In the first years of toll-free number portability, many companies feared that the introduction of 800 portability would degrade the quality of long-distance services. Moreover, the costs of toll-free services could increase, because call centers and virtual office receptionists would have to pass longer ways to determine the most appropriate connection. However, those fears never materialized and, with time, portability became an indispensable component of phone services provision in America and the rest of the world. Portability intensified competition in the telecom industry and motivated call center companies and business to grab more 800 toll-free numbers. This, in turn, reduced the availability of 800 toll-free numbers and the 800 toll-free series quickly ran out. A new 888 toll-free series was introduced and, almost immediately, another 877 toll-free series was born.
With portability, toll-free services quickly grew to become an intelligent network. Businesses and consumers looking for sophisticated call center features greatly benefited from accessing and using toll-free numbers. The costs of even the most expensive services decreased, making them affordable for a greater number of business consumers. Price-cutting was of particular importance for large volume users, while small users did not perceive any tangible benefits.
Today’s call centers and virtual office receptionists do not want to be switchers. They look to become sophisticated providers of quality call center services. They develop complex plans with hardware manufacturers and offer the fullest range of quality services, from outsourcing to press-one-for-services. Never in history has the call center industry been so rich in services as it is now.
The main question is whether future operators will request payment, depending on the transaction and not the number of minutes used
There is no definite answer to this question. On the one hand, the scope and nature of call center services constantly changes. On the other hand, new technologies expand call center frontiers and make the development of the call center industry virtually unpredictable. Today, three major competitors define the direction of industry development. In case new market players emerge, the call center industry may also move in an entirely new direction. What seems to be true is that the number and diversity of call center packages will continue to increase. Call centers and virtual office receptionists want to keep their customers satisfied. Value-added services will remain the primary focus of many call centers and carriers in the coming years, giving rise to new series of toll-free services.