Phone Dialing 201

We’re skipping right to calling the baby sitter back home to see if the kids are still alive or to report your credit card has been hijacked. For local calls see phone dialing 101

For international long-distance calls to Mexico, you first dial 00, then the country code. This is 1 for both the U.S. and Canada, so you would dial 00 then 1 then your area code then the 7 digit number of your baby sitter. (BTW, are you sure you did the right thing leaving your infant with the teenager next door? Her boyfriend looks a little sketchy.)

Now let’s go through this backwards. The country code for Mexico is 52. When calling a Mexican phone number from the U.S. or Canada, you need to dial 011 plus 52 plus the area code plus the phone number here. Here’s the tricky part: If you're calling a cell phone here, you'll need to squeeze in a 1 after the 52 and before the area code. Here’s how that goes: 011 + 52 + 1 + area code + phone number. And how do you know if you’re calling a cell phone here? You don’t. But if a lady comes on the phone and babbles something in Spanish, chances are she’s telling you to try again and this time don’t forget the 1.

Now you are ready to call the United States or Canada:

first dial 00, then the code which for the U.S. and Canada is 1, so you would dial 00 + 1 + the  area code and then your  7 digit number.

Now the tricky part. Say you want to dial a toll free number in the States or Canada. You can’t. Mexico blocks them. But we have a work around.

Dial 001, which as we told you, is the international code to call the United States. Then there is a magic number for each of your toll free numbers.

Dial 880 if your toll free number begins with 800.

Dial 881 if your toll free number begins with 888.

Dial 882 if your toll free number begins with 877

Dial 883 if your toll free number begins with 866 numbers.

Next dial the seven digit telephone number normally. An American operator lady will come on and remind you you’re going to have to pay for this, it’s not toll free from Mexico, but you’re going to be so relieved you finally got through to your bank or your credit card company you won’t even mind paying for the call.

Here are two more numbers to toss into the mix, but good luck with them if you don’t speak Spanish.

Dial 911 to get an emergency operator, but it would be a fluke if anyone there speaks English. And where do you think you’re going to direct the police or an ambulance when you can’t even tell Dominos where they’re going to need to deliver that pizza?

Directory assistance is 040 but it’s not like what you expect. Again, only Spanish, and they don’t really have a directory there with them.

You can often cut a break on inter country calls by making a deal with your US provider. For instance for Verizon you call 611 and tell them you’re going to Mexico for 30 days, please put your plan into Mexico mode, and let it fall off after 30 days. That saves this writer a ton of money.

Also, the minute you cross that border cut off data pushed at you. Only take data when you’re hooked up with Wi-Fi.