Chance to ring Santa - on a payphone - for free

By Staff Reporters
December 1 2023 - 5:35pm

Telstra has brought back the Santa hotline in the lead up to Christmas this year.

Aussie kids can make free calls to Santa from any of Telstra's 14,500 payphones around the country.

Was Santa's iconic red and white suit the result of a marketing grab by Coca-Cola? Or did the famous can company co-opt the existing iconography of the big fat man in the suit?

Telstra says last year more than 11,000 calls were made from its payphones to the North Pole on Christmas Eve alone.

Nearly 2000 of Telstra's 14,500 payphones have decorative decals on them to show that Santa can be called.

You can find your closest payphone by using the payphone finder on Telstra.com or Google Maps.

The Santa hotline is available right up to and including Christmas Eve.

And kids can find out how to use a phone from the "olden days".

In August 2021, Telstra made all standard national and mobile calls from payphones free to support the community.

Since then, usage has more than doubled.

In the 12 months to June 2023, more than 23 million free payphone calls have been made, including more than 250,000 calls to Triple Zero and other emergency services.

Is that Santa? Picture supplied
Is that Santa? Picture supplied

Telstra hopes calling Santa also provides a fun and easy way to learn how to use and locate their nearest payphone in case of an emergency.

But first things first - delivering the wish list - or just having a natter to the big bloke in red.

"From asking about the weather in the North Pole, to what the reindeer like to snack on before their big Christmas Eve adventure, our Free Calls to Santa hotline is more interactive this year, allowing kids young and old to have more engaging conversations with the jolly man in red," Telstra said.

How to call Santa:

  1. Head to any Telstra payphone around the country until December 24.
  2. To find your nearest payphone, hit search on Google Maps or use the interactive map at https://tel.st/festive-payphone-map
  3. Dial #HO HO HO (#464646)
  4. Make sure you're ready with a few questions for Santa, and to tell him what's at the top of your wish list.

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