We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Collect Call?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A collect call is a phone call in which the called party pays the charges, rather than the calling party, as is conventional. Collect calling is available in most regions of the world, and it can be a very valuable tool in emergency situations. The process for making a collect call varies depending on the nation, but can usually be accomplished in an emergency by dialing 0 for the operator, and requesting that the operator put through a collect call.

When someone makes a collect call, the phone rings on the other end, and when someone answers the phone, he or she is informed that someone is attempting to make a collect call. If the called party accepts the call and the charges, the calling party will be put through. The charges for collect calls can be more expensive than those for regular calls, especially when the call crosses an international border, and the called party may want to request information about the rates before accepting the call.

Historically, collect calls were routed through the operator. Today, computer systems usually handle collect calls, and dialing 0 for the operator may result in being sent through a computer system. People can also dial toll-free numbers which facilitate collect calls for a fee. It is a good idea to be aware of the charges associated with such numbers ahead of time, so that if one needs to make a collect call at some point, a low-fee service can be selected to reduce the burden on the called party.

With the rise in cell phone usage, collect calls are less common than they once were, but they are still utilized. Some people don't use cell phones, or their phones may be stolen, and in some regions of the world, service is spotty. Since people often make collect calls when they are in a crisis, as might be the case when someone is traveling and his or her belongings are stolen, a cell phone may not be readily available. Travelers may want to be aware that embassies usually accept collect calls from their citizens.

This type of call is also known in some regions as a reverse charge call. Typically, the charges for the call show up on the called party's phone bill. If the call was handled by a third party company, the phone company collects the fees and passes them on to the company which facilitated the call. People should be aware that charges are not incurred until the called party accepts the charges, and that people have been known to use scams with collect calls, so it is important to ask to hear the calling party's voice before accepting the charges. Usually, the calling party can state his or her name to confirm identity. Collect calls can also be placed through TDD systems for the deaf.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a EasyTechJunkie researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By Phaedrus — On May 06, 2014

I must have a number that's very similar to someone else's, because I get a lot of collect calls from prisons or jails. The phone will ring during evening hours, and it will usually be a collect call from an inmate trying to reach a family member or a friend on the outside.

I never accept the charges, and I've heard some stories about the exorbitant cost of collect calls from correctional facilities. The companies that provide prison collect call service can charge several dollars a minute, I've heard. The corrections department collects some of that profit.

By RocketLanch8 — On May 05, 2014

With all of these new cellular phone services available, I wonder how many people actually make a collect call these days. I can't even find a traditional payphone or a phone booth in my hometown any more. I remember when I was much younger I used to make a few collect calls to my parents if I needed help, but I haven't made one in years. People are more willing to let others borrow their cellphones to make long distance calls these days.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.