It works like this: A caller dials a number like 1-800-COLLECT to make a collect call but misspells the word or hits an incorrect button. He accidentally dials something like 1-800-COILECT.
The call is connected but not by the company the caller planned to use, which in Homrich's case was MCI. Instead, the call is carried by a company that secures 800 numbers similar to those advertised but charges much higher rates.
Rosalie Rayburn, "Wrong number," Albuquerque Journal, September 18, 2003
"HealthSouth to Miss Payments," The Washington Post, March 28, 2003
After investigation, they realized that he dialed 1-800-COLLECT with three L's as opposed to two L's. ...
Mr. ROBERT TOLCHIN (Plaintiff's Attorney): ASC is basing its entire business model on what they call fat fingers dialing. That means they're going to take advantage of people who have fat fingers and mis-dial the telephone.
Matt Lauer, "Mis-dialed collect call schemes," The Today Show, April 4, 2002
fat finger trade