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cheap/free telephone calls?

cheap/free telephone calls?

Old Nov 12th 2010, 12:38 pm
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Lightbulb cheap/free telephone calls?

Hi All,

There's a thread within a thread developing here about cheap/free telephone calls.

Many suggest Skype or similar.

Others want the benefits of skype but for some friends & family to be able to use a 'normal' phone and not (just) a laptop and the internet...

I saw this on the BA flight over from Heathrow, in their in-flight shop magazine.

The website/company in question is 'truephone' - find them at http://www.truphone.com/

Does anybody have experience with this service, or is able to shed more light on what it does and how it works?

The call rates look very attractive - I'm looking to make the leap - little ris as it is PAYG, but still...

Cheers

Harry
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Old Nov 12th 2010, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: cheap/free telephone calls?

I don't have any experience with Truphone but have been using Skype and Google Voice since I arrived.

Skype is great for video calling the folks, but I find they are rarely online and so have to ring their landline my often. I know Skype have a PAYG rate or a monthly contract but I currently use Google Voice.

I believe anyone in America can add Google voice to their account for free. Then they can make *free* calls to anywhere in the USA via a web browser - this is up until the end of the year so far.
They also offer very cheap rates back to the UK - 2c per minute (incl tax). But I find speaking into my iMac or the laptop a little weird and all the household noise is picked up too.
So I found that you can register your cell and your landline with Google voice. You add the number and it calls you to confirm. Once added to your account you can then use https://www.google.com/voice where the Call button has a drop-down with says 'Call to phone with' and you can select
Google Talk, Mobile or Home
I don't use my mobile for this, as you pay to receive calls in the USA. So I get it to call my landline (via Comcast). It rings, I answer, a voices says the price of the call and then it connects to the UK! Quality is just fine and it just bills my Google voice account which I top up with $10 using a CC.

Watch out for 0845 and 0870 numbers though as they are charged at 18c a minute - use that saynoto0870 site to find the direct number. I have not been able to call freephone 0800 numbers in the UK though.

Hope this helps!
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Old Nov 12th 2010, 2:08 pm
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Default Re: cheap/free telephone calls?

I'm pretty sure you can call UK 0800 numbers via Skype, though.
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Old Nov 12th 2010, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: cheap/free telephone calls?

We have a vonage phone which I think costs about £15 a month for unlimited calls. We have 2 numbers set up which come through to the same handset - one is a UK 0208 number so that people in England can call us cheaply (just a local call charge or comes under most people's free minutes allowance on mobiles). The other is a local US number which we use as our main 'home' phone number to give to the bank, doctors etc here. I think adding an additional number to the vonage account costs about £3 a month.

Obviously Vonage uses the internet so the call quality is not 100% perfect - but it's perfectly OK and never drops calls, just can be a little echoey at times.

If you have an iphone there are tons of apps which use 3G for cheap or free calling. I also use WhatsApp to text people in the UK.
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Old Nov 12th 2010, 4:40 pm
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Default Re: cheap/free telephone calls?

You can call regular landlines through Skype. Neither my Dad or hubby's mum have a computer and we always call them through Skype, you are just charged in the same way as a Skype call to a computer.
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Old Nov 12th 2010, 8:46 pm
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Default Re: cheap/free telephone calls?

I have vonage. I don't pay for international calls and for $5 a month I have a 0151 number I have mostly had very good call quality from vonage even from an overseas call.
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Old Nov 12th 2010, 9:43 pm
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Default Re: cheap/free telephone calls?

Originally Posted by paulinespens View Post
I have vonage. I don't pay for international calls and for $5 a month I have a 0151 number I have mostly had very good call quality from vonage even from an overseas call.
Which Vonage package is that ? Looks like the Vonage World one is $26pm after the first 3 months.

Does the Vonage World package come with a direct UK number at no extra cost ?
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Old Nov 12th 2010, 10:24 pm
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Default Re: cheap/free telephone calls?

I use VIP Communications http://www.joinvip.com/ from my Prepaid AT&T cell phone to call mum and dad in Poland. Works very well and cheaper than dialing long distance to their cell via my cell. I still use minutes on my cell, but I'm calling a USA number rather than calling them directly. They don't pay anything since incoming calls are free.


Last edited by GSH; Nov 12th 2010 at 10:30 pm.
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Old Nov 12th 2010, 11:26 pm
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Default Re: cheap/free telephone calls?

If you have an android based cellphone (Motorola Droid series, various HTC phones, Samsung Galaxy etc) I can't recommend google voice highly enough.

Even without said Android phone you can make international calls from any phone by dialing your GV number then the number you want to call.

Really good stuff - 2c flat rate to the UK, higher for mobiles ofc.

Errr so basically what Addy said above

Last edited by Titchski; Nov 12th 2010 at 11:27 pm. Reason: should have read the thread in full!
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Old Nov 12th 2010, 11:44 pm
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Default Re: cheap/free telephone calls?

Originally Posted by Titchski View Post
If you have an android based cellphone (Motorola Droid series, various HTC phones, Samsung Galaxy etc) I can't recommend google voice highly enough.

Even without said Android phone you can make international calls from any phone by dialing your GV number then the number you want to call.

Really good stuff - 2c flat rate to the UK, higher for mobiles ofc.

Errr so basically what Addy said above
Hey thanks for that new info. I didn't know you could call the GV number direct and then the UK one. That sounds useful.
All I need now is for a GV number in the UK so my family can call me cheap too.
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Old Nov 13th 2010, 10:37 am
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Default Re: cheap/free telephone calls?

Originally Posted by AddyLaddy View Post
Which Vonage package is that ? Looks like the Vonage World one is $26pm after the first 3 months.

Does the Vonage World package come with a direct UK number at no extra cost ?
I use the vonage world package. I also purchased a virtual UK number for $5.
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Old Nov 13th 2010, 10:54 am
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Default Re: cheap/free telephone calls?

Thanks for all the information everyone, very helpful.
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Old Nov 13th 2010, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: cheap/free telephone calls?

Originally Posted by AddyLaddy View Post
Which Vonage package is that ? Looks like the Vonage World one is $26pm after the first 3 months.

Does the Vonage World package come with a direct UK number at no extra cost ?
I believe he was refering to an extra $5 per month for the UK number in addition to the cost of the Vonage World package.
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Old Nov 13th 2010, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: cheap/free telephone calls?

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I believe he was refering to an extra $5 per month for the UK number in addition to the cost of the Vonage World package.
Right I see that now, then again I guess I am paying $25pm for a Comcast VOIP service (local only) and $7 a month rent for the modem.

I also heard that T-Mobile offer a VOIP service if you have a contract mobile with them. I think it may only be $10 per month but I doubt it includes international calls.
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Old Nov 14th 2010, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: cheap/free telephone calls?

The cheapest way to get unlimited free (US+CDN) calls is to buy a cheap VOIP ATA (analog(ue) telephone adapter) like a Linksys PAP2 on fleabay, hook it up to a free SIP account like one from SIPGate, then use a Google Voice number to manage it and give you a local number.

Cheap to set up, and then unlimited free calls forever. This also allows you to do what you want as respects using a standard DECT cordless phone.

For outbound calls though, you will need to either initiate the call using your Google Voice console, or pay for some outbound minutes.
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