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Operator Assisted International Calls Can Cost Big Money

Recently we had to make a lengthy business call to Mexico. Before calling, we went to our favorite site for Country calling codes, www.countrycallingcodes.com and looked up the phone codes for accurate direct dialing. We also called our long-distance provider to verify our current international rate.

However, when we had about five digits of the number typed on the phone keypad, an operator popped in and said, “Are you trying to make an international call? I’ll connect you.” Well, it seemed direct dial wasn’t available so we said yes and were connected.

Surprise when the phone bill arrived – on top of the phone bill was a $387.00 ‘directory assistance’ bill for the 88-minute call. Needless to say, the long distance company was extremely unhelpful and said, ‘Dial zero on your phone and say you want to dispute a directory assistance bill.’ Luckily, after several calls, they did a 1-time courtesy removal of all but $8 of the bill.

So, BE ADVISED:

  • If you originate the call, always direct dial. Our long distance provider said that if an operator comes on the line and asks to connect your call or says he/she will connect you, say ‘no’ and hang up immediately.
  • Have your clients call you.
  • Opt for Skype for free or very low-cost calling.
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