reverse charge calls industry 1800 PHONEHOME

History Of The Reverse Charge Calls Industry In Australia

In 1967 an American telecommunications company rolled out the first 1800 number. This would impact positively on the reverse charge calls industry.  By automating the calls through the introduction of 1800 numbers, the workload in processing the calls would be reduced. The company was AT&T. The company initiated several firsts in the telecommunications industry in the USA.

Automated Reverse Charge Calls

It was not always the case that reverse charge calls were automated. The person making the reverse charge call (Party A) would call a telecommunications provider and speak to an operator. The operator would take your name and the number of the person (Party B) you wanted to call. The operator would call the Party B and ask if they would accept the call and pay the charges. On agreement the operator would connect Party A and Party B and the call would proceed. The charges for the reverse charge call would appear on Party B’s monthly home phone account. This of course was to fixed lines only. (Landlines or home phones are also referred to as fixed lines). This process was very laborious! Totally labour intensive.

The Call Volume of Reverse Charge Calls

Reverse charge calls were numerous. The operators were overwhelmed because it took a lot of time to process the volume of reverse charge calls. That company with the introduction of 1800 numbers solved their problem. 1800 numbers have always been an indicator that the call to a fixed line is free. The ‘intelligence’ behind these 1800 numbers allowed a reverse charge call to proceed automatically. This lessened the load of the reverse charge calls volume undertaken by the operator. The introduction of 1800 numbers, although slow to become popular, transformed the reverse charge call industry. Business and industry generally, took up 1800 numbers in a significant way. This phenomenon also contributed to improving connectivity between business and consumers. Products and services were able to be marketed more successfully because of improved communication.

So What Happened In Australia With The Reverse Charge Call Industry?

The telecommunications industry leader in Australia is Telstra. Telstra has had a few name changes and shake ups but it was that company that did all the reverse charge calls in the laborious way described above. However,  all industry inventions, innovations, practices and procedures from other countries (particularly the USA) end up being adopted here. So Telstra after seeing the massive advantages of the implementation of 1800 numbers in the USA, also implemented the 1800 numbers here.

The 1800 Number Prefix

The 1800 numbers were made available to industry generally. Telstra used them in the reverse charge calls industry. Telstra also used other number formations. But now it is generally regarded that a reverse charge call number has a 1800 prefix which denotes that it is a free call. And it should be that way. If you are making a reverse charge call then you obviously do not have the money to make a call to an operator.

Telstra had the monopoly in this arena. It had its universal obligations to meet:

which was to provide in all ways efficient and effective communications ability to the people of Australia.

1800 Reverse Charge Call Numbers

1800 Reverse

One event in 2000 turned the reverse charge calls industry upside down. 1800 Reverse (a memorable phonename) started a reverse charge call service to fixed lines. With heavy television advertising and using well known sports and movie stars, 1800 Reverse grabbed the major part of the reverse charge call business in Australia. At the time (and still today) 1800 Reverse has an arrangement with Telstra to bill the reverse charge call to a fixed line to the person’s monthly fixed line bill. In terms of telephony devices, that is what most people had in 2000…a fixed line. 1800 Reverse became a listed company (ASX:REF) called Reverse Corp. They held their strong position for a long time. The REF shares sky rocketed with tens of millions of dollars spent on reverse charge calls.

1800 Mumdad

With mobile phones becoming increasingly popular, another operator started 1800 Mumdad. 1800 Mumdad implemented reverse charge calls to mobile phones. This was a first. 1800 Mumdad held a good part of that market until 1800 Reverse also commenced billing to mobile phones.

1800 Mumdad and 1800 Reverse were able to bill to mobile phones because of the advent of some significant technologies. The main one being premium sms billing.

The issue of zero rating from a mobile phone to a 1800 number was not yet widespread. Zero rating only existed via special arrangements made with specific carriers. The reverse charge calls industry was evolving into a very interesting arena.

1800 PhoneHome

Along the way 1800 PHONEHOME entered the reverse charge calls industry. 1800 PHONEHOME introduced some price competition with their catch cry of “Save a Buck or Two!”

On the one hand there was 1800 Reverse that had the major share of reverse charge calls to fixed lines. On the other hand there was the innovative 1800 Mumdad who initiated reverse charge calls to mobiles. 1800 Mumdad  held their ground for a long time. And probably still does in terms of the major share of reverse charge calls to mobiles.

