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Monthly Archives: December 2009

We're pleased to report that as of Friday, customer record updates (required for service changes for toll-free numbers) are once again being processed through SMS/800, the central administration system for the toll-free number industry.

SMS/800 had announced Nov. 30 that requests from Resp Orgs would not be handled until after Dec. 8. However, on Dec. 1 SMS/800 sent out an second announcement saying that it would resume handling customer record updates on Dec. 4.

Both the original long delay, and the later short one, are of great concern to us. Customer record updates are required before service changes, such as the re-assignment of a toll free number to a new customer, or to a different account, can “go live.” As a rule, these updates happen so quickly that our customers think of them as almost automatic.

According to the original announcement from SMS/800, the processing of service changes was being delayed so that four service control points in the AT&T system could be decommissioned and replaced by new service control points. The means, essentially, that AT&T was replacing older, less reliable systems with new systems.

“We’re deeply concerned about any halts or slowdowns in the industry infrastructure that could affect our customers and the quality of the service we provide to them,” said Chris Rugh, CEO of Custom Toll Free. “This is a particular problem if the halts are not announced in advance.”

“I’m glad to say that service is now restored and customer record updates are being processed speedily,” Rugh said.

He added that Custom Toll Free is looking at the steps it can take so that it, and other Resp Orgs handling toll free numbers, will be notified well in advance of any activities that might cause future delays.

In the current economy customers are slower to spend. So now, more than even, marketing messages need to include key phrases that make the customer pick up the phone and call now. That’s why it’s important to tell people in your ads what’s new and different about your product or services — and why they should pick up the phone and dial your toll-free number right away:

The two most obvious phrases are:

  • On sale
  • Limited-time offer

But there are some other attractive phrases that command attention and inspire action. They include:

  • Overnight delivery
  • More style options in stock
  • New, improved design
  • Free estimate (or free sample)
  • Make sure your toll-free number appears prominently in your ad, paired with your special offer:
  • “Call 1-800-BIZ-NAME today to arrange a free estimate.”
  • “Call 1-800-BIZ-NAME today and your purchase can be delivered to you tomorrow!”

Need a distinctive toll-free number that matches your new campaign or product? Get started right away with our Toll Free Number Search. We can also help you get a great customer toll-free number that’s coming available.