers them, but their website does not offer clear directions on purchasing swiftly.

Rollover Minutes
Rollover minutes carry over unused minutes in your plan to the following month, instead of forcing you to lose them. Many of the top 3 toll free forwarding providers don’t provide this convenience.

Avoxi: Does not allow you to use rollover minutes.

Toll Free Forwarding: Does not allow you to use rollover minutes.

Global Call Forwarding: Does allow you to rollover unused minutes to add to the total available minutes for the following month.

There are a lot of things to consider when you’re comparing the top 3 toll free forwarding providers. Only one company offers both ease and convenience at checkout, as well as multiple features and conveniences to make your business stand out and reach as many customers as possible. Contact Global Call Forwarding for more information on getting your toll free numbers today.

Published 6/5/2018.