How to make an international collect call

Updated April 17, 2017

Making a collect call while in the UK is relatively easy, but when overseas you may find your options limited. To make an international collect call, the most reliable way is still through an operator. While some countries do offer services that bypass the operators, many of these services have engendered scrutiny due to inconsistencies in rates advertised and charges that appear on bills. Therefore, most overseas travellers revert to contacting the operator, who will disclose the charges upfront before connecting the call.

Call an international operator in the country from where you are calling. If you do not know the code to dial for operator access, you will need to either consult a phone book or ask someone local who can provide the correct code to dial. You can ask anyone from a police officer to the receptionist at a hotel.

Tell the operator you would like to place a collect call to someone in the UK. Provide the operator with the number you want to call and the name of the person. The operator will then place you on hold while she calls the other party. The operator will disclose all rates to the other party before connecting you.

Confirm with the operator you are still on the line when she returns. The operator will inform you whether the other party accepted your call, declined your call or if she could not reach the other party. If the other party accepted your call and the rates are disclosed, the operator will connect your call and you can begin speaking.

Things You'll Need

  • Operator code for the country you are calling from
  • Phone number and name of the party you want to reach
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About the Author

Kenneth W. Michael Wills is a writer on culture, society and business. With more than 15 years of experience in sales, public relations and written communications, Wills' passion is delighting audiences with invigorating perspectives and refreshing ideas. He has ghostwritten articles on a diverse range of topics for corporate websites and composed proposals for organizations seeking growth opportunities.