What Is a Collect Call?
A collect call is a telephone call in which the charges for the call are paid by the called party, rather than the calling party. This service is available in many regions worldwide and can be particularly useful in emergency situations. To make a collect call, one typically dials 0 for the operator and requests the operator to facilitate a collect call.
How to Make a Collect Call
When someone initiates a collect call, the phone on the receiving end will ring, and the person answering the call will be informed that someone is attempting to make a collect call. If the called party agrees to accept the charges, the call will be connected. It’s worth noting that the charges for collect calls can be higher than those for regular calls, especially for international calls, and the called party may want to inquire about the rates before accepting the call.
Charges and Considerations
In the past, collect calls were often handled through operators. Nowadays, computer systems are commonly used to facilitate collect calls. Dialing 0 for the operator may still connect to a computer system. Additionally, toll-free numbers are available that facilitate collection calls for a fee. People making collect calls should be aware of the associated charges and choose a service with reasonable fees if possible.
While the prevalence of cell phones has reduced the use of collect calls, they are still relevant in various situations. Some individuals may not have access to a cell phone, or their phones may be unavailable or stolen. Travelers, especially, may use collect calls in emergency situations, and it’s good to know that many embassies accept collect calls from their citizens.
Relevance of Collect Calls Today
Collect calls are sometimes referred to as reverse charge calls. The charges for the call typically appear on the phone bill of the called party. If a third-party company facilitates the call, the phone company collects the fees and transfers them to the company handling the call. It’s important to note that charges are incurred only when the called party accepts them. However, caution is advised as scams involving collect calls have been reported. Verifying the identity of the calling party, often by having them state their name, can be a precautionary measure. Collect calls can also be made through Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) systems to accommodate individuals with hearing impairments.