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Frequently Asked Questions

faq

General questions
What is a virtual phone number?

A virtual phone number (also called DID number) is a phone number that is not physically associated with a telephone line: all incoming calls are redirected to another number (eg your mobile phone).

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Why should I buy a virtual phone number?
  • Be reachable
    If you buy a virtual phone number, you will be reachable at a phone number of the same town where your friends and customers live. So they will save much money when they call you. Unlike traditional PSTN phone numbers, you can bring your virtual number with you anywhere in the world.
  • Protect your privacy
    Virtual phone numbers help protect privacy. You can use a temporary virtual number to be contacted by people, whom you do not want to give your private number
  • Extend your business
    With virtual numbers and toll-free numbers you can extend the presence of your business in more countries, without need of opening an office on the site, and you can create a call center in any country in the world, where it it's less expensive.
  • Save roaming costs when you are travelling
    With a virtual number you can save roaming expenses when travelling abroad: just buy a SIM from the foreign country where you are, and forward to this number the calls addressed to your virtual number.
  • Carry your old landline number with you
    If you plan to move to another location within your country or abroad, you can convert your fixed line number into a virtual number, thanks to local number portability (LNP). In this way, you can bring your original number anywhere in the world, without losing the contacts you had with this number. For further information: number portability.
  • Get a virtual mobile number to receive SMS.
    You can have a virtual mobile phone number, with which, for example, you can create a secondary whatsapp account. Read more: Virtual mobile numbers able to receive SMS.
  • Use advanced phone features for free
    Virtual numbers come with completely free advanced telephone services, which are not always available with traditional telephone numbers: multiple simultaneous incoming calls in the same number, blacklists, voice menu, multiple destination lists to receive calls on more landlines or mobiles, conference call etc. For further information: Advanced Call Forwarding.
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How to buy a virtual phone number?

Buying a virtual phone number is simple and straightforward with the number order form ("sign up in 3 easy steps") that you find in the home page.

  • Choose country and city of your local number

1st step

  • Choose how you want to receive calls to that number (destination)

2nd step (1)

    • Indicate the destination details (number of "classic" phone, or VOIP provider account) and click on "continue"

For ITSP destination:

2nd step (2)

for forwarding to PSTN number:

2nd step (3)

    • If you wish to make outbound calls, add some money to your prepaid balance, then click on "create order"

3rd step

You will be guided in a couple of clicks to the payment module. Within a few hours we will verify the order data and approve it. You will receive a confirmation email.

At this point you can see the DID number that has been assigned by opening the "My Numbers" menu in your private area. Give it to your friends, and enjoy the service!

If you have chosen phone.systems (our powerful and free virtual PBX) as forwarding destination, you need to configure it to get the SIP credentials to register your VOIP device. Please check our FAQ "How should I configure a SIP phone to make and receive calls with my DID number?".

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How many concurrent calls can I receive on a virtual number?

For toll-free numbers, by default you can receive up to 300 concurrent calls.
For DID numbers, you can receive 2 contemporary calls. If you need more channels please contact us.

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What are toll-free numbers and how much do they cost?

Toll free numbers, also said 800 numbers, are numbers for which the calls are free for the caller and are paid by the receiver.

Each toll-free number can receive up to 300 simultaneous calls, so they are suitable for call centers.

The monthly cost and set up cost of the toll-free numbers are listed here https://www.buylocalnumbers.com/toll-free-menu.html

The cost per minute for receiving calls on toll-free numbers are available here: https://www.buylocalnumbers.com/toll-free-rates.html

If the calls are forwarded to a PSTN destination, you have to add the forwarding rates

 

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What are metered numbers and how much do they cost?

Metered numbers, also called shared cost numbers, are numbers for which the costs of the incoming call are divided between the caller and the recipient.

Each metered number can receive up to 300 simultaneous calls, making them suitable for call centers

The cost per minute to receive calls on metered numbers is available here: https://www.buylocalnumbers.com/es/toll-free-rates-es.html

If calls are forwarded to a PSTN destination, call forwarding rates must be added.

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Can toll-free numbers receive calls from outside the country?

Generally speaking, the toll-free numbers are a local service, so it is only guaranteed that they can receive calls from inside the country.

In some cases they can also receive calls from outside the country but this is not guaranteed; furthermore we are not able to say precisely which toll-numbers are able to receive calls from abroad and which are not, because this depends on international routes that are out of our control.

