How to Make a Collect Phone Call

Updated July 20, 2017

Collect calling is a service offered by telephone companies that allows you to place a call without incurring any charges. Used to make domestic or international calls, collect calls are charged to the called number. Knowing how to make a collect call from a landline or a cell phone is especially important when travelling and in an emergency.

Lift the telephone receiver and listen for the dial tone.

Dial "0" on the telephone keypad. If you are making a collect call from a cell phone registered with AT&T to another cell phone, dial 1-800-225-5288.

Tell the operator you would like to make a collect call and to where. If you are not connected with an operator but hear an automated message, follow all instructions, including a prompt to record your name.

Provide the telephone number of the person you wish to call. The operator will call the number and wait for the recipient to accept the charges before connecting the call.


Keep the phone number of the person you are calling handy when speaking to the operator. Speak slowly to the operator when making a collect call to ensure he captures all your information.


Collect calling is not permitted in some countries for fraud reasons, according to Bell Canada. Some organisations or companies will not allow you to make a collect call, says.

Things You'll Need

  • Telephone
  • Phone number of recipient
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About the Author

Julie Saccone is a senior communications specialist and former journalist who began writing in 2003. She works in the health-care industry distilling research findings and complex medical topics for media and trade publications. Saccone has been published in newspapers including the "National Post" and "StarPhoenix." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Ryerson University and an honors Bachelor of Science.