Area Code Frequently-Asked Questions

How much does it cost to dial another area code?

Charges for calls to other area codes depend on the calling plan you have arranged with your telephone service. Here are two important points to note:
  • Within the U.S., calling rates depend on distance. They do not depend on whether you dial within or outside your area code. An area code split or overlay does not affect this. If a call was local before its area code was changed, it is still local. If a new area code is overlaying your area code, calls are charged as if they were in your same area code.
  • Some area codes can be really costly to call: those in the Caribbean. You may be familiar with 900 numbers, where fees are charged for access to information services. These numbers are subject to U.S. law requiring that you be advised of the charges and allowed to hang up before the charges start. Not so with numbers in other countries!

    Telephone scams try to make you call a foreign area code such as 809. A quick check with 555-1212.com would show that this area code is outside the U.S. and Canada. While ordinarily this is not a problem, some phone numbers in the "809" area code are "pay-per-call" numbers (such as 900 numbers in the U.S.). There are no legal requirements that callers be informed that they are being charged extra in the Caribbean, and so callers can end up staying on the line for an expensive amount of time. You can read details on this scam on numerous Web sites, such as the National Fraud Information Center.

    The bottom line? Be wary of faxes, pages, emails and voice messages to call numbers that you don't recognize. If you aren't sure where an area code is located, check with us first.