How to Use a Public Phone

Written by racheal ambrose
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How to Use a Public Phone
This is a common sign used to advertise a public phone. (Abandoned Pay Phone Sign image by Jimmi Schneider from

Despite the growing popularity of cell phones, people still use pay phones. Pay phones charge a predetermined amount to make a phone call. The rates vary on the location. Consumers make both local and long distance calls on the public phones. According to USA Today, there are fewer pay phones available due to the decline in use and damages. You can find pay phones in airports, subways, train stations, gas stations and other high-traffic areas. Some restaurants and schools also have pay phones.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Dimes, nickels, quarters

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  1. 1

    Lift up the phone from the receiver.

  2. 2

    Insert the proper amount of change using nickels, dimes and quarters. Punch in a calling card number if you are using one.

  3. 3

    Dial "1" plus the area code and phone number. Dial "911" alone in an emergency.

  4. 4

    Wait for the person you are calling to pick up. Talk. If the person or the voicemail does not pick up, you may be refunded your money.

  5. 5

    Add more coins, if asked.

  6. 6

    Hang up the phone once the call completes.

Tips and warnings

  • Dial 0 to talk to an operator.
  • Only call 911 in an emergency.

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