Why are the international calls so difficult from USA

When I was in San Francisco I wanted to call home. It became a horrible experience to me to make an international call from a public phone in US.
First time I wanted to call from a public phone at the Moscone. I had enough quarters however I was not able to make the call. I always ended up with a message that sound like "too many attemps try dial again please". I gave up after 20 minutes.

Next time I tried it from a phone on a street. The same situation repeated. This time I even spoke with an operator from AT&T. It didn't help. At least it returned all my quarters that I throw in the machine.

I realized that it could be easier and maybe cheaper to buy a prepaid phone card to make the call. I went to the Information center on Market street, bought 5$ card. I tried it directly there from a free call phone. No way. It didn't work again. The only thing that I achieve was that there is 4$ less on the prepaid card. WTF? How come? The only thing that I heard from the receiver was a "tutututu" tone. I gave up again.

Next day I realized that I should figure out what's going on. And how come that they took 4 dollars from the account for nothing. I called to an operator again. I didn't understand the explanation. I only remember that the they are not able to recognize if I spoke to somebody or if I just listen to the ringing tone. That's really nice. I paid for listening to a ring phone. There is one more thing that I remembered - they expect that the city code in the number is only two digits. (You know - phone number = country code + city code + user number). Hey, some of the city codes in Czech Republic are 3 digits. I was not able to call these numbers.

I really didn't get it. I can go to any public phone in Czech Republic and call whatever number I want. It will connect me without any problem. I will not pay for the ringing tone. In US it was real nightmare.
I finally called home - thank you, skype.
Comments:

I had the same problem trying to call from a public phone, buy no problem on a prepaid card i bougth. But, skype is the best. Cheers

Posted by Julian de Anquin on May 31, 2007 at 03:16 PM CEST #

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