Free International Phone Calls By Calling Iowa

Get free international calls to select countries by calling (712) 858-8094 and then dialing 011 + Country Code + Phone Number.

Complete list of available countries here. AllFreeCalls.net plans on adding 10 more countries in the following weeks.

How does it work? Tech Crunch says:

“The founder created his own telephone company in Iowa. Iowa is apparently the only state taking advantage of an FCC kickback scheme that gives telco’s a portion of the fees generated from every inbound call to an Iowa number. So when you call the AllFreeCalls phone number, a portion of any long distance fees you are paying go to the company. The kickback is apparently authorized via the Universal Service Fund. These kickbacks are enough on average to more than cover the international outbound calling fees.”

Cozette, get by the phone. We can finally afford to place the call we should’ve ten years ago. — BEN POPKEN

AllFreeCalls [TechCrunch via MyMoneyBlog]

Comments

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  1. Islingtonian says:

    there are a number of these companies based in iowa…i use a company that is focused towards people calling china, but works for lots of numbers all over the world. 712 338 8288.

    be careful, for some countries it will only work if you dial a land line, not a mobile.

  2. MarcAnthony says:

    No way….I can call the motherland (Mexico) and finally chat with my Abuelita (grandmother) about any and everything and not have to keep looking at my watch!!!!!!
    Get out of town……Im skeptical…
    Will be back in 20 minutes to let you know how my phone call went.

  3. ElizabethD says:

    Whoa. Why does this seem too good to be true? I look forward to reports from Consumerist readers as to how well this works. No hidden “strings”?

  4. martatuga says:

    Tried to call both a land line and a mobile number in Portugal and neither worked — the message says that calls to this country are not permitted, although Portugal is listed as an available country code. Could it be because they don’t list any prefixes for the country?

  5. MarcAnthony says:

    Okay, so I just got off the phone, clear call…I talked for about 25 minutes I guess…The first attempt didn’t go through, i called 011-52-393-*******, and the call didn’t go thourhg, my second attempt was to Mexico D. F., and the call went through (011-52-55-etc).
    I talked to my cousins and an aunt, and now im happy!

    Now i just need to wait and see if my bill will show a charge!

  6. Johnie says:

    The WTF here is the pork belly bill that created this kickback scheme. Why should I have to pay a higher tax/surcharge on my cell phone so that other people can call international for free?

  7. Hitchcock says:

    I tried it for Thailand, it gave me an error message saying calls to the country are not permitted, even though Thailand and the prefix are both on the list.

  8. Hitchcock says:

    Just tried calling a Taiwan number with the 886 prefix, and again it didn’t work saying that country was not allowed.

  9. Hitchcock says:

    Just called both Taiwan and Thailand using this number. 712-945-1111 Its from a competing service and works just the same as the number The Consumerist posted.

  10. hoosier45678 says:

    I live in Iowa and from my home phone it is cheaper to place a call to London, Taipei, or Mexico City than to call a 712 number. Oh well.

  11. lettuce says:

    So since I have VOIP service, I currently get free long distance throughout the US.

    If this company gets paid solely on the long distance charges I would incur by calling Iowa, everyone with free long distance/VOIP could circumvent any money he would get paid, but still get the free long distance.

    Or am I missing something?

  12. JasonOnlo says:

    Wow! I just called my cousin in Germany! Nice, thanks.

    Another good freebie is 1-800-Free-411 : Free411 from any phone. It beats a $2-3 call to my phone companies 411.

  13. paddy says:

    So wait. You’re a consumer advocate, but you’re ok with exploiting a loophole created by faulty lawmaking and which I (and other less- or un-aware) citizens eventually have to pay for anyway?

  14. Amy Alkon says:

    I tried to call France and the number was busy, as was the alternate number I called (and it wasn’t today, so it isn’t like I was being crowded out by Consumerist readers). I generally use 1016868 to call…7.9 cents a minute to France to home phones, about 20 cents a minute to mobiles. 1019898 is supposed to be cheaper, but I found the recording would give a price for the call as one thing and it would appear on my bill higher later. Never lower!

  15. R J says:

    @ Elizabeth,

    Your skepticism is understood. However, I have been using another Iowa based Free Calling service for all my call traffic to Europe and it works and works well. [Not Just Cricket: Free International Calls to over 50 coun...]

  16. Jimmer says:

    FuturePhone (www.futurephone.com) offers a similar service. Also Iowa based.

    See also Pogue’s NYT post about it here:
    http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/10/19/19pogue-email

    Use these while they last I say, ’cause you know that Universal Service Fund is not bottomless – nor is the fund of taxpayer patience..

  17. RJ, thanks for the link! I’ll have to try it calling the in-laws tonight. The other services didn’t offer Japan for some reason.

    Until now, we’ve been using MSN messenger for voicechat or video chat to get around the bills. I like that you can use your cell to call internationally though…that is a huge help…

  18. R J says:

    @ Crayonshinobi:

    I am sure you saw it, but just in case, these Iowa based services probably will not connect to any cell/mobile numbers – these calls probably make their deal go straight outta the window.

  19. Cap says:

    hmm. never wanted to bother calling verizon wireless before to get rid of the $0.50 universal service charge on my bill, but now I do…

  20. relojoe says:

    Just tried calling Germany. Recording said that calls to this country are not permitted.

  21. JasonOnlo says:

    Very cool. I called once and it didn’t work. Second time I got through to relatives in Germany.
    Another cool free service I’ve been using a lot is Free411. It’s like the 411 you pay $2 for on your phone, but this is completely free. 1-800-Free-411

  22. nan says:

    Interesting! Thanks for the link! Something I definitely want to try.

    I don’t even have a land line anymore, so I wonder if t-mobile would catch on if I only called the number during my free weekends/nights or if people started adding this number to their “myfaves”? Then it would really be unlimited and free, right?

    Thanks again! I just called my brother in France! =)

  23. nan says:

    Aw, it cut off my edit. Sorry about that. I called my brother in France, then remembered that I don’t actually like talking to my family. So I probably won’t be using this service further.

  24. fwang says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I tried this service and it is always busy.
    I found another site to call relatives in Beijing. I think they support like 50 countries as well.
    Same concept:
    Dial 712-945-4444
    At the prompt, enter 011, country code, and the number to call
    End with # sign.

    the service is from http://www.freephonecallz.com

  25. misterstimulation says:

    FYI :: This service doesn’t seem to be available. I tried calling all the numbers listed from my cell phone (Sprint) and all of them have been disconnected. Are free calls gone for good? I really need to know b/c I’m trying to call the UK today!

  26. technobod says:

    These free call services via Iowa have all been pulled by the operators since they are facing a multi-million dollar law suit from AT&T amongst others to recover the termination fees paid out. AT&T are arguing that they do not have to pay the termination fees because the call does not actually terminate in Iowa, rather it terminates overseas. This point is arguable, but with the firepower of the big telcos, realistically this way of making free calls is probably over.

    Interestingly, there are companies in the UK (such as http://www.call2abroad.com and http://www.dialabroad.co.uk/mobileplus) who offer free international calls using your cellphone monthly bundled minutes.