Herald JournalHerald Journal, Dec. 15, 2003

Sprint won't charge for misdialed metro call numbers

By Lynda Jensen

Howard Lake callers who are using the new metro calling feature available in the 543 calling exchange will not be charged long distance if they dial a "1" in front of the number, said Sprint representative Karyn Gibson.

"They should do it without the "1," Gibson advised; however, for callers who forget to leave out the "1," there will be no long distance charge for the call, she said.

Callers who continue to use the number one will eventually cause problems for the telephone company by doing this, Gibson said.

"I can't guarantee it won't screw up switching the call," Gibson said. "But it won't cost them anything."

Callers should dial the 10-digit number, for example, (320) 543-2131.

There are small portions of a few area codes, such as 763 and 651, that share local and long distance calling areas, Gibson noted.

For these area codes, dial the "1" if the number is long distance, and dial the 10-digit number for the local calls, she said.

The call won't go through if the number is long distance and the "1" isn't dialled first, Gibson added.

Metro calling allows users to dial many different phone numbers from the metro area without long distance.

For callers with 543 numbers, it means most of the Twin Cities area will be considered local rather than long distance, she said.

It also means their basic phone bills went up about $10.24 per residential line or $20.50 for business lines.

Previously, about two-thirds of Howard Lake callers voted to add the metro area into the local calling exchange, which was announced by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

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