Free Calls From Mobiles To 1800 Numbers

One major event leveled the playing field in 2014. All the three phonename reverse charge call services benefited from the ACMA and mobile carriers agreeing to self regulate and free rate calls to 1800 numbers from mobiles. Only fixed lines could call a 1800 number for free.

Now all the three players 1800 Reverse, 1800 Mumdad and 1800 PHONEHOME compete equally in the reverse charge calls to mobiles arena. Previously, only some carriers allowed free rating to 1800 numbers for some of the reverse charge call services.

What Does The Future Hold For The Reverse Charge Calls Industry

In brief, voice commoditisation essentially means that voice or talk is becoming cheaper and cheaper. Additionally, carriers charge up their plans with plenty of talk minutes. Furthermore, it’s largely about data now. Also ‘free talk’ apps abound. (They are not really free because they use data). Social media platforms are springing up everywhere. Free texting apps etc are a dime a dozen. In conclusion, it does seem that the reverse charge calls industry could one day just disappear.  With unlimited data plans and wide spread wifi hot spots, it seems that reverse charge calls will just be a thing of the past.



The Reverse Charge Call by 1800 PHONEHOME

Make The Reverse Charge Call If Necessary

Anyone, anywhere could find themselves in a situation where they need to make a reverse charge call. The biggest and the best reason would be that you need to make an urgent call to a family member or friend and you are out of credit. And to top it off your battery is dead.

Any Payphones About?

Yes. There’s one. Oops…I do not have any change. Furthermore, I left my wallet at home. So I can’t even use my credit card to pay for a call. I just have to call my friend to say that I am running late. He will probably go to the show without me if I do not call him. Ah ha! I remember the reverse charge call service that had something to do with ET. Yes…1800 PHONEHOME! That’s it. So just dial the number from the payphone.

Just Dial The Numbers For The Reverse Charge Call Service

The letters on the key pads on your mobile phone will spell the name of the service. So dial 1800 and then press 7 for the P, and 4 for the H etc. 1800 PHONEHOME is 1800 746634. It’s so simple to use. Just follow the prompts in this fast and simple service. Read all about how to make the call here:

As a last resort the reverse charge call services in this country can get you out of a jam. More importantly, if a child is left in a situation without credit or battery power these services are great to have around.





Reverse Charge Call Obligations 1800 PHONEHOME

Reverse Charge Call Obligations

First of all, reverse charge call obligations…your obligations…are an important part of making a reverse charge call. The service you use certainly wants your business. However, it is important to remember your obligations and responsibilities in using these services are part of the total process. As a minimum, the service may prevent you from using the service. It may bar you from placing a call or receiving a call.


Here is a summary of what 1800 PHONEHOME requires of you as a user of its service:

When using this service, you will ensure that you and others comply at all times with all laws and obligations etc. Furthermore, you must also comply with any other requirements of any government or statutory authority.

Your Obligations

1800 PHONEHOME with its interactive voice recording system may ask you to provide information in the process of making a reverse charge call (Party A) or accepting a reverse charge call (Party B). In all cases, Party A and Party B will provide correct and true information so that the service functions as it is intended to function. This is to ensure that the appropriate and correct charges may be levied to the relevant party.

The Summary of the SFOA and the SFOA of 1800 PHONEHOME


Furthermore, the terms and conditions of every reverse call service is published on its website. It will detail the service it will deliver to you. Additionally, it will also expect certain behaviours from you the user.

The ACMA Comments on Reverse Charge Calls and Your Obligations and Other Matters

“A Standard Form of Agreement (SFOA) is a type of contract. It sets out the terms and conditions of the product or service. The SFOA is for use with generic products and plans where a personalised customer contract is not necessary. You don’t need to sign an SFOA as it applies once you commence using the product or service. They must also publish all relevant terms and conditions for their telecommunications products on their website.”

In conclusion, there is some further interesting reading here:


1800 PHONEHOME... Reverse Calls to Mobiles!

Reverse Calls From Mobiles

Firstly there are reverse calls from mobiles, to mobiles or on mobiles! It’s a mobile world. In the not to distant future, everything will be mobile… and smart. In addition, mobile searches have outstripped searches on desktop and tablet.  Furthermore, searches on mobile phones, number in the billions each year.

