A toll-free number is a phone number that is free for the caller to dial, with the recipient paying all fees. In Australia, these numbers are also known as "free call" numbers, and start with 1800 or 1300. However, a caller from the United States will still have to pay to call a free call number in Australia, because of the cost of an international call.
Calling cards can be a cost-effective way of placing international phone calls, including those to Australia. These are prepaid cards that allow the user to make long-distance phone cards without racking up charges on your home phone bill. As you make a call, the balance is reduced in accordance with the rates and length of call. To find the best rate on calling cards, see the Resources section below.
When using a calling card to dial an Australian toll-free number from the United States, you need to follow the steps laid out by the provider of the calling card. Typically, you will begin by dialing the toll-free U.S. access number for the phone card and entering a PIN when prompted. After entering the PIN found on your calling card, dial 011 + 61 (the country code for Australia) + 1800 or 1300 + the rest of the number.
Skype is an Internet-based method for making phone calls both locally and internationally. To get started, you'll need to set up a Skype account by downloading the application and following the Setup Wizard. You will also need a microphone and speakers or a webcam with microphone to conduct the call. As part of the setup process, you may be required to load your account with a minimum of $10, which can be applied to any future calls.
Log into your Skype account and select "Call Phones" on the left-hand side of the screen. Select Australia as the country you are dialing, which will automatically input the country code (+61). In the box, type in the free call number (1800-xxx-xxx), then click the green "call" button. Your call should automatically dial. If the free call number has a 1300 prefix, it may incur a connection fee, which will be deducted from your remaining Skype credit.
The difference when placing a call through Skype is that you will not have to dial 011 when placing the call, as you do when using a calling card.
Landline or Cell Phone
Calling Australia from your landline or cellular phone can vary in cost, depending on your long-distance plan. Before placing any international phone calls, consult with your long-distance or mobile provider to find out what costs are associated with dialing a toll-free number in Australia. If you decide that you would like to place the call, you will need to dial 011 + 61 + 1800 + the rest of the number.