Travel

What is a Collect Call?

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Dec 10, 2004
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What is a Collect Call?

Say I am traveling and need to call my bank,which lists 416 number as collect call. WTF do I do? If I call from my cell phone say from USA or from any other country to this number, I will pay 100% of the rate which is not cheap. That phone number won't magically become free. In the past, many many years ago those were usable as you would call via an operator,but those don't exist any more!!!! So, how would you reach your bank without incurring $50+ @ $2.99minute and being on hold for 15 minutes.
I use voice typing, expect mistakes...
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Apr 9, 2010
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dazz wrote: Say I am traveling and need to call my bank,which lists 416 number as collect call. WTF do I do? If I call from my cell phone say from USA or from any other country to this number, I will pay 100% of the rate which is not cheap. That phone number won't magically become free. In the past, many many years ago those were usable as you would call via an operator,but those don't exist any more!!!! So, how would you reach your bank without incurring $50+ @ $2.99minute and being on hold for 15 minutes.
I'm not 100% sure since I've never called collect but using only logic I'd say use a local landline/public phone in the country you're staying so it ends up costing nothing?

Solution #2 : Use Skype to dial the North American 1-800 (or 877/855 whatever) toll free number.

I personally don't care about that kind of thing since I use VOIP.ms . The entire world is my "local calling area" as long as I have data or wifi Smiling Face With Sunglasses
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Oct 17, 2016
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Google "What is a Collect Call"
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Feb 11, 2009
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Calling collect charges the receiver of the call the cost.

I've never done it but I think you call the local operator, tell them you want to make a collect call, they punch in the number and ask the receiver if they are willing to accept a collect call, and then puts you through.
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May 29, 2006
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you cant do it from a cell phone. landline or payphone only. basically charges the long distance call to the other party instead of you.
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Apr 23, 2009
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Why would you call collect from the US? Use the hotel phone and call the 800 number.
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rocking23nf wrote: you cant do it from a cell phone. landline or payphone only. basically charges the long distance call to the other party instead of you.
When was the last time you saw a payphone. Most countries don't have those any longer. Some never even had pay phones at all. This is why it is weird. A friend of mine just said you can technically call from any country to a call collect number located in Canada(ex. your credit card), but then you have to go through the hassle of calling your credit card of getting rid of the charges via your credit card.
I use voice typing, expect mistakes...
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dazz wrote: When was the last time you saw a payphone. Most countries don't have those any longer. Some never even had pay phones at all. This is why it is weird. A friend of mine just said you can technically call from any country to a call collect number located in Canada(ex. your credit card), but then you have to go through the hassle of calling your credit card of getting rid of the charges via your credit card.
I've seen payphones in several countries.

Train stations, hospitals and airports should have payphones regardless of the country. If they don't then something is seriously wrong.

Anyway, did you manage to call them or what? You didn't tell us the outcome lol
Deal Guru
May 29, 2006
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a collect call is just making the party you are calling accepting the charges for the call.

so you just have to find a phone that can dial, if you use your cell phone, you are paying the second you hit dial.

payphone, hotel room, someones house.

i used it alot in college when calling my parents, i would call collect, then on the prompt to enter your name, i would say "call me back", and my parents would call with thier unlimited long distance plan.

things have changed since then with the rise of the cell phones.
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Oct 6, 2005
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dazz wrote: Say I am traveling and need to call my bank,which lists 416 number as collect call. WTF do I do? If I call from my cell phone say from USA or from any other country to this number, I will pay 100% of the rate which is not cheap.
You Press 0 for operator, request a collect call, and give the operator the number.

Of course you should do this from a pay phone (if you can find one) or free landline and not your cellphone which will incur roaming charges.
Beachdown wrote: Why would you call collect from the US? Use the hotel phone and call the 800 number.
Hotels used to charge for 800 #'s (or any outgoing calls for that matter). Othertimes, 800 numbers maybe country specific.
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kenze wrote:
Anyway, did you manage to call them or what? You didn't tell us the outcome lol
Well, when I called the cc, they said they will send me a form to fill out, which I had to mail it and include the bill from the hotel and then charges will be reimbursed(~ $4). Not worth my time and I suppose that's what they expected anyways.
So, the good thing, if you have issues and need to spend a lot of time talking to them or being on hold, you can call the collect number and then request to be reimbursed at a later date.
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May 18, 2009
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maybe you can try a VoIP app like Fongo.
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just use google hangout to call. you can call from anywhere back to Canada for free as long as you have data.
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marktang wrote: just use google hangout to call. you can call from anywhere back to Canada for free as long as you have data.
from a phone??? how?!!?
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yesstyle wrote: maybe you can try a VoIP app like Fongo.
One of the last hotels I stayed at (5 star) had wifi for $20usd...
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dazz wrote: One of the last hotels I stayed at (5 star) had wifi for $20usd...
The more expensive the hotel, the more likely you'll be charged for amenities. It's kind of ironic but true.
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Lost my credit card on my first foreign trip in Hong Kong...right at the airport. Had photo copies of both sides so just dialed 0 right at a payphone in the airport, told them the number, and they connected me. Was simple as that.

Most countries still have phones in airports and such...I travel a lot..
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As one of the other posters mentioned, use google hangouts.

Otherwise, Skype works around the world for any 1-800 type number. No Skype credits are required to make the call.
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dazz wrote: from a phone??? how?!!?
what do you mean how? just download the app on your phone.
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dazz wrote: When was the last time you saw a payphone.
If you don't know where the payphones are, you might not be looking hard enough.
The best examples might be anywhere with underground public transit.
Or in places where cellphone signal is weak.
Also, hotels and airports still have them.
There are still payphones around because it's your back up when the cell battery goes dead or your phone mysteriously crashes...or (for those who didn't buy an otterbox, lol) for when your cell slams into the cement and stops working.
Payphones are used less today, yes, but they are not obsolete.
It's also far more polite to ask at a hotel desk if there is a payphone around than it is to outright ask if you can use their phone.
(plus also they may know exactly where the nearest payphone is)
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