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Hallucinogenic bug bites and calling when overseas

So I'm in Western Australia 4x4ing, snorkeling, and fossil hunting in the remote Outback for 6 days. I come back into civilization tired from sleeping in a landcruiser all week and feeling filthy. I find a mom-and-pop hotel in a small town north of Perth but nobody is at reception and I have to call a number to get them. I have a strong signal and am on an AT&T iPhone XS with Daypass International Calling and was receiving and sending data.

I try all kinds of combinations of numbers... calling with 011 then the Aussie country code, and just what looks like the local number, and what looks like the local number plus the local area code. I try every combination of country codes and area codes and local number imaginable; Nothing works. What's really bizarre, is when my iPhone said "dialing..." and told me what number it was dialing, the number was totally different than I had just entered. Same thing happened the next day in Perth; a 1st world (and glorious!) city of 2 million people. I think the service was "VodaPhone"

I'm going to Spain as soon as they start letting Americans in again and I'd like to call to Spanish hotels from my iPhone while in Spain. QUESTION: Is there some trick to calling an overseas number while overseas from an American phone?

Perhaps my experience in Perth was a fluke. Or perhaps I was hallucinating from prolonged dehydration.... or maybe that strange bug that bit me; who knows.

Posted by
9631 posts

Get a local SIM card for your phone or buy a cheap extra phone for the SIM.

Posted by
4655 posts

I have noticed though that some countries have weird little quirks.
For example in Bulgaria when you are dialing locally you have to
"know" to add a zero in front of the area code. Like if you were
calling the apple store from abroad you would dial 359 88 687 7263,
but from within Bulgaria 088 687 7263. Not sure if this is common or

That is very common.

Posted by
1620 posts

On iPhone dial assist can be found under

Settings>>>phone>>>scroll down to dial assist. Toggle on or off as needed.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you for your replies everyone; the information you gave me was very, very helpful. I have printed this tread out and will take it with me to Spain (whenever they reopen). When I make my first successful call, I shall thank all of you from afar :)


Posted by
30291 posts

george has changed his shirt and is now harry. Same spam though

Posted by
6512 posts

Interesting thread. Intriguing title of original post, which turned out to be a legitimate and helpful thread of call dialing information, then apparently turned into a bunch of bogus (now removed) spam.