Looking for an 1800 number can be overwhelming with thousands of phone numbers to choose from and dozens of call plans to compare. That said, you can simplify your toll-free number search by keeping your objectives in mind.
Are you looking for an 1800 number that’s easy to advertise? Your best bet would be to look for a smartnumber: an inbound number with a distinct pattern that makes it easy to remember.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a low-cost option to let your customers call you for free, you can start by comparing 1800 number plans to find the best ones on the market.
Searching for 1800 smartnumbers and phonewords
Smartnumbers are a type of inbound number with distinct, easy-to-remember patterns. This includes phone numbers with several repeated digits (e.g. 1800 900 991) and phonewords, phone numbers that spell out words when keyed into the dial pad.
To get a smartnumber, you need to purchase its right of use (ROU) from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The ACMA numbering system website has a list of 1800 numbers, which you can filter to find available smartnumbers and phonewords.
Phone words which are still available will be marked as such. Others will be marked “allocated” or “assigned.” Those marked “Allocated” have been purchased and are in use. Those marked “Assigned” have been purchased but are not currently active.
If you’re truly set on a particular number and find that it’s owned but not active, you can look up its EROU holder. EROU stands for “exclusive rights of use.” (When you buy a smartnumber, you get the EROU, though technically ACMA still owns the number.) You can try contacting the EROU holder to see if there’s a way for you to get the number from them.
Remember that when looking for a phoneword, it’s quite likely that your first choice will already be taken. Don’t give up! Finding the right vanity number can take some time and creative thinking, but you’d be surprised at how many alternatives you can find—you might even stumble on one that works better than your first choice.
Comparing 1800 number plans
If advertising your phone number isn’t a priority, you might want to get a normal issue 1800 number instead. Normal issue numbers aren’t as memorable as smartnumbers but otherwise, they have the same features.
Telcos that handle inbound numbers will usually have different options for normal issue numbers, including ones that come free with the service. This means that you can focus on comparing call plans without worrying about which phone number to pick.
When looking for the cheapest 1800 number service, remember to weigh the cost against the value—that is, the functions and features—that you need. Plans that start cheap might charge significantly more for excess calls or basic features, making them more expensive in the long run.
Get the best toll-free service for your business
1800 Numbers Australia specialises in providing toll-free inbound numbers that meet the needs of Australian businesses. Our plans include basic call routing, free calls, and easy customisation and scaling.