Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Telstra links kids with Santa, elves at phone boxes

Calling Santa is easy with an app, but if you have a pay phone nearby, it’s also as easy as punching in “ho ho ho”.

The holiday spirit can be great fun for kids, whether that means getting them to help with the gift buying, stringing up the decorations, making treats, or even just having Santa call by way of an app.

But the app isn’t the only way to get the man in red calling, and if you happen to have one of Telstra’s roughly 15,000 pay phones nearby, you might be able to call in using the phrase “ho ho ho”.

Specifically, it’s by calling the number 464646 with a hash before it (# 46 46 46), because “46” represents “ho” on a standard push button telephone, which the phone boxes are. You may recall the letters along the bottom of each number that still sit on feature phones, because if you do, 4 has an “H” and 6 has an “O”, and when dialled as 464646, Telstra’s phones will make a special call, any least until December 24.

For this fun little bit of Telstra getting into the holiday spirit, anyone dialling the number will be given three choices — press one for Santa, 2 for Mrs Claus, and 3 for an elf — while Telstra will be donating a dollar to the Salvation Army for every call made to the holiday service on its payphones.

It’s not the first time Telstra has offered calls to Santa, and it likely won’t be the last. As with Telstra’s other payphone services, this one is also free, ever since Telstra removed the burden of paying for its phone boxes last year.

You’ll still need to find one in order to use the service, though, Telstra makes it easy with a phone box finder, which may be handy since the company confirmed to Pickr that its Santa call service will not work on mobile phones, and is only available on its payphones.

Read next