I know of four websites advertising that they will work to get you your 855 numbers.  I apologize upfront to anyone else that has one, and please feel free to post a response to this blog and explain your offering. 

 Rightfully so, all point out that they cannot guarantee anything; none of us can.  Do they actually have a better chance of getting your numbers?  Is it a waste of money? 

I got the opportunity to hear two of these vendors arguing on a call last week.  Both claimed their offer was in the better interest of the customer and that the other might have a somewhat shadier purpose for his site.  The bottom line is that there are customers willing to pay for a better chance to get specific 855 numbers and therefore there is a market to try to satisfy those requests.  Statistically the best chance to get your numbers is to get as many RespOrgs as possible to be searching for your number on October 2.  The question is how much is it worth to you?.

In making a decision on a vendor for this adventure here are the things you should consider:

Here are the four sites in alphabetical order with some differences noted:  csf Corporation’s site is operated on a fully first come first serve basis and will not take an order or any money if someone else has already requested the number on their site.   The charge is $500 up front with a $450 refund if csf doesn’t get your number.  For full disclosure, this is where ATL’s customers will be referred to because we are currently a customer of this company. Toll Free’s site was the first site I was aware of that was focused on 855 reservations.  The site has changed several times and I couldn’t find the rates on the one I looked at today, but Mr. Quimby, the owner of the site, sent me an e-mail saying they would be charging $8.55 for a request and an additional $41.50 if they got a number.   When the original site was out I was concerned that it seemed to indicate, but not state directly, that this company had a relationship with many of the large carriers to provide these reservations to them.  I talked to several of the carriers on the list and they said they had no relationship with this site.  According to Custom Toll Free’s site there is a charge of $495 for a deposit on the reservation and then $2000 if the number is reserved for you.  I do have an issue with the statement, “855 numbers are available for reservation now.”  Yes, you can order one from Custom Toll Free, but I think this is somewhat misleading because they cannot be reserved in SMS until October 2, 2010. Vanity International is the only company that says on their site that the numbers are going to be provided on an auction basis, although in reality this may take place on other sites.  Vanity International calls them “contested numbers,” meaning more than one of their customers has requested the number and the number will be awarded by auction bids.  The other numbers are priced on a sliding scale from free for three numbers up to $500 for 200 numbers.   The site also uses the term “guaranteed results” which would indicate that there will be some selection of who gets numbers to accommodate the promise. 

So a good strategy is to have some “good numbers,” requests to replace your “great number” requests.  You may not win in the Gold Rush, but the Copper Rush may be good enough.  If you are an ATL customer you can reserve a number for our standard price of  $.15 and we will do the best we can – no if, ands, or buts about it.

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