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We have need for a phone company that can handle the following: · When a customer calls in to an 800 or 888 number, have the ability to charge the customer on his phone bill call by call(as opposed to a group charge). · The ability to handle substantial volume. · Have the technical ability to record a wave file, transfer it to an MP3 and place it on a server. · Be flexible enough to revenue-share on the charge per minute. In other words, a really solid phone co. for a special, long-term project.

Can anyone suggest a company or 2 that have the capability to do these?

It's alright if you can suggest a company for a task too. (i.e campany A does When a customer calls in to an 800 or 888 number, have the ability to charge the customer on his phone bill call by call(as opposed to a group charge)., but company B does ...)

Thank you, Tee

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As far as I know the only way to bill a fixed rate to the customer would be to use a 900 or 976 area code as that's what those are setup for. However most people (with kids especially) and companies will block access to those area codes. –  mrdenny Feb 1 '10 at 21:50

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So, i'm a little confused by what you are looking for here.

When a customer calls in to an 800 or 888 number, have the ability to charge the customer on his phone bill call by call

So am I reading this right that you want to charge the calling party, not the called party on an 8xx number? Or are you reselling your service such that the Calling party is the consumer and you need to re-bill your customers for the minutes used?

Or option c) you are looking for a service provider to do the back end for your telephony and your customers would call a third party service provider's telco equipment then you would be re-billed (and possibly involved in some sort of profit sharing) by the service provider?

Are you looking to do IVR or have live people answering the phones? Are they your people/IVR or the telco's?


(I'm going to stick with your "haiti donations" example throughout)

What you want to do with 8xx numbers is not possible. The system is not setup to charge the calling party. It is designed so that the called party gets charged. "Toll-free" is really a misnomer, 8xx numbers just shift where minutes get paid for.

To accomplish your end goal you can go one of two routes:

  1. Continue with the 8xx number route, but part of the IVR is credit card collection. This is a little more flexible as far as how you do the IVR as well as how much each person can donate, but not as easy for the end users as they will have to enter their credit card into an IVR (think as-seen-on-tv phone in setups)
  2. Get a 9xx number. When called this will be the closest to the "SMS a donation in" model that you can get. What you would do (and I'm not 100% here, my experience is in the 8xx world not 9xx world) is set a premium on your number per min. Then the person would call in and get a "thank you for your donation" message and be charged for 1 min of air time at your premium.

Personally I think that you would get a better response with the 8xx number route as people seem to have some sort of mental block when it comes to 9xx numbers. My guess is they are so strongly associated with the seedier side of life ("Hot girls are waiting for you now!")

As far as companies that do it, alot of them do. All the major telcos, a good deal of the "call center companies" - West, Convergys, Teleperformance, Telerx - are some of the bigger players with a whole smorgasbord of smaller mom and pop shops. Each one has an IVR division that can help you out depending on your expected call volume.

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Hi Zypher, thanks for writing back. Yes it would be an IVR where people calling to a number will be charge. Think the SMS to help Haiti except that instead of doing it through SMS, you charge the $5 or $10 when somebody call this 800/888 number and the IVR picks up. Thanks, Tee –  teepusink Feb 1 '10 at 19:06
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As Zypher pointed out, the toll-free system is not structured for this. 8xx numbers are "callED-party-pays" and are not chargeable to the callING party. Your best bet is to do caller identification within your IVR and handle the billing on your end, as this also allows you to avoid your customers being surprised by a charge on their phone bill (and subsequent customer rage fits). –  voretaq7 Feb 1 '10 at 19:46
    
Thanks for the responses guys. It was very helpful. Tee –  teepusink Feb 1 '10 at 21:27

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