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Last-call return, also known as call return, is a telephone feature offered by telephone service providers to give a called party the time and telephone number of the last received call, and may also offer the facility to place a call back to the calling party.
The feature is typically listed as "Last Call Return" or "Call Return", particularly in communication companies' publications. The general public tends to refer to the service by the telephone feature code, the telephone number it has in their country; for example, in the UK it is called "1471".
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The access number for this facility varies per country and provider:
- United States and Canada: star code *69; 1169 on rotary phone/pulse dial telephones. The prompt voice behind most U.S. AT&T implementations of this feature is Pat Fleet.
- Australia: *10# for Telstra services or *69 on Optus HFC Telephony network. This only allows one to return the last unanswered call, and can cost 35 cents per use.
- France: 3131
- Israel: *42
- Japan: 1361 to get number, 1363 to call back.
- United Kingdom: 1471 (also used in Gibraltar, Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands and the Falkland Islands)
In the UK, after dialing "1471", the caller can press "3" to automatically return the call. Until August 2004, this service was free; since that date it has incurred a charge, as of 10 January 2007 a per call fee of 10.5 pence is charged. This has since risen to 17.7 pence. Unfortunately, the recorded message inviting the caller to press "3" does not make this clear, saying only that "there may be a charge to return the call".
The service provider may also offer a facility through which the calling party can prevent their number being revealed to the called party, either permanently or on a per-call basis. This is achieved by prefixing the dialed number with:
- Australia: 1831
- United Kingdom, Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands: 141
- United States: *67
- Sweden: #31#
Conversely, to send the caller number on a line where the number is normally withheld, the following prefixes can be dialed:
- Australia: 1832
- Ireland: 142
- United Kingdom: 1470 (also used in Gibraltar and the Channel Islands)
- United States: *82
- Philippines *999
In Gibraltar and formerly in Ireland, ex-directory or unlisted numbers are withheld by default.
In Germany, most contemporary telephones have a specific button functioning as call return, which is an internal function of the telephone itself (the number of the last caller is stored inside the phone at the time of that last call) and thus doesn't have a numeric code.
In Canada, the feature is commonly marketed by telephone companies as a combination of two features:
- Call again, a form of automatic ring back, allows a caller, on reaching a busy signal, to hang up, dial a special code, and be called back automatically when the called number is no longer busy, usually with a limit of 30 minutes.
- Call return allows a customer to dial a code that identifies the last incoming call. On some types of central office equipment, it announces the number and offers the call-back option; on others, it simply attempts a connection without an announcement.