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Old 18.03.2015, 14:46
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Phone calls to/from elderly parents in Australia

Hi all

I'm cogitating about the best way to talk with our non-techie parents while we are here in Geneva. They have no internet, and are uncomfortable with the thought of using it so we need to look at old fashioned telephone options. I haven't yet signed up for a mobile service here, and have no landline yet, but am using wifi and a travel sim from home that is linked to a local number there. This means that our folks can call us on an Australian number and it is automatically diverted to my mobile here in Switzerland. That service costs only $8 per month. I have read that Skype offers a similar thing (although cheaper). I have also used Skype to call them from my mobile - free month subscription, but then I would go to the 3c per minute deal.

As yet, I haven't found anything better. Has anyone else??

Ta
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Old 18.03.2015, 16:05
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Re: Phone calls to/from elderly parents in Australia

If you get a landline then www.helvatel.ch is an option, 3Rap a min to Australian landlines and it goes on your normal bill. You can also try it from your mobile but check with the provider first for costs.
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Old 18.03.2015, 17:32
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Re: Phone calls to/from elderly parents in Australia

We have a Skype subscription for Europe which costs about 60 $ annually , I think worldwide get closer to 100$.


This allows you to call from any Skype device to all landline numbers for zero cost but a paid per minute for mobiles.. : so to your parents they just pick up the phone : so no new technology to handle


I am sure there are cheaper methods but it is reliable/simple and often I use it to phone home rather than use my mobile when I am away on business and save my company money . When I am working from home it reduces my international call costs to zero : they have a daily usage limit but it seems to be around 6 hours


These days they must be thinking of including mobiles as people switch off landlines totally.
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Old 18.03.2015, 18:02
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Re: Phone calls to/from elderly parents in Australia

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Hi all

I'm cogitating about the best way to talk with our non-techie parents while we are here in Geneva. They have no internet, and are uncomfortable with the thought of using it so we need to look at old fashioned telephone options. I haven't yet signed up for a mobile service here, and have no landline yet, but am using wifi and a travel sim from home that is linked to a local number there. This means that our folks can call us on an Australian number and it is automatically diverted to my mobile here in Switzerland. That service costs only $8 per month. I have read that Skype offers a similar thing (although cheaper). I have also used Skype to call them from my mobile - free month subscription, but then I would go to the 3c per minute deal.

As yet, I haven't found anything better. Has anyone else??

Ta
Call phones from Skype using a country specific subscription... easy.
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Old 18.03.2015, 21:15
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Re: Phone calls to/from elderly parents in Australia

Even with normal phone, the last time I looked it was a lot cheaper for us to phone OZ than for them to phone Switzerland...
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Old 23.03.2015, 14:49
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Re: Phone calls to/from elderly parents in Australia

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We have a Skype subscription for Europe which costs about 60 $ annually , I think worldwide get closer to 100$.


This allows you to call from any Skype device to all landline numbers for zero cost but a paid per minute for mobiles.. : so to your parents they just pick up the phone : so no new technology to handle


I am sure there are cheaper methods but it is reliable/simple and often I use it to phone home rather than use my mobile when I am away on business and save my company money . When I am working from home it reduces my international call costs to zero : they have a daily usage limit but it seems to be around 6 hours


These days they must be thinking of including mobiles as people switch off landlines totally.
Thanks for this. Can I ask a really dumb question?? It's so dumb the answer isn't on the Skype website....you need an internet connection to make/receive Skype calls, yes?? So, what would happen if Dad called and I was nowhere near wifi???
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Old 23.03.2015, 15:01
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Re: Phone calls to/from elderly parents in Australia

I've been using http://www.nonoh.net/ for a few years, you create an account, put some credit in it then give it the number you are dialing from and the number you want to dial and it dials both and connects you over voip. I find it very cheap, also useful from work if international calls are barred as it's in incoming call.

Useful in hotels too, if a room has a direct dial line as it saves on hotel telephony charges. Theres a PC client that means you can call direct from PC to landline if you want.
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Old 23.03.2015, 16:12
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Re: Phone calls to/from elderly parents in Australia

I use sipgate.co.uk for SIP (internet) phone - they also have other locations, I'm sure there are Australian equivalents if not.


