Newest Review: ... (+ USA, Australia and a few others) are accessible using a local call number (starting 0845). Dialling that number will put you t... more
CHEAP INTERNATIONAL CALLS
Member Name: steveuk
Date: 13/12/02, updated on 15/01/04 (11842 review reads)
Disadvantages: Voice quality
Having spent a considerable amount of time abroad, I'm always on the lookout for cheap ways of calling my friends and family in Europe and the USA. In the past few years I have used various services and service providers, from BT and FirstTelecom, to Quip and voice over internet services. The cost and quality of these services are as varied. It is usually the case that expensive providers (e.g. BT) provide better quality compared to cheaper (or free!) services such as netmeeting. There are of course exceptions to this, I have had crystal clear conversation on netmeeting on a few occasion. I believe that telediscount falls somewhere between the two, it is very cheap and provides a fairly consistent quality of service over a standard phone line.
In order to use the telediscount service, you need to visit www.telediscount.co.uk to identify the access number you need to dial in order to call the destination of your choice. Most Western European countries (+ USA, Australia and a few others) are accessible using a local call number (starting 0845).
Dialling that number will put you through an automated system, asking you to type the telephone number of the person you wish to call, followed by # (hash). You can the hear the system dialling the number you have just input and are then connected to your chosen number.
The cost of a call depends on the access number used. So, if the access number for the country you're calling is an 0845 number, it costs 4p during the day and 1p during the evening and weekends (from a BT line)!!! There are other access numbers though that cost anything up to 50p per minute. Check the telediscount for pricing. (It is worth mentioning that the prices stated on the website are all-inclusive and you don't need to sign up or pay a subscription to use the service).
"1p? Does it get any cheaper than that?", I hear you ask. Yes, it may be possible! How? If the access number is an 0845, you can
add this to your "BT Friends and family" numbers and get 10% off, or 20% if you select this as your "BT Friends and family best friend" number. (Have a guess what my "Best friend" number is :o) )
In addition to this, my current mobile phone tarriff allows me to call the telediscount 0845 number as part of my inclusive minutes, that's 50mins per day to an international destination. Bargain! A word of caution though, check with your mobile phone operator before ringing from a mobile, as some of them add a surcharge, depending on your tariff.
What is the catch? In my opinion there are two:
1. The connection quality is not perfect, it is more than acceptable, but not perfect, so if you're looking for a crystal clear connection, telediscount may not be the service for you.
2. Charging starts the moment that the telediscount computer answers your call, not when the party you are calling picks up the phone. In practice, this means that if the person you are calling doesn't answer, or takes a long time to answer, you are still paying for the call.
Overall, I think telediscount is a great service, it allows me to keep in touch with friends and family for a fraction of what it used to cost me. Just make sure you check the rates on the website before placing any calls.
At the time of writing, some of the destinations you can call for 4p/min peak and 1p/min off-peak and weekends using access number 0845 2 441 441 are:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and ... UK (landline).
It's good to talk ... cheaply :o)
Copyright steveuk 2003
Updated January 2004
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