PHONE CARD DOCTOR: What to do when you hear call cannot be completed as dialed

August 25th, 2008

"I’m trying to call a phone number I know is correct but I hear a message that my call cannot be completed as dialed.  How do I know that I’m correctly dialing?"

We hear this problem often in Customer Service, and in most cases, the problem is a simple dialing error.  Sometimes it can be difficult to immediately identify where the error is being made.  Here’s what we do in Customer Service to make sure international numbers are being correctly dialed.


Using 011 to Dial Outside the U.S.

If you are using your phone card to call from the U.S. to an international number, make sure that you dial it like this:

011 + Country Code + City Code + Number

The first numbers (011) are the international exchange when dialing from the U.S.  You cannot call out of the country without this exchange.

Now with that said, there are some countries that you can dial to as if they were U.S. states.  You would dial like this:

1 + Area Code + Number

Here is a list of the countries that this applies to:

 American Samoa  Canada  Puerto Rico
 Anguilla  Cayman Islands  St. Kitts and Nevis
 Antarctica  Dominica  St. Lucia
 Antigua and Barbuda            Grenada  St. Vincent
 Bahamas  Guam  Trinidad and Tobago          
 Barbados  Jamaica  Turks and Caicos
 Bermuda  Montserrat  U.S. Virgin Islands
 British Virgin Islands  Northern Marinas Islands     USA


Dialing the country code

When dialing the country code, you do not need any extra zeros in front of the actual country code.  For example, someone in the UK may give you their number and it will start 0044.  The number 44 is the country code for the UK.  If you were in, say, France and you were dialing direct from there to the UK, you would need the 00.  Since you are in the U.S., though, you do not need the zeros.  So you would dial like this:

011 + 44 + City Code + Number

Click here to see all country codes.


Next is the City Code

I wish that city codes were as easy to explain as country codes.  Sometimes, a country may have a zero (0) before the digits in the city code.  Most times this zero is not needed when dialing from the U.S., but sometimes it’s needed.  If you’ve done everything else above plus you have omitted the zero and you’re still not connecting, try putting the zero back in before the city code.  It may work.  This usually happens most often when dialing an international mobile phone. 

I have even had instances where no city code needs to be dialed.  I had this come up recently when assisting a customer who was calling to a mobile phone in the Philippines.  At first, the customer thought he had purchased a product that didn’t work.  It turned out that the city code for Manila didn’t need to be dialed.  All he needed to dial was 011 + 63 + Number.  His calls connected and he was very excited.


Double Check the Number You’ve Been Given

It’s easy enough to transpose numbers on a U.S. phone number.  It’s even easier when you’re looking at an international phone number.  Double check the number that you’ve been dialing to make sure it’s correct.  If someone has given you this number to call, ask them if they know how it would be dialed from the U.S.   


If you’ve gone through this list and know that the number you’re dialing is correct, send us a detailed e-mail at and one of our Customer Service Representatives will assist you.


Phone Card Coupon for Week of August 25th      

Through August 31st, receive $1 off your purchase of $20 or more from ZapTel.  Use the following code to receive the discount:


Enter the coupon code on the Review Your Order page, and be sure to click the "Add Coupon Code" button on the page to apply the discount. Offer expires at Midnight Central Time on August 31, 2008.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 25th, 2008 at 9:54 am and is filed under Phone Card Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “PHONE CARD DOCTOR: What to do when you hear call cannot be completed as dialed”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    October 31st, 2008 at 7:35 am

    reply Most new prepaid phone cards offer convenient time saving features that make them as easy to use as picking up your home phone and dialing.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    November 3rd, 2008 at 9:16 am

    PINzap Pinless Dialing ZapTel offers a time saving feature called PINzap Pinless Dialing where you can associate your phone number with your phone card so all you have to do is dial the access number for your PIN to access your phone card. This coupled with speed dial which is available on some cards can make dialing internationally very quick and easy.

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