Private Payphones - (PPs)
                           Quick Tricks by Bender

Every day more and more hotels, pubs, restaurants and shops are installing their own privately-bought payphones. Unlike with a regular BT provided payphone, the owner of the site where the telephone is installed can set up any charges he likes for calls.

Usually the greedy bastards set the highest rate that they can get away with. Luckily for you and me it is this GREED which is their downfall. Not only do they overcharge for calls but they save money by not asking BT for a dedicated payphone line (DPL).

You probably know that on these PPs the microphone of the telephone stays muted until you insert money. Now you probably think that I'm going to tell you how to wire up your own frigging amplifier and mic to the payphone in order to defeat the muted mic! Yeah I've seen those stupid text files too.

What those "amplifier" text files fail to mention is that not only would you be standing there looking like Bruno Bastard Brookes, but the phone would soon hang up if you didn't put some money in.

On most PPs, you only have 20-30 seconds to insert money after you dial your last digit. I've managed to fool the phone for another 40 seconds or so by tapping at the 1 button every few seconds.

Tricking the phone into giving you free listening time might be handy if you needed to call something like an 0891 Racing Results line or some such - I mention an 0891 number as opposed to an 0898 because somehow I can't see you having a wank at a payphone, (especially not the one at your local Burger King.)

Oh, by the way, no matter what number you dial, regular or premium, if the other end answers, the payphone owner still gets billed for first unit. Handy if you don't like the people who run your neighbourhood off-licence.

BUT the thing that I really like about Private Payphones is that you can call up your friend with your last 10p, and get him to call you back Reverse Charges, I've done this loads of times. The only time that I've known it to fail is if the owner has paid the extra for a dedicated payphone line (about 5% of places). Even when they've done that I've found that I can call friends in the States (with a card) and ask them to call me back COLLECT! But that can often be done from regular BT call boxes anyway, you knew that already, didn't ya??


PS - If you don't know the number of the payphone you intend to use call up directory enquiries (from a regular BT payphone - it's free) and ask them for all the numbers at that address, or try 174 / 175.