With cell phone use on the rise, payphones are becoming a thing of the past. However, because not everyone owns a cell phone, has a signal or a charged battery, payphones are still around, albeit not as convenient as they once were. While the company that owns the payphone is in the business to make money, there are ways to make outgoing calls without having to pay for the call yourself.
Dial toll-free numbers for free at a payphone. You do not need to deposit money to dial 1-800, 1-888 or 1-877 or 1-866 exchanges.
Make a collect call using a collect calling service such as 1-800-COLLECT (265-5328). Dial carefully. Collect calls are "free" for the person making the call, but the person accepting the call must pay for it. Note that the rate charged may exceed $3.00 per minute, sometimes significantly more. Therefore, research collect calling prices before leaving home or follow directives when making the call to learn the rate prior to following through with your collect call, if desired.
Dial 911 or 0 for the operator for free at a payphone. You can also dial a local Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), which is a service used to call a person who is hearing impaired.