Toll-free numbers - Amazon Simple Notification Service

Toll-free numbers

Important

US mobile carriers have recently changed their regulations, and will require that all toll-free numbers (TFNs) complete a registration process with a regulatory body before September 30, 2022. If you currently have a toll-free number you must register your toll-free number by September 30, 2022 or you will no longer be able to use the toll-free number. You can check the status of your number by going to Toll-free number registration status. For more information about registering your company see Registering your toll-free number.

It can take up to 15 business days for your registration to be processed after it is submitted.

A toll-free number is a 10-digit number that begins with one of the following area codes: 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, or 833. You can use toll-free numbers to send transactional messages only.

Purchase a toll-free number

To purchase toll-free numbers, use the Amazon Pinpoint console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/pinpoint/. For more information, see Toll-free number registration requirements and process.

Currently, Amazon Pinpoint supports toll-free numbers for both voice and SMS messages, but Amazon SNS supports SMS messaging only.

Register a toll-free number

To register a TFN, see Toll-free number registration requirements and process.

Guidelines for using toll-free numbers

Toll-free numbers are typically used for transactional messaging, such as registration confirmation or for sending one-time passwords and only used within the US. They can be used for both voice messaging and SMS. Average throughput is three message parts per second (MPS); however, this throughput is affected by character encoding. For more information about how character encoding affects message parts, see SMS character limits in Amazon Pinpoint. For more information about registering a toll-free number, see Toll-free number registration requirements and process.

Each customer account can have up to five TFNs. If you're sending over 15 text messages per second but less than 100, we recommend that you register one or more 10DLC origination IDs. If your use cases require sending more than 100 text messages per second, we recommend that you purchase and register one or more short codes.

When using a toll-free number as an origination number, follow these guidelines:

  • Don't use shortened URLs created from third-party URL shorteners, as these messages are more likely to be filtered as spam.

    If you need to use a shortened URL, consider using a 10DLC number or short code. Using short codes and 10DLCs require that you register your message template, where you can specify a shortened URL.

  • Be aware that keyword opt-out (STOP) and opt-in (UNSTOP) responses are set at the carrier level. You can't modify these keywords or other any other keywords, or the messages that are sent when users reply with STOP and UNSTOP.

  • Don't send the same or similar message contents using multiple toll-free numbers. Carriers call this practice snowshoeing or number pooling and target these messages for filtering.

  • Because toll-free numbers are subject to content filtering, be sure your messages don't contain any of the following types of restricted content:

    Category Examples

    High-risk financial services

    • Payday loans

    • Short-term high-interest loans

    • Auto loans

    • Mortgage loans

    • Student loans

    • Debt collection

    Debt forgiveness
    • Debt consolidation

    • Debt reduction

    • Credit repair programs

    Get-rich-quick schemes
    • Work-from-home programs

    • Risk-investment opportunities

    • Pyramid or multi-level marketing schemes

    Prohibited/controlled substances
    • Cannabis

    Phishing
    • Attempts to get users to reveal personal information or website login information.

    S.H.A.F.T.
    • Sex

    • Hate

    • Alcohol

    • Firearms

    • Tobacco

Advantages and disadvantages of toll-free numbers

Advantages

Toll-free originators have higher MPS over long codes as well as good deliverability. Because there's no message template registration, you can purchase a toll-free number for use instantly on the SMS and voice page of the Amazon Pinpoint console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/pinpoint/.

Disadvantages

There's no control over opt-outs and opt-ins as these are managed at the carrier level.

You should neither include shortened URLs in your message, nor use the number to send a promotional message. Instead use a 10DLC number or a short code. When you use a short code or 10DLC number, you need to register your message templates, which can contain shortened URLs, and can be promotional messages. Additional information about short codes is described below. For more information about 10DLC, see 10DLC.