Read here:

Searches for reverse charge calls or reverse calls or reverse charge call numbers have not changed much in any region. Therefore, this would indicate that people still use these services as and when they need them. Here is one of the three most popular phonename reverse charge call services in Australia:

Mobile World Congress 2018

Especially relevant to the mobile scene is this huge event that had all the news about mobile phones and the digital arena. Read about it here:

The Future of Devices

In conclusion, by 2020, there will be about 4 internet-connected devices for every person on Earth comprising the Internet of Things. Also, the growth of the IoT is being powered by more 5G access and falling costs, and will equalize opportunities for more people.

Read more:

Will we still use reverse charge call services in the next few years? Who knows?



Reverse Calls and Premium SMS Billing

When you accept a reverse charge call on a mobile phone you need to pay for the call. So, you are accepting the call and willing to pay the charges of the reverse call. Furthermore, reverse calls and premium sms billing go hand in hand. The reverse call service provider like 1800 PHONEHOME:

has an arrangement with the respective mobile carriers to bill you for the call. It is the mechanism that facilitates payment.

Between the person calling and the person called there is a platform that manages the call. The caller puts in the desired mobile number and says their name. The platform dials out to that number and the called person accepts the call. The charges start to be delivered via a sms indicator and the longer the call the more you will be charged. Most reverse charge call services limit the time of the call.

More Information About Premium SMS

This is an interesting read:

“Mobile premium services provide information and entertainment services that are delivered to your mobile phone and cost more than standard SMS (text message) or MMS (multimedia message).

Premium services include:

  • mobile ringtones
  • mobile wallpaper
  • online games
  • chat services
  • SMS voting / competitions
  • horoscopes
  • age-restricted content
  • news, sports and weather updates
  • music and video clips.

Accordingly, when accessing these services you may need to download data from the internet. Furthermore, your phone company may charge you a download fee on top of the premium service charge. Check the terms and conditions of your contract.”

More information here:

Most noteworthy, is that reverse charge calls are not mentioned in the above list. Perhaps they could fall under “chat servcies”… which of course they are not.




The reverse calls sector is a very small part of the Australian telecommunications industry. The revenues generated by this industry is in the tens of billions of dollars. The reverse charge call sector generates less than ten million dollars in revenues. Will the reverse calls sector survive the onslaught of ‘free call’ applications that provide communication ability in many different ways? It is called voice commoditisation. There are apps that allow data calls, texting and more. Additionally, family and friends stay in touch via social media platforms. Furthermore, free wifi spots are abundant in the cities and mobile plans are getting cheaper and cheaper.

The Importance of Maintaining the Option of Reverse Calls.

Population increases have driven up mobile phone numbers. Added to this, is the number of people having two or more mobile phones. However, the prediction of mobile phone growth is that it will be very slow over the next five years. The subscriber rates are predicted to rise only slightly above the projected population increase. It does mean however that the number of mobile phones will be significant with the usual large proportion of the mobiles being on prepaid plans. A prepaid phone can always run out of credit. Hence the continued need for reverse call services is essential.

Read here to see articles about the reverse call sector:



How Many Are There?

Reverse call numbers in Australia are actually a mixture of numbers and phonenames. There are even more services than are listed below but the main players (which are phonename numbers) are as follows: 1800PHONEHOME, 1800Mumdad, 1800Reverse and 1800Nocash.

Additionally, there are reverse call numbers, that is, digits. Therefore, it’s not that relevant to discuss them in this article as they are relatively unknown. Some telecommunication services simply have reverse call numbers to fulfill their obligations to provide communication services to the public. There were subsidies in the past to assist with the obligations. This, however, is coming to an end. Read here:

The Phonename Services


1800PHONEHOME started a few years ago to create some price competition among the other services. 1800 PHONEHOME bills to mobiles and has competitive prices when compared to the prices of 1800Mumdad and 1800Reverse.


1800Mumdad was the first reverse call service to bill to mobiles, ahead of 1800Reverse and 1800Nocash. Both the latter services have added reverse calls to mobiles over the last few years.


1800Reverse was the first phonename reverse charge call service in Australia. Until 1800Reverse appeared one could only call Telstra or Optus or other provider numbers. 1800Reverse billed to fixed lines initially and marketed their service with well known personalities. 1800Reverse publicly listed on the ASX (Reverse Corp: REF) several years ago and is now moving into other industries.


