Finding an Australian phone number

I have the address of a residence in Sydney, but no name of the resident. I have a phone number that appears to be incorrect (a voice informs me it is disconnected when I call it). The Australian white pages demand that I know the surname of the person whose number I’m searching for.

Is there a way to find out the phone number?

Not as far as I know (unless some telco types can tell me otherwise). I suspect you might be SOL. Is the format +61 2 9123 4567?

A quick search of the white pages site reveals this:

Not exactly your situation, but I suspect the reason might be the same one of legally enforced privacy. It’s a bit like trying to find the owner of a car from the registration plate - a big no-no for anyone except cops. So you might need to start exploring alternatives.

I’m happy to help at the Sydney end if I can.

Actually, no, it wasn’t. The country code was given to me as 61, the 2 wasn’t included. With the 2, it worked. Thanks a bundle.

This place does everything, doesn’t it?

No worries.

So, while you’re here: what’s with the 2? All country code lists I’ve seen has Australia’s down as 61, with no 2 mentioned. When I got the number, it was given as “country code, and then 1234567890”, I asked for the country code, and was told 61.

It’s just the area code. Australia is a pretty big place, so like the the US, we have city codes. Sydney and surrounds is 02, Melbourne is 03, etc. Calling from overseas, you omit the 0.

If a local calls me, they dial 9123 4567. A person interstate dials 02 9123 4567, and you would dial 001 (or whatever it is) 61 2 9123 4567.

There was a similar thread about this in the last two or three weeks, but I’m not sure where to find it now.

61 is the correct country code, but another digit is always needed.

So it’s simply strange that the 2 wasn’t given to me, who would be calling from abroad?

Yeah, it seems that somebody has simply screwed up when they gave you the number.

The extra single digit after the country code is mandatory for overseas callers, or you will not get through (as you found) because the system won’t know which part of the country to direct your call to, as eight digit numbers starting with 9 are common to several large cities.

TheLoadedDog - just a tiny nitpick - the codes apply to geographical region rather than city - 02 is New South Wales and the ACT (obviously including Sydney), 03 is Victoria and Tasmania, 07 is Queensland, 08 is Western Australia, South Australia and Northern Territory. Anyone ringing from overseas needs to take the “0” off so they will ring “0011” (or whatever), “61”, the area code e.g. “2”, then the eight digit number.

Layla (ex-Telstra employee)

Yeah, you’re right of course. I hadn’t forgotten that, but I didn’t want to subject the poor bugger to the history of area code simplification, eight digit numbers instead of six and seven digit ones, etc. I still sometimes get a twitchy finger to dial Gosford “043” :smiley:

Something that many don’t seem to realise is that you don’t need the area code if the number you’re calling has the same code as yours, even if it is interstate.

Living in Western Australia, I can dial any Western Australian, Northern Territorian or South Australian number without an area code.

Possibly they had a brain fart, more likely they just didn’t know how to call Australia from overseas.

If I know I’m giving a number to someone outside Aus, I’ll give it as +61 8 1234 1234 where the 8 is the area code with the 0 ommitted. If I don’t know where they are I’ll give it as +61 (0)8 1234 1234 which assumes they know what to do with the 0.

Gosford phone numbers still have that “43” in them: they now start 02 43 …

Which has led to a lot of disgruntled (and possibly stupid) people when they’ve received their bill.

It’s funny though how the world seems smaller now - calling Gosford from Sydney used to have quite an air of “long distance” about it. And it’s just up the road.