How Do I:??

How to Make a Phone Call

Phone numbers:

  • Local calls: Dial the seven-digit phone number
  • Local toll calls: Dial "1" + (the 7-digit phone number)
  • Long-distance calls: Dial "1" + (the area code) + (the 7-digit phone number)
  • Toll-free calls: Dial "1" + "800" + (the 7-digit number)
  • International direct calls: Dial "011" + (the country code) + (the city code) + (the 7-digit phone number)
  • International Operator-Assisted Calls: Dial "01" + (the country code) + (the city code) + (the 7-digit phone number)


  • Local Information: Dial 411 (you are normally allowed 6 free local calls per month)
  • Long-Distance Information:
    Dial "1" + (the area code) + 555-1212
  • Long-Distance Toll-free Information:
    some large companies offer toll-free numbers nationwide.
    Dial "1" + "800" + 555-1212


Local and Long-Distance Operator: Dial "0"
International Operator: Dial "00"

Payphone Calls:

To make a call using a payphone you can use one of three methods:

(1) coins
(2) a pre-paid phone card
(3) a calling card number you get from your local or long-distance company

To make a local call using coins:

1. Local calls are  $.25, $.35 or $.50 so make sure to bring at least $.50 change in nickels, dimes  or quarters.

2. Lift the phone to listen for a dial tone. If you hear nothing or static, jiggle the (receiver) a couple of times. If you still hear nothing, hang up and try to find another payphone.

3. After hearing the dialtone, start inputting your change. After you have input your change, begin dialing. Local numbers contain seven digits.

! Pay phones do not accept pennies.

To make a local toll call or long-distance call with coins:

1. Listen for a dial tone, as in #2 above.

2. You will first need to dial the number before inputting your change. The operator will tell you how much you need to input. Have at least two dollars worth of change ready for a local toll call and five dollars for a long-distance call in case you spend more than the time the operator has allotted for the call.

3. Dial 1 + (the three-digit area code) + (the seven-digit number)

Calling Cards and Pre-Paid Phone Cards

When you buy a long-distance calling plan you can also opt to receive a phone company calling card to make calls away from your home phone. When you use your calling card, the call is charged to your phone bill. If you don't have a long-distance plan, you can purchase a pre-paid phone card.

Pre-paid Phone Cards

You can buy a phone card from your local convenience store like 7-11 or from a vending machine. You can purchase these cards for differing amounts. This card acts like a debit card; when you make a call, the cost of the call will be deducted from the card.

! Pre-paid phone card per-minute rates are usually higher than those of phone company calling cards or calls made from home. These cards are best for those making short calls away from home.

Before purchasing a pre-paid phone card, find out:

(1) What is the cost-per-minute?
(2) Where can you call to and from? Some cards may not let you make international calls
(3) Is there a sign-up or activation fee?
(4) How reputable is the company?
(above info from TRAC.org)

To make a local call using a pre-paid phone card or phone company calling card:

1. Listen for the dial tone.

2. Dial the number you are trying to reach. Always dial "0" + (the three-digit area code) + (the seven-digit phone number), even for a local call.

3. The operator will prompt you with a small bell-like tone, and ask you to input your ten-digit calling card number.

Calling cards by themselves without landline:


or if you have a high-speed internet connection:



Long-distance calls on a payphone

Making a long distance call on a payphone can be very expensive, at certain phones up to $1.00 per minute.

! In most cases, the most economical way to make a long distance call from a payphone is to use coins. Consumers also may use their calling cards or any of the collect platforms that are available from long distance carriers or from the payphone itself. Rate quotes are available from long distance carriers before calls are connected and before any charges are incurred.

Certain long distance plans offer you calling card calls at reduced rates, for a monthly fee. If you plan on making a lot of payphone calls you might consider going with a plan like Sprint's AnyTime with Calling Card.

Good info on long-distance calling card plans at the Consumer Reports website.


Local & Long distance calling plans, calling cards and prepaid cards:

Comparison-Shop for Phone Plans:


>> Information from Consumer Reports on how to keep your phone bill costs low

>> List of Regional Phone Companies (Wikipedia)

Cell phone plans:

You can get these with all major carriers as well as other choices:





Pay as you go prepaid cell phone:


Bundles:  ( a combination of internet, TV, telephone)





http://www.embarq.com/ 866-866-7509



Make a Phone Call?

Use a Payphone?

Use a Calling Card to Make a Phone Call?

Obtain Local Phone Service?

Choose a Long-Distance Service?