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Understanding Toll-Free Number Registry Use Cases: Acceptable and Restricted Categories

The article defines toll-free number use cases: acceptable for OTPs, alerts, and marketing (restrictions apply); restricted for high-risk finance, debt collection, illegal substances, gambling, and explicit content.

Toll-Free Number Registry: Use Cases

As businesses undergo the toll-free number verification process, it is crucial to understand the eligible use cases and those that fall under restricted categories. The Toll-Free Number Registry provides guidelines to ensure that businesses align their communication strategies with acceptable practices.

This article explores the acceptable use cases for toll-free numbers and highlights the restricted categories that businesses need to be aware of during the verification process.


Acceptable Use Cases for Toll-free Numbers

Toll-free numbers are widely utilized in various transactional and customer-centric scenarios. The following use cases are considered acceptable:

  1. One-Time Password (OTP) or verification codes

    • Toll-free numbers are suitable for delivering secure verification codes and OTPs to customers, ensuring secure access to accounts and services.

  2. Account-related alerts, reminders, and notifications

    • Businesses can leverage toll-free numbers to send account-related alerts, reminders, and notifications, such as payment reminders, order confirmations, and service updates.

  3. Customer care messaging that includes some automated messaging (i.e., surveys)

    • Toll-free numbers can be used for customer care messaging, including automated features such as surveys or feedback requests, enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction.

  4. Marketing (with restrictions)

    • While marketing is an acceptable use case, there are certain restrictions in place to prevent abusive practices. Toll-free numbers can be used for marketing purposes, but businesses must ensure compliance with regulations and industry guidelines.

 

Restricted Use Cases for Toll-free Numbers

Not all businesses receive successful verification. If your business campaign falls into any of these inappropriate categories, you might need to review this list:

Category

Examples

High-Risk Financial Services

Businesses engaged in high-risk financial services, such as

  • Payday loans

  • Short-term high-interest loans

  • Third-party auto loans

  • Third-party mortgage loans

  • Student loans

  • Cryptocurrency

Third-party lead generation services

Companies that buy, sell, or share consumer information

Debt collection or forgiveness

Toll-free numbers cannot be used for

  • Third-party debt collection

  • Debt consolidation

  • Debt reduction

  • Credit repair programs

“Get rich quick” schemes

Work-from-home programs

Risk investment opportunities

Pyramid schemes

Illegal substances

Businesses involved in the

  • Cannabis (United States)

  • CBD (United States)

  • Prescription drugs

Gambling

Casino apps

Gambling websites

"S.H.A.F.T." use cases

Toll-free numbers cannot be used for promoting or engaging in activities related to

  • Sex

  • Hate

  • Alcohol

  • Firearms

  • Tobacco