Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Are Catchy Phone Numbers Worth It?

Vanity phone numbers are not like vanity license plates, which are more about fun than business.

When you buy a vanity phone number, it's really an investment. Like 401-444-4444; that number cost attorney Ronald J. Resmini about $300,000.

At least, that's what he claims in damages. He says he spent about $50,000 to acquire the number, but had to sue to get his money's worth. Here's his story, and a lesson about whether a catchy phone number is worth it.

All Fours

Resmini runs a personal injury practice with his three sons, who are also lawyers. That makes four Resminis and just begs for vanity somethings.

He decided to buy the all-fours number from a marketing company in Florida. Nicholas Touris offered to sell 444-4444 to Resmini for $35,000.

According to the complaint, however, Touris didn't not have exclusive rights to sell it. So Resmini paid another $18,000 to a third party to get clear title.

Add a few hundred dollars more for a court filing fee, and that equals about $300,000. Actually, Resmini alleges he lost that much business while hassling over the vanity number.

Less Vanity

Of course, all law firms are not created equal. If $50,000 to $300,000 sounds a little steep, there are other ways to get a vanity phone number.

William Peacock, a former FindLaw blogger, got his practically for free. He bought an adapter for his landline and used Google Voice.

"A $30 adapter that takes 10 minutes to set up will provide you with nearly complete (no 911 service) VoIP phone service via your new vanity Google Voice number for free (after the cost of the adapter)," he said.

But if you want more fun, get a vanity license plate. Depending on your state, here are few you might be able to get without a lawsuit.

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