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Understanding Indian Toll Free Number Incompatibility

5 comments

If you are wondering like me why do they mention call 1-800 180 0016 [BSNL / MTNL only], then here is the answer. I was extremely unhappy and thought Toll Free Calling was a mess created by Telecom service providers. No!!! Business Establishments and Corporates establishing the connections are equally responsible.

It was one of my many goals this year to get the toll free number calling streamlined by writing and lobbying with TRAI and issue regulations which I will still do, but businesses like your credit card, bank, auto company etc have an equal say in this anti-consumer practice.

I finally got to speak to Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications representatives to understand the Toll Free Number mechanism in India. It works such that if I opt to establish a toll free number, I can decide on calls originating from which networks to be accepted and which can be rejected. The reason for rejecting other network calls is Telecom Operators treat them as STD calls if they originate from Inter-Circle and it will cost the party establishing the service Rs 2.40 / minute. Compare this to OnNet [same network] Calls from anywhere in India at Rs 1 for every 3 minutes :-) Bingo business houses want to save on this and thus we consumers have to suffer.

At first, I thought this got to be streamlined during the number portability, but subsequent research showed? its all together a different issue as we need to know the Interconnect charges and how they can be brought down to ultimately help the 350 mn wireless users in India :-) Feel free to share your thoughts.

  1. Chetan,

    Outstanding! Thanks for this information. This has foxed me for a long time. Do you have any information on access mode? For instance, I have a work related 0-800 Toll Free Number which requires ISD to be activated. I can access it from my ISD activated Airtel Mobile but cannot access from my ISD activated Airtel Landline. And nobody at Airtel support can help fix this or explain why.

    Gopal.

  2. I have a similar issue.

    The toll free number 000 800 xxxx xxx can be accessed from Airtel Mobile and Tata land line, but it cannot be accessed from BSNL landline(which is ISD activated).

  3. that is really a nice information, I always wondered why its not working from cell phone or my airtel landline…

  4. Hi..
    Guys there are lot of software to dial tollfree number & to make free calls for free worldwide service like Goole free 411.

    I manage to get USA, UK, PAKISTAN etc country local number or Phone for free to skype with extension number is asked to reach me on skype if I’m online, now I want to get a tollfree number that forward on my number for free of cost by auto entering my extension number 111 asked on IVR.

    or tell me the way how the caller calling my cellphone in INDIA for free of cost I’m working on it & someway some how I will manage it to make it happen because I know it can be done.

  5. HI

    I am srinivas, FROM khammam, ANDHRA PRADESH. I AM ALSO UNABLE TO FROM AIRTEL TEL MOBILE TOLL FREE NUMBERS STARTING WITH 180011 AND 180022……..

    AND SURPRISINGLY, AIRTEL PEOPLE ALSO NOT INTERESTED TO SOLVE THIS.

    WHAT TO DO??. Any suggestion please……….

    Srinivas

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