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  #1  
Old 29.02.2012, 16:19
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phone discounts

Back in England, there were lots of various numbers you could dial before making an international call, giving you massive discounts, like 2pence/minute regardless of destination, time of day etc..., without having to change your phone operator (BT then)

I find our phone bills here with Swisscom quite expensive (what is not, in Geneva, you'll tell me!), due mainly to international calls to our families, and was wondering if anyone knows of the equivalent here? Before you all jump and ask me if I have ever heard of Skype, yes, I do use it, but some of our elderly relatives don't, hence the phone line!

Merci d'avance! Vielen Dank im Voraus!
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  #2  
Old 29.02.2012, 16:22
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Re: phone discounts

I am using this:

http://helvatel.ch/rates.php
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Old 29.02.2012, 16:26
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Re: phone discounts

Following up on the Skype option, I assume you have Internet access at home. As a reminder, it needs to be a reasonable speed (5mb+) for Skype (that you might already be using) to work well.

Have you thought of using "Skype out"? This will allow you to call UK landlines and mobile phones. I have not checked but calls to landlines should be in the CHF 0.02-0.03 range.

Link: http://www.skype.com/intl/en/prices/...ency=CHF#cc=GB

You can also buy packages such as unlimited calling for CHF 10 per month.

Link: http://www.skype.com/intl/en/prices/pay-monthly/#GB
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Last edited by Verbier; 29.02.2012 at 16:38. Reason: added links
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Old 29.02.2012, 16:36
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Re: phone discounts

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Following up on the Skype option, I assume you have Internet access at home. As a reminder, it needs to be a reasonable speed (5mb+) for Skype (that you might already be using) to work well.

Have you thought of using "Skype out"? This will allow you to call UK landlines and mobile phones. I have not checked but calls to landlines should be in the CHF 0.02-0.03 range.
Exactly.. I use Skype out to call friends all over the western world, and calls are no more then 0.03 rappen
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Old 29.02.2012, 16:41
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Re: phone discounts

I have been using this company for a year.

It works well, calls are charged to your credit card, you can register your landlines & mobile numbers and enjoy cheap calls!

http://www.10881.ch/index2.php

Dial 10881 before the required dialled number, eg 10881 0049 761 21840

Calls to EU cost 3 centimes / minute, to inside Switzerland 4 cents / minute

Of course, calling Scotland MUST be cheaper than calling Lausanne!
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Old 29.02.2012, 16:42
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Re: phone discounts

Brilliant! Thanks! I'll try it out.

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Following up on the Skype option, I assume you have Internet access at home. As a reminder, it needs to be a reasonable speed (5mb+) for Skype (that you might already be using) to work well.

Have you thought of using "Skype out"? This will allow you to call UK landlines and mobile phones. I have not checked but calls to landlines should be in the CHF 0.02-0.03 range.

Link: http://www.skype.com/intl/en/prices/...ency=CHF#cc=GB

You can also buy packages such as unlimited calling for CHF 10 per month.

Link: http://www.skype.com/intl/en/prices/pay-monthly/#GB
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Old 29.02.2012, 16:43
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Re: phone discounts

That is exactly what I was after! You're a star!

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I have been using this company for a year. It works well, calls are charged to your credit card,

http://www.10881.ch/index2.php

Dial 10881 before the required dialled number, eg 10881 0049 761 21840

calls to EU cost 3 centimes / minute, to inside Switzerland 4 cents / minute
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Old 29.02.2012, 16:48
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Re: phone discounts

Helvatel has 0.2 to GB and calls are charged to your landline bill. We have been using it for the last year for many countries and it works very well.
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Old 07.03.2012, 20:01
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Re: phone discounts

Hello,

I've tried Helvatel because you don't have to subscribe, but it worked only a couple of times, and I keep getting this message in GErman which, I can just about work out, asks me to enter the number I want to call, which I do, then it rings my phone back and nothing. Cna you take me through it? E.g. for the UK I know I need to dial 8840533533. What happens next? Do I put the phone down, press option 1 or continue with 0044 etc...? I am very confused and have no idea what I did to get my two successful calls.

Thanks!
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Helvatel has 0.2 to GB and calls are charged to your landline bill. We have been using it for the last year for many countries and it works very well.
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Old 07.03.2012, 22:28
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Re: phone discounts

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Hello,

I've tried Helvatel because you don't have to subscribe, but it worked only a couple of times, and I keep getting this message in GErman which, I can just about work out, asks me to enter the number I want to call, which I do, then it rings my phone back and nothing. Cna you take me through it? E.g. for the UK I know I need to dial 8840533533. What happens next? Do I put the phone down, press option 1 or continue with 0044 etc...? I am very confused and have no idea what I did to get my two successful calls.

