PHONE CARD DOCTOR: How to call phone numbers outside the USA

March 8th, 2009

“I’m trying to call a phone number outside the USA and it’s not connecting. How can I make sure that I’m dialing the number correctly?”

I’ve talked to a number of customers who have been given a number to dial outside the USA, but when they dial it, it doesn’t connect. In most cases, the problem is a simple dialing error.

When placing a phone call outside the USA, you need to dial the number like this:

011 + Country Code + City Code + Number

If you’ve been given a number with a country code and there are zeros in front of it (00), you do not need to dial these zeros. There should be no zeros between the 011 and the country code. No country codes begin with a zero.

Click here to see a list of country codes.

The city code, however, may begin with a zero. Some cities use a zero in front of their city codes for cellular or mobile phone numbers.

Just about every country has a different phone number format. Some countries have 7-digit phone numbers like we do in the USA (10-digits including the area code), but numbers from other countries may be shorter or longer than that.

When I’m helping a customer who’s having trouble connecting to a phone number outside the USA, here’s what I check to trouble shoot the issue:

1)  I double check that the customer is dialing 011 before the phone number.

2)  I double check the country code.  I’ve run into a few customers who either did not have the correct country code or were leaving it out all together.

3)  I check to see if there are any zeros being dialed that don’t need to be.

4)  Once I’ve confirmed that the number is correct, I try to dial it again.  If this doesn’t work, then I call tech support to see if there is a country issue or if they have any advice on how to dial to  that country.  Sometimes the carrier’s technical  support will have advice for how to dial as well.

So if you’ve tried everything I’ve suggested and you’re still can’t connect, call the technical support number for your phone card.  They may be able to give you some advice on how to dial.  Also, they can check to see if there are any issues with calls going to the country you’re calling (i.e. line outages, weather issues, etc.).

Phone Card Coupon for Week of March 9, 2009

Through March 15th, take 5% off your purchase of a new PIN or recharge of a Flying Colors! phone card 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 March 15, 2009.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, March 8th, 2009 at 11:00 pm 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.

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