Answering Service Toll FreePotential clients frequently ask me if we provide a toll-free number as part of our service.

This is probably a common question because providing clients with toll-free numbers is common practice in the answering service industry. However, what most business owners don’t realize is that it is not good business practice to use the toll-free number an answering service provides, as your main business number.

There are several reasons why this practice is not a good idea, but one reason stands out above all the others:  Since an answering service is not an actual telephone service provider, they can keep the toll-free number they’ve given you, should you decide to cancel service with them. Only telephone service providers are obligated, under law, to allow you to port your toll-free number to another telephone service provider. This means that the toll-free number that you setup with your answering service, as the main communication artery to your business, could no longer belong to you if your answering service fails you, or goes out of business.

If I do nothing else on a sales call, but make this point as crystal clear as possible, then regardless of whether I make the sale or not, I take comfort in the belief that I have done everything I can to keep both our companies’ best interests at heart.