Thanks!
There are a whole bunch of "companies" like Helvatel that all have the same mail address in St. Gallen and all belong to a Dutch company named Solaris Systems BV, and all provide cheap international phone services, albeit at very different rates even to the same country, which is pretty odd.

However, although the connections they make are not exactly very reliable and good quality, hey, they connect me to the USA for one, two or four cents a minute, compared to 12 cents when done by Swisscom. So I don't complain.

Anyway, the procedure always is the same: You dial the 0884 XXX XX XX number for your country, as looked up on the respective Web page, then wait for the canned lady. Actually she tells you to dial the complete number you want to call, including the international code (obviously 0044 in your case) and eventually press the hash key.

If you forget to press the hash key after dialling the number, there will be a pause of maybe 20 seconds or so before the electronic gal asks you to please wait; with the hash key pressed, she'll do that immediately.

Ok, so you wait. Depending of the country you are calling, you may hear all sorts of funny or weird call tones, because the company quickly sends you through Internet channels all over the planet to find a place from where calling your country is cheapest at the very moment. So don't worry if you hear sounds you've never heard before.

After some waiting, you'll get a normal connection and are able to talk at a very low rate. However, sometimes the canned lady will tell you that the person you are calling is talking or not answering, which need not be true. It may mean that they could not establish a connection at that low rate at the moment.

Yes, they often lie to you, and yes, sometimes the sound quality is lousier than lousy, and sometimes it's a one-way connection only, which is not very useful for unmarried couples. But most of the time it works, fairly well even, considering the rate, and if it doesn't, try again.

Yes, they may lie, but they don't cheat you, I mean, they don't charge you for services you didn't get. If a connection is too bad to be used, all you can lose is a one minute charge, which is a few centimes at the worst.

I've made thousands of calls using Solaris companies. The failure rate is int the range of maybe 10 % or so, but, unless you use Skype or the like, you can still save a lot of money.
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  #11  
Old 08.03.2012, 21:31
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Re: phone discounts

Thank you so much! It is the hash key I could not understand. I'll try again!

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There are a whole bunch of "companies" like Helvatel that all have the same mail address in St. Gallen and all belong to a Dutch company named Solaris Systems BV, and all provide cheap international phone services, albeit at very different rates even to the same country, which is pretty odd.

However, although the connections they make are not exactly very reliable and good quality, hey, they connect me to the USA for one, two or four cents a minute, compared to 12 cents when done by Swisscom. So I don't complain.

Anyway, the procedure always is the same: You dial the 0884 XXX XX XX number for your country, as looked up on the respective Web page, then wait for the canned lady. Actually she tells you to dial the complete number you want to call, including the international code (obviously 0044 in your case) and eventually press the hash key.

If you forget to press the hash key after dialling the number, there will be a pause of maybe 20 seconds or so before the electronic gal asks you to please wait; with the hash key pressed, she'll do that immediately.

Ok, so you wait. Depending of the country you are calling, you may hear all sorts of funny or weird call tones, because the company quickly sends you through Internet channels all over the planet to find a place from where calling your country is cheapest at the very moment. So don't worry if you hear sounds you've never heard before.

After some waiting, you'll get a normal connection and are able to talk at a very low rate. However, sometimes the canned lady will tell you that the person you are calling is talking or not answering, which need not be true. It may mean that they could not establish a connection at that low rate at the moment.

Yes, they often lie to you, and yes, sometimes the sound quality is lousier than lousy, and sometimes it's a one-way connection only, which is not very useful for unmarried couples. But most of the time it works, fairly well even, considering the rate, and if it doesn't, try again.

Yes, they may lie, but they don't cheat you, I mean, they don't charge you for services you didn't get. If a connection is too bad to be used, all you can lose is a one minute charge, which is a few centimes at the worst.

I've made thousands of calls using Solaris companies. The failure rate is int the range of maybe 10 % or so, but, unless you use Skype or the like, you can still save a lot of money.
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Old 09.03.2012, 00:29
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Re: phone discounts

If calls to landlines in switzerland are free/cheap for you, betamax voip calls could be an option.

Here are the price list for various contries
http://backsla.sh/betamax

The company comes up with a new application/name every few months. You need to buy some credit by choosing one of their products like easyvoip.com

On this website you get a local call number (example 0315260060). You can save numbers in your phonebook like this 0315260060,00417xxxxxx
When you dial the number, the comma acts like a pause and the rest of the number is punched through. I have been using one or the other service provided by betamax over the last 4 years and never had a problem.

In some rare cases, people have found that the service is not good enough.

You can also use their application to make the calls. Maybe now they even have apps for phones. I have not used them though.
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