The browser version you’re using appears to be out of date. For a better browsing experience and to properly view
all the features of our website, as well as others, please upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer.
Federal Navigation
mybell.bell.ca
EN
ON

Select a language

Select a region

Save my selections
Search
Store Locator

Find a store

Search
Login navigation
Log in / Register
Selected search filter All topics

How to use Canada Direct to make long distance calls from overseas

Contact us

How to make a call with Canada Direct

Canada Direct is an automated service that lets you call Canada and other countries from overseas but pay a set rate in Canadian currency instead of foreign rates.

To make a call:

  1. Dial the Canada Direct access number for the country you are calling from (the "in-country" access number).
  2. Follow the voice prompts to choose your language and payment method.
  3. Use your Bell Calling Card, Family Contact card, or Prepaid card to pay for your call. If you're calling Canada, you may also call collect.

If you have any problems, just dial "0" and a Canadian operator will be there to help you.

Hints and tips

  • In a hotel, follow the instructions to get an outside line, then dial the in-country access number. Although the Canada Direct service is toll-free for hotels, some may still charge a connection fee. Ask the front desk if there will be any surcharges.
  • If you're asked for your credit card number, do not provide it. You may be experiencing telephone fraud; find out how to protect yourself.
  • You can also use Canada Direct with a computer modem to send or receive faxes or e-mail.
  • When using a rotary phone, dial the in-country access number. After the voice prompts are finished, you'll be transferred to a Canada Direct operator.
  • If you often make calls from a country that commonly uses rotary phones, consider investing in a tone dialler. This device simulates touchtone dialling, so you can use the automated service instead of waiting for operator assistance. Tone diallers are available from home electronics stores.

Last Updated:01/10/2014

How to make a call with Canada Direct

Canada Direct is an automated service that lets you call Canada and other countries from overseas but pay a set rate in Canadian currency instead of foreign rates.

To make a call:

  1. Dial the Canada Direct access number for the country you are calling from (the "in-country" access number).
  2. Follow the voice prompts to choose your language and payment method.
  3. Use your Bell Calling Card, Family Contact card, or Prepaid card to pay for your call. If you're calling Canada, you may also call collect.

If you have any problems, just dial "0" and a Canadian operator will be there to help you.

Hints and tips

  • In a hotel, follow the instructions to get an outside line, then dial the in-country access number. Although the Canada Direct service is toll-free for hotels, some may still charge a connection fee. Ask the front desk if there will be any surcharges.
  • If you're asked for your credit card number, do not provide it. You may be experiencing telephone fraud; find out how to protect yourself.
  • You can also use Canada Direct with a computer modem to send or receive faxes or e-mail.
  • When using a rotary phone, dial the in-country access number. After the voice prompts are finished, you'll be transferred to a Canada Direct operator.
  • If you often make calls from a country that commonly uses rotary phones, consider investing in a tone dialler. This device simulates touchtone dialling, so you can use the automated service instead of waiting for operator assistance. Tone diallers are available from home electronics stores.

Last Update:01/10/2014


Canada Direct access numbers

To get a list of the access numbers:

  • Download a printable PDF file
  • Call 1 800 561-8868 to order one before you leave Canada.
  • Look for wallet card dispensers in the departure areas of major Canadian airports or at London's Heathrow Airport.

Access Number Updates

  • United States: to call Canada collect from the US using your Bell Calling Card, or to bill the call to a third-party number, dial 1 800 555-1111.
  • Mexico: some hotels may block the Canada Direct access number or reroute it through their switchboards to alternate operator service providers in the United States. If you're asked for your credit card number instead of your Calling Card number, do not provide it. Instead, try your call from another location. If this happens to you, please report it to a Canada Direct operator at 1 800 561-8868 when you return to Canada.

Last Update:01/10/2014


Using your modem

Using your laptop's modem while travelling may be trickier than you expect. Telecommunications systems and standards differ throughout the world. Your best approach is to become familiar with your own equipment, and with the technology available in your destination country.
Get to know how your modem works (and what noises it makes) before you travel. If you have a PC, find out which COM port it uses for the modem. Learning how to dial the modem manually could also save you time and aggravation. (This process will vary depending on your software.)


Last Update:01/10/2014


Problems using the access number

Canada Direct is a very reliable service, but there may be circumstances in which calls cannot be completed. If your call doesn't go through, here's what to do.

  1. Check your Canada Direct wallet card to make sure you’re dialling the correct number.
  2. Check that there are no service restrictions for the country you're dialling from (see your wallet card). In Saint Lucia, for example, Canada Direct calls can only be made from public payphones.
  3. If you're dialling the correct access number and still have problems, try another phone in a different location. For instance, if you're using a hotel phone, try a public phone instead. Make sure it is a true public payphone. If you're in an airport, try a different bank of phones

We want to give you the best service possible. If you encounter any problems, please let us know by calling a Canada Direct operator at 1 800 561-8868 when you get back to Canada.


Last Update:01/10/2014


Important information

Bell Canada takes telephone fraud very seriously. If a country is experiencing high levels of fraud, we may stop all Canada Direct calls from that country to protect you from unsolicited or unreasonable charges.
Be suspicious if the automated Canada Direct system is not available. A fraudulent operator might tell you that there's a problem with your Calling Card and ask for a credit card number. Do not provide any credit card information.

Precautions

Use common sense and take these simple steps to help protect yourself against fraud:

  1. Never give out your credit card number.
  2. Listen closely to operator-assisted calls. An automated attendant should answer:
    1. by saying "Welcome to Canada, Bienvenue au Canada"
    2. by offering to connect collect calls to Canada
  3. You should recognize the automated voice: it's the same one that gives your voicemail prompts.
  4. Ask the operator where he or she is located. Canada Direct operators are usually in Vancouver or Montreal - never in the United States.
  5. Ask what company the operator works for: the answer should be Bell Canada or Telus.

What to watch for

Bell operates national communication networks in Canada only. Some hotel operators have been known to subscribe to a service that re-routes Canada Direct calls to an alternate carrier. Instead of paying Bell Canada rates, you could end up paying rates up to seven times higher.

These charges may appear on your Bell bill when calls are placed from certain hotels, institutions or even countries that have agreements with one of these alternate carriers. The CRTC requires Bell to bill clients and collect funds on behalf of these carriers.

Always inquire about charges before making or accepting long distance or collect calls from outside Canada, especially when doing so from hotels.

Let us know if you suspect fraud

If you experience this type of problem while outside Canada, please call a Canada Direct operator at 1 800 561-8868 when you return and provide as much detail as possible. This will help us identify and work to correct the problem, and to provide other customers with current information before they travel.

Hints tips

If you're calling from a hotel, ask the front desk if there is any surcharge to call free phone numbers. Although the Canada Direct service is toll-free for hotels, some of them may still charge a connection fee. While this does not constitute fraud, it might surprise you on your hotel bill.


Last Update:01/10/2014


Was this article useful?


We would appreciate suggestions on how we can improve the content on our website.

Please note that we will not respond to the feedback you provide on this form. If you have questions about your service, please click the Contact us button above and select Other ways to contact us.

500 characters left.

My articles Info

"Recently viewed articles" automatically lists pages you view. Click "Save to my articles" on an article page to store it under "Saved articles."

Recently viewed articles

Saved articles