With the closure of ABBAMAIL, I decided to give former ABBAMAIL list and site owner, Graeme Read, a call. In the past when I’ve called him, I’ve used pre-paid calling cards to get phone rates as low as 11 cents a minute, which isn’t too bad from the United States to Australia. This time I decided to give Skype a shot, which was promising a rate of 2.1 cents per minute to Australian land line numbers for routing the call over the Internet. And the slightly more than an hour that I spoke with Graeme, only cost $1.32.
As technology advances, it gets to be quite amazing how things change. Had I have used a pre-paid calling card, at the previously great rate of 11 cents a minute, the call would have cost approximately, $7 between the connection fee and the time of the call. This was literally a savings of approximately 80%. Had I made the call directly on my cell phone without using Skype, the call would have cost $70 at 69 cents per minute, bring the Skype call a savings of 98%.
In actuality, I did use my cell phone, on the call because I am a member of Skype’s Unlimited Calling Plan which for $3 a month, I get unlimited calls to phones in the United States and Canada, so I effectively used Skype to create a conference call between Graeme Read’s home phone in Australia, and my cell phone so I didn’t have be tied directly to my computer. And I could have additionally used the conference call feature to bring in other callers within the US and Canada, or any Skype user worldwide connecting using their computers for no additional cost.
And the best part, I didn’t reveal to Graeme until near the end of the call that I was calling him over the Internet. The call clarity was as if I had used traditional phone lines. He was certainly impressed by how well it worked. Of course, he wasn’t surprised as to him I am often Mister Technology. I’m always game to try new ways of doing things that have the promise of doing it in a new way for less money than the old way. And over the years some of the Internet calling options have had some mixed results, but it seems Skype has gotten it right. And they’re a great deal to try.
Skype offers a number of different ways to make calls, their most known for their computer to computer calls which are free world wide. You can even tie in webcams and turn the computer to computer calling into video calls. All you need is high speed Internet access and Skype’s program. Additionally you can use Skype on your computer to call land or mobile phones (as I did above by calling Graeme’s landline in Australia and conference calling my cell phone at the same time). And there’s even an option to have Skype provide a number that you can give out that allows people to call you on Skype. And then to add variation to these three types of calling options, you can add Skype enabled phone handsets and cordless phones to your home to enable Skype access without even turning on your computer. Skype even has options available if you want to use Skype as your phone service for business.
Perhaps Skype could be of value to you to try out. Even if you don’t have friends in far off places like Australia, their unlimited calling within the US and Canada for $3 a month is a bargain to try it and see if it could help save you money. If you do a lot of international calling, Skype does offer an unlimited worldwide plan that lets you call any landline phone anywhere in the world for one low monthly fee. Visit Skype by clicking here.
If you’re already on Skype or decide to give it a try, feel free to use the “Call Me” button just below my photo in the upper left corner of this page and you can use Skype to call me. I’d love to hear from you.