International calling fail
August 23, 2009 7:12 PM   Subscribe

Trying to call a number overseas... Despite having a international calling as part of my phone plan, I can't seem to get through!

I need to place a call to Thailand and I'm having no luck what so ever in getting my call to go through. I'm calling from a land line and I made sure to check with my phone company, I DO have the ability to call international from my phone. I even dialed the operator to verify that I was using the correct country and city codes. So what exactly am I doing wrong?

I've tried placing the call like this:
011(international code)(city code)(local number I was provided with)

All I hear after placing the call is some loud beeping, almost like a busy signal but not quite. However, I know that the phone I'm trying to call is not busy. If it matters, my friend is able to place calls to me and I receive them just fine.
posted by Funky Claude to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
Can you call the operator back and ask her to try placing the call for you, to see if she gets the same result? It could be trouble on the receiving end.
posted by amyms at 7:23 PM on August 23, 2009

Maybe try 011(country code for Thailand)(local number). There might not be a city code.
posted by cooker girl at 7:40 PM on August 23, 2009

I did originally inquire about that but she had told me there would be a $5 charge, which is a bit high for something that might not work. But I probably will have to do that tomorrow morning just to see.

Any chance that I could some how verify that the local number I have is correct(Certain number of digits, maybe?)?
posted by Funky Claude at 7:42 PM on August 23, 2009

Try pausing longer between the "011" and the country code. (Technically you shouldn't need to pause, but it's fixed similar problems for me in the past.)
posted by nathan_teske at 7:42 PM on August 23, 2009

I've found Time and Date's International Dialing/Area Code tool very useful in the past. It will give you some idea of what city code to use and how many digits to dial.
posted by ChrisHartley at 7:49 PM on August 23, 2009

Are you remembering to omit the leading 0 from the city code?
posted by salsamander at 7:50 PM on August 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

As salsamander said, sometimes people will give you a local number or a city code that needs to be dialled in its entirely in-country, but that needs to have a 0 (or maybe a 1) omitted from the beginning when dialling in from another country. Try playing with that variable for your specific number.
posted by Dasein at 7:58 PM on August 23, 2009

The ringback tone you hear will be different for some countries. When I call India, it sounds almost exactly like a busy signal, and it takes like 10 minutes for someone to pick up. Unless you hear a "fast busy", assume that the phone is ringing and give it at least a minute (if you aren't already doing this).
posted by hammurderer at 8:17 PM on August 23, 2009

I have called internationally before and thought that the ringing noise I got was a busy tone when in fact it was just the standard ringing noise that you get before the recipient picks up.

Are you positive the person you're trying to call is in when you have tried? i.e. that the tone you are hearing is actually implying a failed connection rather than simply the sound of nobody answering.
posted by knapah at 8:18 PM on August 23, 2009

Damn, hammurderer beat me to it.
posted by knapah at 8:20 PM on August 23, 2009

Yes, the last people to answer are almost certainly correct.

Since you seem to be new at this, I'd add that the international rates you get from your phone company are often pretty exorbitant. Use a phone card or dial-around number. If you're in CA, I recommend 1010229. Other places I don't know, but this might help a little.
posted by alexei at 3:25 AM on August 24, 2009

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