iPad iOS 9. I use AT&T. iPad Air 2 I spend a lot of time in Mexico where the phone number format is completely different from the one in the States, and in Contacts. Also, Contacts will not let me add extension numbers. Contacts' format is so frequently different from what I need that I really want to change the format preference to let me enter the phone number the way I want it to look. I've spent a reasonable amount of time over the years since I first bought the original iPad 2 trying to find a way to solve this problem. I finally just put the numbers the way I want them in Contacts/Notes. Is there a way to set up Contacts phone numbers the way I want them, even if I want them to be different every time?
To store international numbers in the Contacts app (without changing the whole phone in regional settings), you need to enter the country code when adding the number... and it will format it according to what is expected for that country.
Entering a standard US number, such as 3135551212 produces
Entering the country code first, such as +13135551212 produces
+1 (313) 555-1212.
For a Mexican phone number, entering +526241234567 produces
+52 624 143 1234.
Etc... etc. The trick is to use the plus symbol, plus the country code, in front of any international number.
For extensions, the general rule is that you use a pause, or wait, in the phone number when you add it.
For an extension number that you type immediately after dialing the number, use Pause. This adds a “,” to the phone number.
For a prolonged pause (like when the IVR goes on for a while before asking you to choose a number), use Wait and then key in the number.