Telephones

Chile


The country dialing code for Chile is 0056

Public Telephones

Public Telephones in Chile are now almost non-existent. My advice is that if you do find one, to try and avoid it like the plague, especially the ones in the middle of the street. It has been scientifically proven that there is a 50% chance that the machine will gobble your coin. Put a small 10 peso coin in first and if it falls through and goes into the coin return, it is normally safe. Why does this happen? Some unscrupulous characters have found ways to block the phone slots and then fish the coins out with a piece of wire. If the wire doesn't work, a lot of kicking and banging of the side of the phone box will normally do the trick.


International Calls

Prices are constantly changing and there is no one place where you can see all the different international call rates. You might want to try calling from a call center rather than from a public or private phone since they usually have the cheapest rates.


Call Centers (Centro de llamadas)

Over the last couple of years there have been a lot of Call Centers sprouting up everywhere. They generally offer the best rates for international and national calls. Calls usually take place in your own private booth. In the center of Santiago beside the main cathedral, there are many call centers with many specializing in calls and money transfers to Peru. You will also find them fairly easily in Providencia.


Emergency Service Telephone Numbers in Chile

The three main emergency services have three different phones numbers:

Ambulance: 131 Fire Brigade: 132 Police: 133

These numbers can be called for free from any phone.

Something funny (actually it's quite serious) that I discovered is that if you ask a typical Chilean the phone number for the fire brigade, no-one really remembers. So if their house if burning down, they will have to save their phone book or the yellow pages first to find the right number. If you don't believe me, try it some time.

An easy way to remember them yourself is the following: (knowing a little Spanish will help)

Ambulancia (Ambulance) - Bomberos (Fire Brigade) - Carabineros (Local Police)

Notice the first letter of each word in Spanish, they are A, B and C. The last digits of the phone numbers are 1, 2, 3.

Ambulancia (A) - 131

Bomberos (B) - 132

Carabineros (C) - 133


Cell Phones / Mobile Phones

In Chile a Cell phone (or mobile phone) is called a 'Celular'.

There are three main companies that provide Cell phones: Movistar, Claro and Entel. There isn't much difference between the three as they offer similar services and deals.

One of the best ways of using cell phones is buying pre-paid cards which start at CHP$1000. Pre-paid phones are easier to pass on to fellow travelers when you leave the country.

Cellphones numbers in Chile normally begin with 08 or 09. When you dial from one cell phone to another you don't put the 0 at the beginning. If you have friends or family calling your cell phone from overseas, they will need to dial 00569 or 00568 (without the 0 after the country code).



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