Toll-free numbers have been a popular option for businesses looking to reach clients across North America while promoting a sense of security, establishing rapport, and providing an easy-to-recognize number. To combat spam and misuse of toll-free numbers and ensure their continued integrity, mobile carriers have established new security procedures to verify outgoing SMS and MMS traffic from toll-free numbers.
Verified toll-free messaging means that your business and use case have been reviewed before sending messages via toll-Free, and you have received carrier approval for messaging via toll-free numbers in the US and Canada.
Is there any cost to register my toll-free number?
This service is completely free of charge and included as part of your subscription cost with OpenPhone.
When did this go into effect?
These national changes for toll-free numbers were implemented as of October 1, 2022
Do I need to verify my toll-free number?
We highly encourage our clients to verify their toll-free numbers in case outbound messaging will be utilized to prevent any disruption in your day-to-day business as processing time can take several weeks. Requirements are for new and existing OpenPhone customers with a toll-free number/s.
- If your OpenPhone number will be used strictly for calls and inbound messages, you do not need to verify your number as inbound (MMS & SMS) are not impacted.
- For existing customers, if you’d like to check if your number is verified, please email us at email@example.com from the email used to create your account and the number you’d like to submit for review.
- To review if a toll-free number is the best fit for you, please use our guide here
What can happen to my toll-free number if I do not verify it?
An unverified toll-free number will lead to outgoing messages being blocked or filtered when messaging clients across North America, preventing your content from delivering successfully. OpenPhone is not able to waive or remove verification requirements for toll-free numbers.
How do I verify my toll-free number with OpenPhone? (if outbound messaging services are required)
Few things to note:
- All required fields must be completed, as incomplete information will cause the delay or rejection of your verification request.
- The toll-free number being verified cannot be used as the primary contact number for the verification form.
- The client’s consent to be contacted must be clearly expressed (samples will be provided in the verification form), as outbound messages from toll-free numbers require proof of consent to be contacted.
- Consent is required before the first message (first text can’t be used to obtain consent)
What is client consent, and how to show that this has been obtained for submission on the form?
Before sending the first message, you must obtain agreement from the message recipient to communicate with them - this is referred to as "consent" you must make clear to the individual they are agreeing to receive messages of the type you're going to send.
Please note that we only require examples, and no client-specific detail needs to be shared during verification.
If Website opt-in: Screenshots of the web form where the client adds a number and agrees to receive messaging.
Website Posting (Support): Where is the number advertised, and where does the customer find the number to text in?
If a keyword or QR Code Opt-in: Where does the customer find the keyword to opt into these messages?
2FA/OTP: Please provide a screenshot of the opt-in if applicable; if verbal, none is necessary.
Paper form (Customer/ Employee): please upload a photo of the form/template used to obtain consent.
Are there other forms of consent I can obtain from my clients or contacts?
Yes, there is! Additional options can include the below options if the client reaches out first.
Contact initiated by an individual
If an individual sends a message to you, you are free to respond. For example, if an individual texts your phone number asking for your hours of operation, you can respond directly to that individual, relaying your open hours. In such a case, the individual’s inbound message to you constitutes both consent and proof of consent.
Remember that consent is limited only to that particular conversation. Unless you obtain additional consent, don't send messages outside that conversation.
Informational content to an individual based on a prior relationship
You may send a message to an individual with whom you have a prior agreement, assuming that the individual has shared and consented to be contacted on their provided phone number, has taken some action to trigger the potential communication, and has not expressed a preference to not receive messages from you.
Actions can include a button press, alert setup, appointments, or order placements. Examples of acceptable messages in these scenarios include appointment reminders, receipts, one-time passwords, order/shipping/reservation confirmations, drivers coordinating pick-up locations with riders, and repair persons confirming service call times.
- The message can't attempt to promote a product, convince someone to buy something, or advocate for a social cause.
- If you intend to send messages to a recipient on an ongoing basis, you should confirm the recipient’s consent by offering them a clear reminder of how to unsubscribe from those messages using standard opt-out language, a guide can be found here
I submitted my form but have not heard back; what should I do next?
Processing times can vary and may take several weeks to process once the information has been correctly provided. If you have been contacted proactively, by completing the form, you will help prevent outbound messages from being blocked. For those that have already been affected, you will notice an immediate reduction in blocked outbound message.
I submitted the verification form, and my number was not verified; why?
Verification request for toll-free numbers is subject to review; incomplete information or unsupported business types may be denied. At the time of review, our Support Team will provide additional details on the reason for a rejection or contact you if more information is needed to help you verify your toll-free number.