TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: How to Dial a Toll-Free Number Using a Calling Card

Re: How to Dial a Toll-Free Number Using a Calling Card

John McHarry (
Fri, 14 Apr 2006 23:44:58 GMT

On Mon, 10 Apr 2006 06:10:25 -0700, Dailhart wrote:

> I routinely dial a toll free 866 number from my cell phone to retrieve
> e-voice calls. They do not have a regular local number for this
> purpose.

> It costs me .35/min from my cell phone (no long distance plan). It
> could cost me .03/min if I could use my calling card. The calling card
> does not allow toll free calls.

> Are there any calling cards, methods or services that would solve this
> problem?

I think you have a legitimate complaint against your cell phone
provider. 8xx numbers are really automated collect calls. You should
be charged only for air time. If they don't see it that way, tell them
you are going to write to the FCC and ask their opinion.

Some time ago I worked on calling cards. Generally they blocked 8xx
calls because it was felt people would feel cheated if we charged for
them, and there was no point in doing it for free using a premium
service when they could make the free call from the phone they were
using to call us.

There was also the issue that certain 8xx numbers were only supposed
to work in certain areas. Now long distance is so cheap they are
probably all national, but back then, a calling card call appeared to
originate from where the card processing equipment was located, so the
areas would be all messed up.

That issue also made me wonder about the legality of something British
Telecom implemented, which allowed UK users to dial a US 8xx
number. It warned them they would be charged for a call to the US,
then put it through. I happened to be in London at the time and
working for a non BT US carrier, so I called one of our 800 numbers
and had the call traced. They were making it appear to originate in
Phoenix, or somewhere in the SW. It got me to wondering whether an 8xx
subscriber unable to do overseas business might claim wire fraud for
being delivered collect calls he would never agree to accept. I never
heard of that issue arising, so I guess anyone in such a situation who
got enough of those calls to notice probably considered it cheap
market research towards a future expansion.

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