How to Identify an 800 Number

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Toll free numbers begin with three digit codes such as 800, 877, 888 or 866. These numbers allow callers to reach businesses free of charge. Toll free numbers are very common in the areas of telemarketing and customer service. Sometimes, calls from toll free numbers show up on caller identification devices without providing additional information such as an individual or business name. Fortunately, different database methods provide additional information about the numbers.

Review your answering machine or voice mail for messages accompanying the toll free number. Many toll free subscribers leave identifying messages that explains the basis for their calls. Replay your machine several times to find an individual or business name if the recording is hard to hear.

Dial the 800 number and wait for someone to pick up. After the person is done introducing himself, ask what company or individual the number belongs to. Most owners of 800 numbers will provide business information and the purpose of their call. If the company fails to provide information but continues to call you, file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.

Look up the toll free number in an online directory. Most of these websites contain numbers voluntarily submitted by businesses. Enter the toll free number, press search and review the individualized results. If the number is listed in the directory, information will be displayed in the results.

Enter the 800 number in an online search engine such as Google or Yahoo. Experiment using several formats such as using hyphens and parentheses to separate the numbers. The business may appear in the search results. Scan the results to examine if someone else has identified the number.

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About the Author

Based in Dallas, Kelly Taylor has been writing freelance articles since 2000. Her articles have appeared in "Town Talk" magazine, "Advocate" newspaper, and "Stash Magazine." She holds a Master of Arts in English from Louisiana State University.

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  • business is business - cliche image by Jeffrey Zalesny from Fotolia.com