How do I get telephone service?

If you live in a dormitory, a telephone and service will usually be provided for you. If you live off campus and want your own telephone service, call the business office of the local telephone company. (Information on how to order phone service and what telephone number to call is listed in the front section of any telephone book.) The local telephone company will provide only the connection for service-you will have to provide your own telephone. A telephone can be purchased at a variety of stores.

What are the costs?

Besides the cost of the telephone itself, you will be required to pay an installation fee, a monthly fee for using the service, and additional fees for long-distance or international calls. Also, you may be required to pay a deposit, which will be refunded, or returned, to you after a certain length of time if you pay your bills on time, or when you cancel your service.

If you do not pay your telephone bill, your service will be disconnected, or cut off, until you pay. You may then be required to pay an additional deposit and installation fee to reconnect your telephone.

How do I find a person's phone number?

Most campuses print a directory that lists the phone numbers of students, professors, and academic departments. If you cannot find a particular phone number in this directory, contact the campus operator or information office.

For other local calls, you can find the phone number in your local telephone directory (phone book). This book lists the names of people and organizations, street addresses, and phone numbers in a section called the "white pages" (some phone books list people and businesses separately and some list them together). The yellow pages section of the phone book contains phone numbers and some advertisements for businesses according to the type of business. Phone books in most large cities also have a blue pages section that lists local, county, state, and federal government offices.

If you can't find the phone number in the telephone book, or if you need to know a phone number within your area code, call the directory assistance number (usually 411 or 1411) listed in the front of the telephone book. If you need to know a phone number outside your area code, dial 1 plus the area code (listed in the front section of your telephone book), plus 555-1212.

An operator will answer, and ask you what city you are trying to reach and the name of the person or organization you want. Within seconds, the operator will give you the phone number. Your phone service may charge you a small fee for this service each time you use it.

If you have an emergency-such as a medical need, fire, or crime problem-dial 911 from any telephone for help. If your town or city does not have 911 service, keep a listing next to your telephone of the phone numbers for the police, the fire department, ambulance service, and your doctor or hospital.

How do I make a long-distance call?

Several companies, such as MCI, Sprint, and AT&T, offer long-distance calling service. (For a listing of long-distance telephone companies, look under "Telephone Companies" in the yellow pages.) Your telephone company may ask you what long-distance company you want to use. Check with friends and neighbors to find the best company for your needs.

When making a long-distance call, you will need to dial 1 and the three-digit area code before you dial the regular phone number. If you don't know the area code, see the information in the front section of your phone book or contact a local telephone operator. Be aware that there may be a time difference between where you're calling from and the area you are calling.

What if I need assistance from an operator to make a long-distance call?

To reach an operator for assistance on a long-distance call, dial 0 (zero), the area code, and the telephone number. The operator will ask you what type of assistance you need. The following types of assistance are available:

Can I dial direct when making international calls?

In most cases you can dial international calls directly. Check the front section of your telephone book or call the operator for more information on making international calls.

When are the rates the cheapest?

Your long-distance company should send you information showing the cheapest time of day or days of the week to make long-distance calls. For international calls, dial 0 (zero) and ask the operator when the cheapest time is to call your country.

What is a toll-free number?

Any number with the area code 800 is toll-free, which means the telephone company will not charge you for the call. Businesses often use these numbers so customers can order items from them over the telephone without having to pay for the long-distance call.

How do I use a pay phone?

Almost all pay phones have instructions for their use. In some locations (like airports) certain pay phones require a credit card for use. If the number you call is busy or no one answers, the pay phone will return your coins. If you are making a call outside your local area, a voice may ask you to enter more coins if you are not making a third-party call, calling collect, or using a credit card. You will not be required to insert any coins in the pay phone at first to call the operator for operator-assisted calls. You also will not be required to insert any coins to make emergency 911 calls.

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