It's combined with a Gigaset C470IP phone that supports the SIP service in addition to normal landline, so we only have one device that's just the same as a normal DECT phone.


So I have a UK number that friends & family can call simply and at a decent cost, and the phone automatically routes outgoing international calls through the SIP service so it's cheap for me.


Once set up it's all seamless.
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Old 23.03.2015, 17:36
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Re: Phone calls to/from elderly parents in Australia

How about a togglemobile.co.uk SIM?

You can have an Australian (amongst others) mobile# at 5GBP/year, incoming calls free in many countries (EU+Switzerland+Australia+US and some others)...

They ship directly to Switzerland, so there´s no tricks or hassle. Just order and go.
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Old 23.03.2015, 19:08
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Re: Phone calls to/from elderly parents in Australia

Viber has very cheap calls similar to skype and you can use it on your mobile or on your computer which is pretty practical.

While travelling for 6 months I think I spent a total of 10 dollars on international calls to various Gemeindens and such
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Old 23.03.2015, 19:47
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Re: Phone calls to/from elderly parents in Australia

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Thanks for this. Can I ask a really dumb question?? It's so dumb the answer isn't on the Skype website....you need an internet connection to make/receive Skype calls, yes?? So, what would happen if Dad called and I was nowhere near wifi???

If you have Skype on your smartphone with a data contract you can answer in Switzerland at relatively low cost assuming you have a data contract and tell them you would ring them back when you got a wifi connection : Obviously if you were abroad you would not want this as data roaming charges could kill you.


I believe they could leave you a voice message on Skype which you could pick up when you are back on wifi.


so not perfect but pretty manageable and a lot cheaper than mobiles
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Old 23.03.2015, 21:03
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Re: Phone calls to/from elderly parents in Australia

Quote:
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We have a Skype subscription for Europe which costs about 60 $ annually , I think worldwide get closer to 100$.


This allows you to call from any Skype device to all landline numbers for zero cost but a paid per minute for mobiles.. : so to your parents they just pick up the phone : so no new technology to handle


I am sure there are cheaper methods but it is reliable/simple and often I use it to phone home rather than use my mobile when I am away on business and save my company money . When I am working from home it reduces my international call costs to zero : they have a daily usage limit but it seems to be around 6 hours


These days they must be thinking of including mobiles as people switch off landlines totally.
This is exactly my solution with my family in the US. I have Skype and a world-wide calling plan. They can call me at anytime using Skype (or a series of similar apps) and I can choose to answer or not when on the data network. For the older generation I tend to call them using Skype-out. I'm on my computer or the Skype app on my mobile, but they think I've called them long distance on their telephone.

Of course, most of my older relatives wouldn't ever pick up the phone and call me, even when I lived in the States. I've found that generation will wait for me to call them, but sometimes complains if I don't call often enough. :eyeroll:

I've found that since I spend most of my time either at work or home or in a hotel where there's a WiFi connection, I don't spend enough time on the data network to worry about having enough data. There's a limited overlapping time window in which the relations will call anyway, but you do have to train them up a bit on the time zone difference in the beginning!
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Old 24.03.2015, 20:54
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Re: Phone calls to/from elderly parents in Australia

Thank you all for all this wonderful information. One thing I didn't mention was that I do not have a Swiss phone number. Today, one thing led to another, and I decided I needed a Swiss simcard in my phone for those times when I'm out and about. So, I read all your advice again - checked out all the suggestions online, along with options for obtaining a Swiss mobile number. I came up with a plan: cheap simcard with Swiss number (M-budget 29 CHF/m) plus Skype subscription and Skype number in Australia.

Armed with my plan, I went down to the local post office to get my simcard and was totally talked-out-of-it by the lovely lady behind the counter. I walked out with L'Abo simcard for 39 CHF/m, which gives me unlimited calls to mobiles and landlines in Switzerland, Australia and lots of other places, unlimited texts in Switzerland and 1 Gb of data per month.

I'll let you know how it goes. So far, so good.
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