All of my credit cards and ATM cards on the back state:
"To reach us outside the US, please call collect xxx-xxx-xxxx".
However, what they don't tell you is that collect calling is -impossible- in many countries. It just doesn't exist.
The phone market in India and Sri Lanka is dominated by private phone centers = i.e. a shop wiuth 2 phone booths inside. None of these companies are willing to let you use their payphones without charging you, even if in theory, they are not paying for the call.
Thankfully, Skype makes it quite easy to call the US at dirt cheap rates. Not sure what I'd do without VOIP though.
Thank you Internet