Help with making long distance calls
morfar1
Newbie

I have Fios phone service in VA. When I called my brother in Florida I dialed the area code and number. I got an answering machine so I left a message. The person called back and said I had a wrong number. I called Verizon and was told I needed to dial a 1 before the area code. I did this and got the right number. I called my daughter in Maryland using the 1, area code, and number and got a wrong number. I called Verizon and they said it depends on the service that the person you are calling has as to when to use the 1 before the area code. My question is how do you know what service the party you are calling has. Any help?

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lasagna
Community Leader
Community Leader

This is one of those quirky leftovers from the days prior to computers of expensive long distance and now often a relic mandated by out of date telecommunication industry regulations.

The act of dialing "1" for most phone systems tells it that you are going to place a "long distance" call and will often cause the phone switching system to route your call immediately to a long distance carrier.   In scenarios where the recipient happens to be using the same telephone service provider as you, the call routing system may recognize the ten-digit dialed number without the "1" prefix and be able to process and deliver the call correctly (and since they know it's not "long distance" can bypass any industry mandated "toll indicator" digit requirements).   Additonally in many metropolitan areas (you don't indicate how far between you and your daughter's location, but I'm thinking perhaps you may be in the Washington DC metro area?), calls which are regionally local can also often be processed with just the 10-digit dialing without the one (regardless of your long distance carrier).  You see this nowadays with cell phone providers -- the "1" is not necessary but can be included.   Same applies to a lot of VoIP phone providers which have so far managed to steer clear of many of the antiquated telecommunications regulations.

It's confusing really nowadays ... sometimes you need it, sometimes you dont.   In reality when calling any U.S. number from another U.S. number, it should be technically feasible to process the call with just the ten digits provided all the time (the "1" is really superfulous but sometimes mandated by regulation).   Same applies to 7-digit dialing which is also increasingly going by the wayside (people are so used to this that they complain when companies switch them to 10-digit dial plans but in reality we should just adopt to the fact the with the increased number of telephony devices, we should just always dial 10 digits -- period -- no guessing, no "1", just ten digits.

Rule of thumb if you aren't in a 7-digit dial plan area ... always dial "1 + 10 digit number".  If that doesn't work, dial "10 digit number" an remember which works.  (the reverse order could have you calling the wrong number, but the order I list will always either give you a "unable to complete call as dialed" or ring the number intended when done from a U.S. phone.

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