Toll Free 800 Number Domains Pay Off?

Published: 27th December 2004
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The toll free number 1-800-Get-Rich belongs to the Resorts
Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. Perfect vanity number for a
casino, right? Well apparently not. Their website shows the
actual numbers, 1-800-438-7424 for the marketing department of
Resorts Atlantic City. Those NUMBERS are nowhere near as
memorable as is the mnemonic device of letters representing
those numbers on the telephone keypad. It makes you wonder, did
the casino have bad luck (no pun intended) or receive bad
publicity for their 800-Get-Rich phone number?

Doing a Google search for 1-800-GET-RICH returns several spoof
articles using the toll free number to make light of get rich
quick schemes. Seems as well suited to a casino as to satire,
since gambling represents the ultimate get rich quick scheme.

But on the web there's a another element to toll free numbers
you must consider. 800 numbers are used as domain names which
seem to stick in our memory as a web address just as well as a
phone number. Resorts Atlantic City Hotel Casino should buy the
domain name www.1800getrich.com and assign that marketing
department toll free 800 vanity number to the Casino.

The domain name is for sale as of this writing if you visit that
web address. You can be certain that the current domain owner
knows that the toll free vanity telephone number is owned by
Resorts International Hotels www.resortsac.com which matches the
domain www.1800getrich.com. It has to be enticing to think a
large corporation may want his domain.

The casino owns the toll free number but isn't using the
mnemonic for it. Makes you wonder about the history of the
domain name, since WHOIS records show it was reserved only this
past May of 2004, AND the history of the vanity number since it
is going unused, at least on the web site. Hmmmm...

There are vanity phone number resellers online that actually
specialize in providing 800 numbers with matching domain name
for those seeking the consistent branding for their business.
Clearly this is simply a marketing ploy by savvy 800 number
vendors, as those domains may be full of hyphens and may cost
more than they should due to the perception of value-added.

An interesting aspect to toll free numbers as domain names is
that of 1-800 copyright and trademarks. Take for example, the
well known flower retailer 1-800-FLOWERS.com where they use both
the domain name and the toll free number. Both are copy- righted
and trademarked names and essential to the business.

Legal precedent allows trademark owners to confiscate domains
from "cybersquatters" who buy domain names containing trade-
marked or copyrighted words and phrases hoping to sell that
domain back to the trademark holder. But it is less clear an
issue when it comes to descriptive toll free and vanity phone
numbers. How about 1-800-PINDROP.com - which you would think
would be registered to Sprint Communications? Curiously, as of
October of 2004, this domain was available. What do they use?
www.pindrop.com (without the 800) goes to Sprint.com.

It appears there are wide inconsistencies in using toll free 800
phone numbers as domain names but they can be memorable, which
is one measure of a good domain name. They also aren't limiting
as to word length. I've always felt it's a bit odd to type in
1800keywordphrase.com as a domain name, but only because there
is no hyphen in it. 1800 looks like eighteen hundred and is just
as strange as typing 247 for domains as a suggestion they are
always open, more often seen as 24/7, but domain names can't
have that slash mark in them.

As a matter of fact, I've always disliked numbers of any kind in
domain names - especially those using numbers in place of the
words "to" (up2me.com)& "for" (good4you.com) But, as owner of
http://website101.com I'm at odds with the dislike for numbers
in domain names. Still, it works better than 1800website.com or
1-800-website.com, both owned by Verio Web Hosting and both
purchased in August of 1996, but neither have web sites
configured at those addresses. They must not have been a
worthwhile domains, yet they keep them.

If it offers you another option for a memorable web address, 800
number domains may be worth considering.

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