If you need absolutely need to receive calls from abroad you should not buy these numbers.

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How much does the service cost?

The price of our service is simple, cheap and transparent.

  • Monthly rental of the numbers. It starts from 2.2 USD and it depends on the country of the number. The prices can be read on this page, by clicking on the flag of each country.
  • Cost for outbound calls: it starts from 0.006 USD/minute and it depends on the called country. The rates can be found here or here.
  • Service is pre-paid: no contract, no hidden fees

The following services are free:

  • Activation of the numbers. The only exception are the toll-free numbers and very few prestigious city prefixes.
  • Incoming calls on VOIP phones / app / softphones (only if you decide to receive them on a PSTN fixed / mobile - number, the cost per minute is the same price as the outbound calls)
  • Usage of our virtual PBX
  • Porting of the numbers from another provider
  • Technical support
  • Reception of SMS numbers (for the numbers that are able to receive SMS - see here)

 

These are the cost of some special services, mainly aimed to companies:

  • Cost of the calls received on toll-free numbers. It starts from 0.03 USD/minutes. The pricelist is available here.
  • Cost of additional channels: for USA, EU and many other destinations it is 20 USD per month more one time price of 20 USD for the activation. For other countries it is 30 USD per month plus 30 USD for the activation. If you wish to know the channel price for some specific country, just ask.

 

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VOIP technical questions

Call forwarding, PBX setup, general VOIP questions

How can I receive on a regular phone the calls directed to a virtual number?

- If you want to forward calls to a classic phone at the time of purchase:

In the number order form, select the option "Regular phone". Then, in the two menus that will appear, select the country and the prefix of the number where you wish to receive the calls

- If you want to forward calls to a classic phone after purchase:

In your private area, click on "my numbers" ⇨ Open "Details" of the DID number ⇨ "change forwarding" ⇨ choose "regular phone"

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Which equipment do I need to use a virtual number?

If you do not want to have costs when you receive calls, you need a VOIP phone (for example, a Siemens Gigaset IP) or a VOIP adapter (for example, the Fritz!box), or a smartphone in which you have installed an application that can receive VOIP calls (Sipdroid, Linphone, Hangouts...).

Or alternatively you can simply receive calls on your home phone or mobile phone, without any additional equipment. In this case you will have a small charge per minute, according to these rates

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If my SIP device is behind a firewall, can I receive calls?

Yes, provided that you configure properla your firewall.

We are sending the RTP data from the following IPs:

46.19.208.0/21
185.238.172.0/22

The RTP port range is: 1024-65535

You have to add them to the whitelist in the firewall.

Please refer to your specific firewall documentation for further details.

 

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How do I receive calls on a third-party VOIP server?

If you prefer to receive calls on your VOIP server, you must select "VOIP" or "ITSP" as the forwarding method.
The difference between the two is that with "ITSP" (Internet Telephony Service Providers) you have to choose within a predefined list of providers available on the market, while with "VOIP" you can specify a generic server, which can also be an IP address.
To configure the forwarding you must indicate the VOIP server and, in the "details" of the forwarding, your username on that VOIP server.

Here are some screenshots that show how to configure the forwarding before purchasing the numbers...

configure the forwarding to voip

configure the forwarding to itsp

...and how to configure the forwarding after purchasing the numbers, in "my numbers menu".

configure the forwarding to voip

configure the forwarding to itsp


If you choose ITSP or VOIP as the forwarding method, your VOIP device must be registered with the credentials of your VOIP server, and not ours.

 

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Website usage

Website browsing, usage of user account menus

I'm not able to buy a local number; What can I do?

We do it for you. Please write us using the "Contact us" menu, indicating
- The country and city of the local number you wish
- How you want to receive the calls on this local number
We'll create the order for you and we'll send you the invoice. The only thing you will have to do is pay the invoice. After you have paid it, the number will be active.

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Regulation and laws

International rules about VOIP numbers, local laws and regulations, fair usage of service

What conditions must I respect in order to buy virtual numbers?

If you only want a few numbers for personal use, it is sufficient to identify yourself with a valid document.
If you want to use numbers for business purposes, you must provide a description of the use you intend to make of the numbers, and identify your company. At this regard, we remind you that our terms of service strictly prohibit the use of numbers for telemarketing, callback applications and automatic dialers.

