Phone call transferred to international line - fees?
March 16, 2019 11:45 PM   Subscribe

I am located in the United States. I called a 1-800 number and they said they'd have to transfer me to their New Zealand number. Will I be charged as if I had called New Zealand directly?

I was silly and booked travel on Expedia's New Zealand site, and now when I want to make changes, I'm asked to call the New Zealand number. Figuring this would would be expensive, I tried Expedia's 1-800 (US) number. They said they couldn't help me but offered to transfer me to their New Zealand number.

Seems like this would be easy to google, but I can't figure out the right search terms. Thanks for any help!
posted by segfault to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Generally, 1800 numbers are free for local callers and charged at international rates when the caller is outside the country, I'd check with your phone provider what their rates are to call New Zealand.
posted by latch24 at 11:48 PM on March 16, 2019


1800 numbers are free for local callers and charged at international rates when the caller is outside the country

But that isn't what's going on here. Segfault is in the US and has called a US 1-800 number; from segfault's phone provider's point of view, what they've done is connected segfault to a US 1-800 number and I would expect their billing to reflect that.

In order for Expedia to transfer the call to New Zealand, Expedia - not segfault's phone provider - would need to place a new call from wherever the call centre responsible for responding to segfault's call is to wherever the call centre responsible for handling calls from New Zealand is, then connect their end of segfault's call to that. This doesn't involve segfault's provider except perhaps coincidentally, but even then it wouldn't involve segfault's account. I would expect that Expedia, not segfault, is incurring the cost of that call.

That said, I would also expect that cost to be very very small. Any sane business with call centres in multiple countries is going to be doing all their intra-business calls over VoIP and paying next to nothing for them. If that were not the case, I would expect Expedia to be telling segfault to call New Zealand directly rather than offering to transfer the call.
posted by flabdablet at 4:25 AM on March 17, 2019 [11 favorites]


I would be surprised if Expedia doesn’t just have a single English language call center somewhere(Philippines, Bangalore, etc), and being transferred literally means being routed to the New Zealand trained people in cubes 20 yards away.
posted by rockindata at 10:25 AM on March 17, 2019 [3 favorites]


I called a 1-800 number and they said they'd have to transfer me to their New Zealand number. Will I be charged as if I had called New Zealand directly?

No. If you stay on the first call and do not make another call, your phone provider just knows you've called the (free) 1-800 number and will not charge you.
posted by jessamyn at 7:15 PM on March 17, 2019 [1 favorite]


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