Area codes 800, 866, 877 and 888
The area codes or prefixes 800, 866, 877 and 888 are used for toll free numbers in all the countries covered by the North American Numbering Plan. A toll free number is a telephone number people can call free of charge (the owner of the toll free number pays the calling charges).
What are Vanity Numbers?
Vanity numbers are easy to remember toll free numbers such as 1-800-FLOWERS (1-800-3569377). These are generally used by businesses to achieve a better response rate from potential customers.
Are toll free numbers portable?
Yes, toll free numbers can be transferred from one telephone company to another.
Do toll free calls work from payphones?
For one to be able to dial a toll free number from a payphone without paying any charges, the owner of the toll free number is charged an extra payphone fee. This is why some companies block their toll free number from being accessed via pay phones. Often you can call a TF number via a payphone if you pay the payphone charges yourself.
Dialing a toll free number from another NANP* country/territory
Let's say you are in Canada and you want to call a toll free number registered in the US. Will you be able to dial? This is entirely up to the company/person who owns the US toll free number. They can opt to block calls from other North American countries.
Calling a toll free number from other countries outside the NANP*
Again, depending on the settings used by the toll free number's owner, the number may or may not be accessible from other countries. If it is, the calling party will pay international rates.
Dialing toll free numbers via a VoIP connection
Some VoIP service providers such as Skype allow dialing US toll free numbers free of charge regardless of the caller's location. In other words, you can be in Europe and still be able to call without paying.
*NANP - North American Numbering Plan (includes the US and its territories, Canada and some Caribbean islands. Click here for a complete list).