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Can I sell the numbers to other people?

It is possible to resell phone numbers after requesting our authorization and under certain conditions.
1) Your sub-customers must identify themselves and provide a copy of an identity document.
2) If the sub-customer wants to use numbers for business purposes, they must identify their company and provide a detailed description of the use they intend to make of the numbers.
3) In no case is it allowed to use numbers for telemarketing, callback applications and automatic dialers.
4) If the requested numbers are from countries that require special registration, the sub-customer must provide the documents indicated on the page https://www.buylocalnumbers.com/legal-restrictions.html

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Can I use virtual mobile numbers for SMS verification?

Yes, this is not prohibited. However, as we state clearly in https://www.buylocalnumbers.com/mobile-numbers-menu.html, "we cannot guarantee that these numbers are accepted for verification SMS and we don't provide support for such usage".

We only ensure the possibility to receive SMS from other mobile subscribers. This in is in most cases enough to use the numbers for SMS verification. However, we don't know which additional checks and restrictions do Paypal, Whatsapp, Gmail ecc. have on the verification numbers. They are different companies with which we haven't any partnership and any relation. We have not any control on the rules that they apply in order to accept numbers for SMS verification.

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Can I use your VOIP service for telemarketing?

No. It is strictly prohibited to use our service to make unsolicited calls to sell or to promote anything with phone campaigns.

In particular it is prohibited:

  • auto-dialing
  • continuous or extensive call forwarding
  • calling cards
  • telemarketing (including, without limitation, charitable or political solicitation or polling)
  • fax or voicemail broadcasting / blasting.

You should be aware that calling unknown people for advertising promotion purposes, besides being a particularly harmful and annoying practice, is illegal in many countries.

We reserve the right to immediately terminate or modify your Service if we determine, in our sole and absolute discretion, that your use of the service is, or at any time was, inconsistent with normal usage patterns. In such event the amount paid for the suspended service will not be refunded.

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Orders, billing and payments

Billing, payments, order process, service renewal

Which payment methods are available?

It is possible to pay with Paypal or bank transfer.

If you want to pay by credit card you can register the card in your PayPal account.

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After I've paid a local number, when will it be active?

If you are a new customer, for security we will do a manual anti-fraud check of your first payment and your first order. This will be done in few hours. Then if everything is fine you will be put in the group of the trusted customers. In some special cases, at our discretion we may ask for additional documentation before approving the order.

If you are already a trusted customer, paying with credit card or paypal, the number will be active immediately. If you pay with bank money transfer, the number will be active as soon as we have received the transfer.

There is an exception for the numbers of some countries, listed here, whose legislation requires additional documentation (ID or proof of address). In these cases the activation will be done after the review of the documentation, which will not take longer than a few hours.

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Do I need to sign a contract to get a virtual number?

No. To obtain a virtual number, the only obligation is to pay in advance for the first month.
If at the end of the month you no longer want to use the number, the only thing you have to do is stop paying, and the number will be automatically canceled.
For more details see https://www.buylocalnumbers.com/refund-policy.html

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Can I choose a specific phone number before buying?

In the standard purchase process you can choose only the country code and the area prefix.

However we can offer vanity numbers that are easy to remember with an additional cost. The availability and the cost of the numbers are variable and depend on the country. If you need this service, please contact us and you will show the available numbers. If you decide to buy a vanity number, you have to buy a number of the same prefix: a temporary number will be assigned to you, and after few hours it will be replaced by the desired number.

Furthermore, if you already own a number, you can port that number to our company, provided that the local number portability is supported in your country.

See https://www.buylocalnumbers.com/number-portability.html

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The number is expired and has been canceled. What can I do?

Don't worry, you can restore the number in 5 minutes, and you have 34 days to do so, after the number's expiration date.

To avoid this type of inconvenience, we suggest enabling automatic renewal in your "my numbers" menu and creating an automatic payment (see FAQ "How can I prevent the service from being interrupted due to lack of credit?"). But if you didn't and the number has expired, these are the instructions to restore the number:

- create a payment in my payments menu to add the necessary funds to renew the number

- go in my numbers menu

- Click on the button "details" of the number

- Click on the button "restore" of the number

restore number

Note: the billing cycle of the number will not change (if the number, for example, was being renewed the first day of each month, it will continue to be renewed on the first day). This means that the days in which the number was canceled are not refundable. The reason is that the during these days number was still reserved for you and could not be sold to anyone else. This is a cost that we have to pay to our provider and does not depend on us. We hope in your understanding.

