I've always called home collect the first (or second, sorry Mom) day I arrive wherever I'm going, and then again just before I leave. It always seemed a convenient, reasonable way to communicate - cheaper than putting my money or credit card into the pay phone, and less wasteful than buying a phone card for a 5-minute call.
Good luck trying to call home collect now. I don't think anyone will answer. My Dad tells me the 2 five-minute calls I made from Caen, Normandy to Montreal in November cost him almost $200 Canadian. That's about $10 a minute! What's up with that? I remember the phone booth stating that any call on a credit card would be charged $10 a minute. I should have taken the hint.
Is France just rediculously priced? Have I been living in a cave? Anyone else been surprised by an absolutely unreasonable charge - phone-call or otherwise?
Welcome to the world of mobile communications, T!!!
I'm not familiar with calling from other countries outside of Canada and the Caribbean, so I can' speak to that issue. But, I do know that collect calling and calls placed using a phone company issued calling card have become increasingly expensive. With the advent of the "generic" calling cards (available anywhere), mobile phones, and the cheap long distance calling plans - phone companies have increased the collect-call charges dramatically to compensate for lost profit through the above-mentioned items.
I know most of our phone companies have also moved into the cellular phone business and it generates a large percentage of profit for them. By increasing the cost of certain services, it makes the consumer rethink their communication options. They would love to have you switch to their mobile service. So, it looks like the 5-minute calling card isn't that bad after all (anymore)...
Calling cards are a good way to call, not expensive and some of them are quite good. Always cheaper than calling collect!! You can find a million websites that sell them; i like this one: prepaidcall.com
YOu also avoid calling from hotels which is also VERY expensive usually.