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Houston - Phone

How to Use the Phone in the USA

The country code for the United States is 1.
The area codes for Houston are 713 and 281.
If you are in doubt about a certain area code, you can check the front of the local telephone book, there should be a map of the U.S. and all area codes listed.
Typically, telephone numbers are written like this: (713) 569 8965, and always have 10 digits. The first three digits are the area code and the rest are the local number.

Public phones
The most common pay phone in operation today is the coin-operated type.
To use one, pick up the receiver, deposit your money (the minimum amount is posted on the machine), and then dial the number. An automated message will alert you to deposit more money, if needed.

Credit card calls
U.S. telephone credit cards are not like the magnetic prepaid cards used in some European countries.
The telephone credit cards in the states are not prepaid, you have to pay the telephone charges at the end of the month when the bill arrives. 
To use the card, you have to say or punch in you account number. 
Contact your long-distance telephone carrier, AT&T, MCI or Sprint, to get a telephone credit card.

Disposable phone cards 

Telephone card phones are becoming increasingly common. Grocery stores, newsstands and other establishments sell the disposable phone cards in varying amounts, $5 and up. To activate the card, dial the code number and follow the instructions printed on the card.

Long distance  calls

Competitive long-distance carriers make calling within the United States relatively convenient and let you avoid hotel surcharges. By dialing an 800 number, you can get connected to the long-distance company of your choice. For details, contact

Phone: 1 800 225 5288

Phone: 1 800 888 8000 

Phone: 1 800 366 2255

Making phone calls

To make calls with the same area code, just dial the seven digit local number.
If you are calling another state or area code, dial 1 and then the ten digit number.
If you're calling from a distance but within the same area code, dial 1 and then the last seven digits.
Like in many countries, there are special numbers for consumer information and entertainment. In the states, the numbers that start with 800, 888 and 877 can be called for free anywhere in the U.S. 
Usually these numbers are prepaid commercial lines, where consumers can get information about products or services.
A number that starts with 900 is not free and usually charges you a very high fee. This is an entertainment number that offers horoscope readings, sports updates or sexually suggestive conversations.

Directory and operator information
To reach the operator, dial 0.
For a fee, you can dial 411 to get local or national phone numbers. There is a free informatin line, 555 1212, but it has mainly commercial listings.

Charging a long distance call to another person

If you want to charge a long-distance call to the person you're calling, dial 0, instead of 1, before the ten digit number. An operator will come on the line to assist you; however, the party you're calling can refuse to accept the call.

International calls
You can make international calls directly from most phones by dialling 011, followed by the country code and then the local number.
The front pages of many local telephone directories include a list of overseas country codes. If you need operator assistance, dial 0 and ask for an overseas operator.

A few country codes :
Canada : 1  ( same as for USA)
Australia: 61
New Zealand: 64
United Kingdom: 44
France : 33
To reach Canada, dial 1 + area code + number.

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