International Collect Calls from Verizon Wireless Phones Impossible


After Googling several variations of the term “how to place international collect calls” and getting absolutely nowhere, I decided to call Verizon for instructions. Much to my surprise, a nice Verizon rep flat out told me it’s impossible to place or receive international collect calls through a wireless phone.

Sorry, Verizon Wireless phones cannot receive or place international collect calls – Pam, Verizon support rep

One of the most promising results during my initial research period came from USA Today, which pointed me to a certain “0170” directory assistance number. Perpetuating the uselessness of demand media articles, however, the 0170 number is no longer available.

Embratel Brasil Direto

When I started to filter my research to “collect calls from USA to Brazil“, I was able to reach Embratel, a Brazilian phone operator, which has a neat service called Brasil Direto. Through their 800#, you’re able to reach an operator who will then connect you to any number in Brasil (you just need the area code “DDD”).

Why No Collect Calls?

I hope this is a Verizon-only issue. After all, why would any other operators block international collect calls through cell phones? Is it too hard to actually collect the money, or even enforce the charge, when dealing with overseas operators? I find that hard to believe, specially with increased connectivity and VOIP technology.

And if no cell phone can be used to place or receive a collect call, what option is left? If you’re a tourist, your hotel is likely to charge you an arm and a leg for it, and there aren’t any payphones available anymore. Guess we should all sign up for a Google voice account and deal with the $0.03/minute charges….