Many people don?t realise that you can dial US Toll free numbers (800) from overseas. The calls aren?t toll free, but with calling cards at about 1 cent per minute it?s cheaper than most local calls.
In Australia, dial your calling card access code, enter your pin, then dial the international access code + US country code (1) + area code (800) + number
e.g. calling card access number + pin + 0011 + 1 + 800 + rest of number.
The same works throughout most of Asia and Europe (I?d guess Africa too where IDD is available). Unfortunately that doesn?t work for other countries which use 1-800 for toll free (like Australia). You can?t dial an Australian 1800 number from New Zealand. The good news is most of those countries know that and publish International Direct Dialling numbers.
Of course I could get my act together and finally install Skype. Then I?d have US dialling access via VOIP using their SkypeOut service at ? 0.017 per minute. I really should get a good headset for my laptop.