local toll area

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Overview

A local toll area is the geographical area within which telephone service subscribers may dial a number without any "long-distance" prefix (typically "1" plus the area code) but are nonetheless charged a toll for making the call.

In the case of Verizon, the toll rate is much lower than the rate for typical long-distance calls, and the calls are not listed (i.e. the phone bill shows only an aggregate number of minutes across all local toll area calls placed during the billing cycle, and does not list the numbers called).

The combination of these two practices has led to enormous "local toll" bills being run up unintentionally in at least one case; see Verizon.

Comments

Aero 14:18, 1 May 2005 (EDT)

As far as I can see, this is a common practice among local telephone companies. For example, my situ. I go to college in Brockport, within the 585 area code, Monroe County, and Greater Rochester Area. My house is in Penfield, about 40 minutes away, within the same area code, county, and... Area. But my family can't call me from their home, because they have no long distance service (this is intentional, actually, to avoid being stiffed by unexpected long distance charges). Dialing the number doesn't require a +1, just the seven digits; but it's long distance, and were it not for the fact that we don't have long-distance, we wouldn't have known. Nickel and diming! The phone book has a complicated map of where you can actually call 'locally' within your 'local' area.

I was trying to figure out whether or not to get a SkypeIn number in our area code the other day. I was close to making the purchase, except I noticed the numbers being offered had an unfamiliar prefix. (Phone terminology 101: numbers in the US are (AAA) PPP-NNNN where A=area code, P=prefix, N=number.) I did some research and found the prefix was somewhere on the outerlying fringe of the area code, closer to Buffalo than Rochester, and it's not even listed in our phone book! Needless to say having such a number does me no good if people can't call it as a local call.