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Thread: phone call

  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default phone call

    Dear teachers,

    This question has something to do with culture.

    I was told that in North America, if a person fails to connect anther person who lives abroad he/she can ask a conductor of a phone company to connect the person for him. When the conductor succeeds doing so she can inform the customer to talk to the person whom he wants to. My questions are:

    1. Is that true?
    2. Is there a word or words that can describe the action?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  2. #2
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    Default Re: phone call

    .
    Yes. It is called making a person-to-person call. It is used when the caller is not willing to simply call the number (a 'station-to-station' call) and pay the telephone charge if another person answers but the desired party is not there.
    .

  3. #3
    Ouisch's Avatar
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    Default Re: phone call

    By the way, it's not the "conductor", but an "operator" who connects you with your party. These type of calls are also sometimes referred to as "operator-assisted."

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    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: phone call


    Dear Micawber,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. To make sure that I understand you perfectly I have to ask more:
    1. If the caller is willing to pay the phone charge but he can't get through because the line is busy can he ask the operator to help him get through?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Micawber View Post
    .
    Yes. It is called making a person-to-person call. It is used when the caller is not willing to simply call the number (a 'station-to-station' call) and pay the telephone charge if another person answers but the desired party is not there.
    .

  5. #5
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    Default Re: phone call


    Dear Quisch,

    Thank you very much for pointing out my mistake. 'conductor' is a person who works on a bus etc.

    Best wishes,

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    By the way, it's not the "conductor", but an "operator" who connects you with your party. These type of calls are also sometimes referred to as "operator-assisted."

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    Default Re: phone call

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    If the caller is willing to pay the phone charge but he can't get through because the line is busy can he ask the operator to help him get through?
    Here are some Do's and Don'ts for using an operator's help.
    'Do' use operator assistance:

    If you'd like to speak to a specific person, or call a certain department, extension or office. This is known as a person-to-person call. You must use operator assistance to make this kind of call.

    If you'd like to make a call and charge it to a number you specify. Known as a third-party call, billing is subject to verification that the party will accept responsibility for payment.

    If you're in an emergency situation and you need to interrupt the conversation of the person you are calling. Busy line verification and interrupt can also be used to verify whether a line is off the hook or simply busy.

    If you need assistance in understanding how to place an international call. The operator can help with dialing instructions.

    If you prefer to use the operator to help you place your calls and understand that there are higher costs for this personalized service. The operator will do the dialing for you and can help with alternative billing methods.

    Source: http://www.consumer.att.com/consumertips/operator.html

    Hope that helps.

  7. #7
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: phone call


    Dear Cas,

    The website you provide didn't work so I have to ask more:

    Suppose I am in Canada and I want to call my Mom I can dial myself without the operator's help. Is that right? And if it is busy line can I ask the operator to dial for me? In other words can I ask the operator to keep an eye on the line and when it is not occupied the operator can call me so that I can talk to my Mom ( I'll pay )?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    Here are some Do's and Don'ts for using an operator's help.
    'Do' use operator assistance:

    If you'd like to speak to a specific person, or call a certain department, extension or office. This is known as a person-to-person call. You must use operator assistance to make this kind of call.

    If you'd like to make a call and charge it to a number you specify. Known as a third-party call, billing is subject to verification that the party will accept responsibility for payment.

    If you're in an emergency situation and you need to interrupt the conversation of the person you are calling. Busy line verification and interrupt can also be used to verify whether a line is off the hook or simply busy.

    If you need assistance in understanding how to place an international call. The operator can help with dialing instructions.

    If you prefer to use the operator to help you place your calls and understand that there are higher costs for this personalized service. The operator will do the dialing for you and can help with alternative billing methods.

    Source: http://www.consumer.att.com/consumertips/operator.html

    Hope that helps.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: phone call

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Suppose I am in Canada and I want to call my Mom ...
    You know, Jiang, you're one lucky dude, 'cause I used to be an operator in Canada. And, yes, you can ask the operator to check the line to see if there's someone on the line or if the line if off the hook. The operator, if it's an emerency, can break into the line - interrupt the call - and tell your Mom there's someone trying to call her and that it's an emergency. Now, from my experience, most people say it's an emergency when in fact it is not, but how is the operator supposed to know that? So, you see, breaking in on a line is common in North America. Test it.

    By the by, I'm living in Song Jiang at the moment.

  9. #9
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: phone call


    Dear Cas,

    Welcome to China. I hope you enjoy your tour here.

    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.

    Best wishes,

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    You know, Jiang, you're one lucky dude, 'cause I used to be an operator in Canada. And, yes, you can ask the operator to check the line to see if there's someone on the line or if the line if off the hook. The operator, if it's an emerency, can break into the line - interrupt the call - and tell your Mom there's someone trying to call her and that it's an emergency. Now, from my experience, most people say it's an emergency when in fact it is not, but how is the operator supposed to know that? So, you see, breaking in on a line is common in North America. Test it.

    By the by, I'm living in Song Jiang at the moment.

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    Default Re: phone call

    You're most welcome, Jiang.

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