Toll free and DID phone number, what are they? And why are they important?

Communication is crucial for growth

In this world that is getting connected more and more every day, having an easy number for your customers or even for your employees to reach the different departments within your business is crucial to help it grow.

According to a survey done by consumer reports back in 2015 (, the top irritants for customers looking for support are:

  • The company does not provide, much less hide, their customer service number or hotline.

  • Many phone menu steps are needed in order to reach the appropriate department.

  • The phone menu does not offer an option for their inquiry.

  • Transferred to someone who is in the wrong department or cannot help.

With an easily accessible toll free number and a correctly configured phone menu that customers can easily reach and navigate, customers can easily, and in a short amount of time, reach the correct departments which in turn will help increase your company’s productivity and help with its growth.

Toll free and DID phone number, what are they? And why are they important?


What are toll free phone numbers?

Toll free phone numbers are numbers with a distinct three-digit code that customers can reach without getting charged themselves on that call. A toll free phone number however, is not free for the business. The business that owns that toll free number would be charged for the call that just took place.

In short, it pushes the cost of the call that is usually charged to the customer calling to the business. Toll free phone numbers are usually used by the customer service industry as the numbers are usually easy to remember and are available worldwide.

How do toll free phone numbers work?

Talking about it in the simplest sense, toll free phone numbers work like call forwarding. A customer from anywhere around the world would dial your toll free phone number assigned for that country would then be routed to your provider such as Telnum which in turn would forward it to your assigned phone number for that toll free phone number.

Why are toll free phone numbers important?

The use of a toll free phone number or stick to the local phone number has always been a contested debate among business owners and who could blame them? A toll free phone number for your business is a big decision.

There are a lot of things to consider when making the move to purchasing your very own 1-800 number. Here are a few of them:


Having a toll free phone number gives your business the flexibility to move and grow together with your business. Even if a business would move from one location to another and or change their local phone number, their customer can still reach them.

A toll free phone number is not linked to a particular phone number permanently and can be switched on the fly as what the business would need.

Customer satisfaction

With the ease of reaching your business as the primary benefit and selling point of a toll free phone number, you would gain a lot more satisfied customers as they would be able to reach your business easily. A toll free number also gives your customers the peace of mind that they can call wherever they are and they would not have to worry about covering the cost of the call. It can also be configured to have different features that can cater to your consumer base.


Depending on how you look at it, a toll free number would be another expense added to the books. With your business taking in the cost of each and every incoming caller, the business will incur a significant amount of cost, and thus it must be considered when choosing to buy a toll free number or even which provider your business should be partnering with.


Most major corporations have an easily accessible toll free number for their customers to dial and conduct business with. Having a toll free number can give credibility to your company by it. It can also be used to convey a bigger presence and brand loyalty towards new and existing markets knowing that your company is just a phone call away.

Direct Inward Dialing (DID)

What is Direct Inward Dialing or DID?

DID or Direct Inward Dialing is a feature offered by telephone providers to businesses for their VoIP or PBX systems wherein the telephone company assigns a range of telephone numbers to be assigned to one or more phone lines. This enables your company to allocate unique phone numbers to your employees without needing a different phone line for each. With this, your business can split and manage the traffic of your company’s telephone lines easily.

Why is it important?

One big reason as to why DID is important is cost. Depending on the size of your business, assigning an individual phone line for each employee may or may not incur a significant expense. Small companies tend to have a smaller list of employees wherein DID may not be needed as it already utilizes a small workforce that customers can be contacted directly with or be routed to by a PBX switchboard operator. Larger companies tend to have various different departments with a large workforce.

Just using a PBX switchboard operator may not cut it as there is a limit when it comes to routing customers to the different departments or employees within a big organization. DID automates this and removes the need for a PBX switch operator by having the PBX automatically switch and route these incoming calls to the correct department and assigned workstation.

Difference between DID and toll free numbers

Back in the day, toll free numbers are simply numbers of a company or business that you can dial without incurring charges, and DID numbers are numbers that you dial within the organization to reach a specific employee or department.

Nowadays, DID and toll free phone numbers are combined. DID nowadays have the ability to do outbound calls and thus DID numbers is just another way of saying VoIP or virtual numbers. Certain providers would use DID when referring to local phone numbers. Providers would, at times, combine DID and toll free numbers by assigning a local phone number that locals can dial and be directed to someone somewhere around the world.

With the combination of DID and toll free numbers, it creates a brand presence for your business locally as callers would interact and dial local phone numbers that they recognize without the need for adding specific country codes to reach the local DID numbers for that particular country.


With the way that DID and toll free phone numbers work nowadays, the line between these two have been blurred significantly, and deciding between these two is just a question of whether or not your business’ number is toll free or not as businesses always have an option opting in for a local DID without the toll free feature added to it.

'Hard pass': Ryan Reynolds pumps brakes on street-naming petition