► If you don't know who your long distance carrier is, call 1-700-555-4141. Most of the time it
will get you a robot announcement. With a few phone companies, you will actually hear a live human operator. Treasure the moment.
► Want to know the number you're calling from? There are many different codes. Verizon has used
990, 990-1111 and 958. SBC used 970#, but it changed to 959-9822 after the AT&T takeover. Years ago, before automated number announcers were in place, installers and repairmen would dial the operator and use a secret code. In New York Telephone territory, they’d say, “This is Cosmo, what number am I on?” We don’t know who Cosmo was.
provides number announcements from MCI (part of Verizon), but it also works for non- MCI customers.
► Brother used to
have an 800-number you could call to request a test fax, but they discontinued the service. Lots of companies have automated “fax-back” systems. We don’t want to list them here, but they shouldn’t be hard to find. You can also call a restaurant and ask them to fax a menu.
If you’re hearing heavy
breathing or dirty words, "star"
automatically traces a threatening or a nuisance call. The phone company won’t tell you who’s calling, but after three successful traces (a message confirms success) you can report it to the police, and the phone company will provide them with the culprit’s phone number.
Per-Call Caller ID Blocking:
before you dial the number. If you have Caller ID blocked permanently, dial
to unblock for a particular call. When you make a toll-free call, the company
may be able to identify your number using a system called Automatic Number
Identification (ANI) despite your blocking your Caller ID.
Re-dial a busy number: press
Last call return: press "star"
disable Call Waiting: press "star"
(conference call): press FLASH, call a second number, press FLASH again.
Free Directory Assistance (for
business listings): call Google at 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411). It will even
connect you for free.
Relay service for calls between
TDD/TT users and voice callers: call 711. If 711 is unreachable, TDD/TT users
should call 1-800-842-9710. Voice callers should call 1-800-833-8134.