TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Pay Phones - Long Distance Paid by Coin

Pay Phones - Long Distance Paid by Coin
22 Feb 2007 20:00:56 -0800

Recently there was a discussion if traditional pay phones (operated by
the sucessor Bell Companies such as Verizon) still place long distance
(inter-LATA) calls paid for by coin. Many Verizon pay phones accept
payment only by calling card or collect, but not coins.

It was observed that in New York City, many Verizon phones do still
take coins for long distance, at a rate of 25c per minute, $1 minimum.

I was in the main Newark NJ train station and noticed that the pay
phones there accepted coins for long distance calls. As I needed to
make a call this came in handy for me. (This was Newark-Penn, I don't
know about Broad St station.)

There is a notation on the instruction card for the rate. Also, some
of the phones have yellow painted handsets. This is also in NYC.

I was given no message as to who was carrying the call. The phone
asked for a $1, I deposited it, and I was connected. (It was hard to
hear in the noisy station building). The card on the phone said calls
were handled by Verizon where permitted, otherwise "Verizon Select".

I believe "Verizon Select" is an "alternative operator services
company" and charges premium fees for calling card and collect calls.
Note that if you have a Verizon calling card and use it at such a
phone, you must dial the Verizon access number to use the card to get
a lower rate, not merely dial 0+.

For a the call that I was making, using cash was the simplest,
fastest, and cheapest way.

I wish more pay phones offered 1+ coin long distance at this rate. I
don't know why it is limited to few locations.

(SEPTA used to offer it at its stations, but no longer.)

(NJ Transit does not offer it at its River Line stations, and Trenton
or Princeton Jct. Why it does at Newark I don't know.)

[public replies please. If anyone uses public transit, I'm curious as
to what your local and terminal stations pay phones (if any) offer.]

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