 

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Why the minimum payment is higher than the price of the number?

We can boast that our virtual numbers have one of the most convenient prices on the market.

The prices of many virtual numbers are so low, that the payment commissions we pay affect the price with a very high percentage. For this reason we have been forced to increase the amount of the minimum payment.

This minimum amount is applied when purchasing the number or when you want to top up your account credit. For the automatic payment for the periodic renewal of the numbers, however, the payment continues to be equal to the monthly cost of the number.

However you don't have to worry: if, when purchasing a virtual number, the payment amount exceeds the price of the number, the excess amount will be added to your prepaid credit and can be used for future renewals or for PSTN call forwarding.

 

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How the automatic payments and automatic renew work?
  • When the automatic renewal of a number is enabled, one week before the expiration date the system will start trying to renew the number, deducting the monthly fee from the available prepaid credit. The renew will succeed only if there is enough prepaid credit in the account. You can review and change the auto-renew status of a number in the "my numbers" menu => "details of the number" => autorenew
  • Creating an automatic payment with paypal for a number means to enable an automatic payment in your paypal account of an amount corresponding to the monthly fee of the number, which will be triggered one week before the expiration date. This automatic payment will be triggered regardless of the existing prepaid credit in your account. You can review / delete / create an automatic paypal subscription in the "my numbers" menu => "details of the number" => subscriptions
  • Enabling an automatic refill with credit card means that an automatic payment will be triggered when the prepaid credit runs below a threshold. You can define the threshold and the refill amount in the "my details" menu => payment preferences

Notes:

  • Enabling the automatic renew for a number will not trigger by itself a payment, and enabling the automatic payment will not trigger by itself the renew of the number.
  • To get sure that the number is not canceled, you must enable the autorenew of the number and get sure that you have enough credit at the expiration date. You can decide whether to activate an automatic payment / refill or not; however if you decide not to activate it, to avoid bad surprises it is recommended to check periodically if you have enough prepaid credit.
  • To be totally worry-free, it is recommended to enable the number auto-renew and create a paypal subscription or to enable an automatid credit card refill.
  • If there isn't enough credit on the expiration date, the number will remain in "renew" state for few days (typically one week): if you top up your credit in this period, the number will be renewed automatically, otherwise the number will go into "canceled" state. When this happens, you can still top up the credit and restore the number, but you have to do it manually in "my numbers" menu => "details of the number" => restore
  • If you don't have enough credit to renew the number, on the expiration date the number will stop working. Then, if you refill the credit and you restore the number, it will start working again
  • After the number is canceled because of insufficient credit, 34 days after the expiration date the number will be removed from your account and it will not be possible to restore it. You can request us to restore it manually, but it is not guaranteed that the number is still available
  • If a number is canceled for any reason you will receive automatic emails. We invite you to pay close attention to emails with the subject "number canceled"

 

 

 

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How can I avoid that the service is interrupted due to lack of credit?

We need to distinguish 2 cases:

1) If you are using a DID number only to receive calls to a VOIP phone, your periodical expenses are only related to the fixed monthly fee. In this case, you just need to activate the automatic renewal of the order for that DID number and activate the payment subscription with paypal. You can do this during the purchase process of the number, and then you can disable or reenable it in your private area.

For Paypal subscriptions: open "my numbers", then open the "details" of the DID number order: you will find a menu to enable the subscription.

paypal subscriptions

2) Si también tiene costos de tráfico (reenvío de un número DID a un teléfono PSTN, hacer llamadas salientes o recibir llamadas con un número toll-free), debe tener un crédito prepago en su cuenta para utilizar estos servicios. Puesto que sus gastos no son exactamente predecibles, puede suceder que se quede sin crédito. Para evitar esto, puede una notificacion por correo electronico cuando el credito cae por debajo de un umbral. Ir a "mis detalles" y en la preferencia de pago establecer el monto límite mínimo, bajo el que desea hacer la recarga; a continuación, elija la acción "enviar una notificación" y pulse "guardar cambios". De esta manera podrá realizar la recarga manualmente al recibir la notificación.

 

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