I have heard of Vanity numbers costing thousands of dollars, why
is this one so reasonable?
(What is "Shared Use")
Here's an example:
1-888-APPLIANCE is a shared use number. If you had signed up for New York City, every customer that calls from a New York City area code will instantly reach your business. However, if a customer dialed 1-888-APPLIANCE from a California area code, your phone would not ring. The California caller would be connected to the subscriber in California.
How do Toll Free Numbers Work?
A toll free number simply forwards or points incoming calls to your regular phone line. No special equipment, or installation is required. When a call is placed to a toll free number, the toll free carrier picks up the call, and routes it to the "terminating number" it is programmed to ring to. The forwarding process takes only milliseconds and is virtually transparent to the caller. You answer the call just like any other call, using the same phones, and the same equipment you use now!
All features such as caller id*, call waiting, call forwarding, roll overs, voicemail or any answering equipment or service all work the exact same as if the caller had dialed the local number. The service does not affect the local number, the incoming toll free calls cant be distinguished from regular local calls.
The simplest way to think of a toll free number is as a forwarded number. It doesnt have a physical location, but just forwards incoming calls to you.
*BONUS - CALLER ID UN-BLOCKED. Here's a little known fact! There is no call ID blocking on toll free calls. You are paying for the call, so by government regulations, you will receive the caller's phone number even if it's blocked!