What is call splashing?
When you place a long-distance call from a public phone (a payphone, hotel, or airport phone, for example) your call may be routed to a distant call center before being "handed off" to your preferred long-distance company, which might - unintentionally or intentionally - bill you as if your call originated from the distant call center rather than the actual location. As a result, you may be charged a higher long-distance rate than you expected.
Is call splashing legal?
A telephone company is permitted to base charges on an artificial point of origination if you:
- Request to be transferred to a different company's operator
- Are informed (before incurring any charges) that the call may be billed as if it originated elsewhere
- Consent to the transfer
How can I avoid being splashed?
- Listen carefully to the telephone operator and don't consent to any call transfers unless you understand what the operator is asking.
- Carefully read your phone bill to ensure the origination and destination locations of your long-distance phone calls are correct.
- If your phone call has been billed at a higher rate without your consent, file a complaint with your long-distance company.
- If you are unable to resolve the matter with your preferred long-distance company, you can file a complaint with the FCC.
Call Splashing Guide (pdf)