1800Nocash is a service Telstra offers to make reverse charge calls. Telstra also has a reverse call number that can be used in lieu of the 1800Nocash phonename.

General Information

In conclusion, all the above four phonename services are automated services. Furthermore, they are simple to use. Just dial and follow the prompts.




Will I accept the reverse call? It’s every parent’s nightmare. Because the reverse call is so expensive these days, people, probably mostly parents, are disinclined to accept the call. The way the reverse charge call industry has developed over the last few years has been to the detriment of the users of the service. Since the deregulation of the telecommunications industry, prices have been dropping significantly for pretty well all services, except in this industry. Take for example a fairly inexpensive plan with a provider that ‘rides on the back’ of one of the big telecommunication companies like Telstra or Optus.

The Reseller of the Mobile Minutes

The provider buys mobile time in bulk and then resells the minutes in packages called plans. Some of these providers like Amaysim:

have plans that give you unlimited fixed line and mobile calls to standard Australian numbers for very little cost. Plus they add in some data. This would have been very expensive a decade ago but now through deregulation, which is all about competition, it is almost as “cheap as chips”.

The Cost of a Reverse Call

Say for example you are a parent. Let’s say you accept just one reverse charge call per month. If you talk for just two minutes, that call could cost you as much as $15. For less than that $15, you could easily buy your child a monthly plan that would give them unlimited phone calls and unlimited texting to standard Australian numbers. That means they could call you direct to your mobile or fixed line anytime during the month. That plan for your child would cost just $10!

Why Pay for an Expensive Reverse Call?

Why would you as a parent pay more for a couple of reverse charge calls to your mobile, rather than organise a mobile phone for your child so they could call or text you any time for less.

If you must accept a reverse call tell your child to use the cheapest of the three well known phonename reverse charge call services. See details here:




Reverse calls in Australia are fairly simple to make. I do not know of any other country where there are three phonename 1800 reverse charge call operators. These three Australian services compete mainly on price and they are 1800 PHONEHOME, 1800 Mumdad and 1800 Reverse.

All the above services are automated and all you have to do, after you have decided which one you want to use, is dial the number. From there on just follow the prompts and the system does the rest. Of course the person you are calling needs to accept the charges so the call can be completed.

Reverse Calls in Australia are Expensive

Firstly, go to the respective services and check out the rates that they charge to make a reverse call to a mobile phone. You will see immediately that 1800 PHONEHOME is up to 40% cheaper for a one minute reverse call in Australia. Check out the rates here:

In brief, although reverse calls in Australia are expensive you may need to make one in an emergency. So familiarise yourself with the reverse call charges so that you can make that urgent call if you need to.

Mobile Phone Plans

Finally, if you plan your mobile phone usage, you can probably avoid making reverse calls. It’s important to familiarise yourself with your mobile charge structure so you don’t exceed your limit.

Rates for phone calls and text messages (SMS) can vary depending on who you are calling, and the type of mobile charge structure you are using.

Read this informative article here:




Reverse Calls and Payphones

No Credit on your Mobile?

First of all, you have run out of credit on your mobile phone with a prepaid plan. Perhaps you have left your mobile at your friend’s house. Maybe your mobile has no battery power left. So how are you going to call someone to pick you up from the fair? Reverse calls and payphones! You can make a reverse charge call from a payphone. How many payphones are there around Australia? There are quite a few payphones about.

Universal Obligations of Carriers

Furthermore, payphones are usually in high traffic areas where they generate reasonable profits for the owners. Also they could be in remote locations where the major Australian telecommunications carrier (Telstra) has universal obligations. Hence, Telstra must assist them to stay connected.

“(Most of all) Payphones have traditionally been part of the delivery mechanism to meet this obligation,” he said.

“Despite the proliferation of mobile phones there are some communities… which rely on payphones.” You can read more here:

Location of Telstra Payphones

Especially relevant is if you need a payphone, here is a link so you can work out where the location of a Telstra payphone is near you:

Finally, it’s quite a simple matter to make a reverse charge call from a payphone. So, just dial your favourite reverse charge call service. For example 1800 PHONEHOME and follow the prompts. It’s fast and easy.

In conclusion, check out all about reverse charge calls at this link: