The Myth On TollFree Numbers

Time and again we would have seen advertisements like ‘Call Toll Free’ and a number would be given. What is this Toll Free all about? Is it really free? A Toll Free Number is a one where the caller (or the customer) need not pay the telephone company rather the callee (or the subscriber) undertakes to pay for the calls. I did a basic research on these TollFree Numbers and found this comprehensive article on Federal Communications Commission website. The basic concepts remain the same but the numbers alone are described in particular to United States in the article.

In India, BSNL gives Toll Free numbers like 1 800. They are free. However, the catch is that these numbers are not reachable from other operator’s connections. Pathetic. Isn’t it? Growing telecommunications economy stands a silent sad testimony of isolated disconnected islands instead of supporting mutually beneficial harmony. Even the directory services numbers are not standardized in India. I would say, with the private operators like Airtel, even calling thier TollFree numbers, ensure that you double check lest they meter their call, claiming technical error and then refund would be a long-standing pain right?

Of course, if you feel that your telecom operator is erring, you can gather all documents in place and bring them to book through any of the following channels:

  1. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
  2. Consumer Courts in India — Check out this comprehensive website prepared by Arun Saxena of ICRPC.