What to do if you can't make long-distance, toll-free or 900-number calls

If you can't make long distance calls, do you know for certain that ALL calls are impacted? Maybe the service issue is only affecting specific numbers or certain types of calls. Alternately, maybe there's a block on your line that's stopping you from making a long distance call.

Start with the basics

When you call in for help, the agent asks you a series of basic troubleshooting questions. The questions are largely the same for everyone who calls in with a similar problem. That's because working through the questions (and answers) helps zero in on the cause of so many problems.  

Before you go further, start with the basics and figure out if the problem you're experiencing is connected to specific number or certain types of calls.

Check your line for blocks

Some calling features block outgoing calls. If you're calling from a phone that has some sort of block on it, you may not be able to get through to the person you want. Individuals and businesses can request specific numbers -- and even categories of numbers -- be blocked.

Fraud blocks

Our fraud department monitors the CenturyLink Long Distance network. Accounts with unusually high usage are flagged, and sometimes services are suspended pending further review.

Nonpayment block

We typically block long distance service on delinquent accounts. (Read "If your payment is late" for additional information.)

Account codes

Account codes are used to prevent unauthorized persons from making long distance calls. This type of restriction is most commonly found in the business world, but individuals sometimes request it for home accounts. If you're dialing from a line that requires a long distance account code, you'll hear a voice prompt when you try to dial a long distance number. Simply follow the recorded instructions, and your call should go through.

Long Distance (Toll) restrictions

Businesses such as hotels, hospitals and universities use these types of blocks to restrict people who are using their facilities from calling long distance and 900 numbers.

Individuals can also request this type of restriction for home accounts. Toll blocks are frequently used by customers who are having problems with 800/900 services or who have a history of local calls being billed as long distance.

Restricted toll calls:

  • Domestic long distance (1+)
  • International long distance (011+)
  • Information services (700 / 900 / 960 / 976)
  • Operator Assistance (0)
  • CenturyLink Complete-A-Call

Unrestricted (non-toll) calls:

  • Emergency (911)
  • Local calls
  • Toll free (800)
  • Access to carrier (950)
  • Directory Assistance (411 or 555-1212)*
  • Repair (620)

*Varies by location

Note: If you have a toll block on your line, sometimes you can use a special access number (given to you when you set up the block) to reach a restricted number. The access number is usually an 800 number and/or a local 950+ number.

International restrictions

As the name indicates, this type of restriction limits your ability to reach international, direct-dialed numbers.

Specifically, it:

  • Restricts calls beginning with 011+ and 101XXXX011+
  • Allows calls placed with an area code (242-NXX-XXXX for Bahamas)

IMPORTANT

If we are not your current long distance provider, we will not be able to help you. You will need to contact your LD carrier for assistance.

If you're not sure who your long distance provider is, it's easy to find out by making 2 quick phone calls.

Since you can have different providers for in-state and out-of-state long distance calls, you will need to call both these numbers to find out who your provider(s) is:

  • In-state long distance: Dial (your area code) 700-4141
  • Out-of-state long distance: Dial (700) 555-4141

When you call, an automated voice will answer and say, "Thank you for calling X." This is your long distance provider.