TapInternational Freephone

I imagine that, by now, most people will have experienced ringing a help line on what looked like an ordinary number, and finding that the call goes to India, Belgium or Ireland. This can also be true of traditional 0800 or 0808 Free Phone numbers. These are called ITFS (International Toll Free Service) numbers and are just forwarded to the real destination.

Another sort of number which has been slow to appear are true international numbers—called UIFN (Universal International Freephone Number) they start +800 i.e. from the UK they would be dialled 00800. The big advantage is that it is exactly the same number (except perhaps the + prefix) from most countries of the world which means that international businesses only have to publish one number.

Disadvantages are:

  • if your phone service blocks international calls, most of them don’t recognise that these are in fact free.
  • don’t try ringing them from a mobile; they are most certainly not free.
  • You have no idea where the other end is.

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