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Cheap long distance
Old 03-01-2004, 07:37 PM   #1
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Cheap long distance

Since the cost of cell phones has become such a hot item on another thread, I thought I would throw out this information. I shopped around for the lowest cost 10-10-rates and used phone cards etc. Then I found Onesuite. Now I pay 2.5 cents/minute 24/7 for any long distance with no monthly charges.

You have to log onto their web site and prepay (like a phone card). You don't get a bill, but you can check your call history and account balance from the internet whenever you want. You can add dollars to your account via the internet and your credit card whenever you wish.

To access the service you have to dial a local number, then punch in your PIN (which is your phone # + 4 unique digits), then dial 1+the number. (Again, it's kind of like a phone card).

If you are traveling or live somewhere without a local access number, you can dial a 1 800 number plus your PIN plus the number you are calling and pay 2.9 cents per minute.

http://www.onesuite.com/

If you don't like phone cards and the hassle of punching in a lot of numbers, then you won't like this. So far, I haven't had any problems and enjoy the cheap rates. Next month I plan on calling Onesuite to see if they will accept used dryer sheets as payment.
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Re: Cheap long distance
Old 03-01-2004, 08:36 PM   #2
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Re: Cheap long distance

Yeah this discussion went around a little while ago and I signed up.

Actually I found that by setting up my phone number as a ZIPDIAL I dont have to type in hardly any numbers...just call the local access number and as soon as it answers, key in the # I want to call. It took me about 5 seconds to memorize the local dialing number, for me its the local prefix and -0005.

The one gotcha I noticed is that minutes do expire. I havent checked to see after how long or if activity keeps pushing the expiration or if recharging pushes the expiration, but my current account shows the minutes expire in july and I bought them in december.

For new people signing up, if you use this URL, both you and I will get 20 free minutes. Other onesuite users here can post theirs as well.

https://www.onesuite.com/041904686/suitetreat

As I mentioned in my earlier post, but on topic, if you call long distance a lot, have DSL or a cable modem, and dont mind a little new technology, VOIP services like www.vonage.com and www.packet8.com are pretty sweet. You get a box that plugs into your broadband router, and a phone can plug into that. $35 for vonage and $20 for packet8 with different features, all the free long distance you can stand. Quality is as good or better than a cell phone. I've tried and would have packet8 if I spent much time calling out of state, but most of my long distance is local and I dont have $20 worth of it per month.
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Re: Cheap long distance
Old 03-02-2004, 06:15 AM   #3
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Re: Cheap long distance

I don't have the patience to deal with calling cards and prepaid minutes and expiring things... I ended up choosing a regular long distance plan from Powernet Global. It's something like 4 cents/minute for regular long distance, and 10 cents/minute for international. No monthly fees, no minimum usage. We don't make a lot of long distance calls, so it strikes a good balance between ease of use and price - one or two cents per minute won't make much of a difference, and if we don't make any calls that month, we don't pay anything.
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Re: Cheap long distance
Old 03-02-2004, 09:47 AM   #4
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Re: Cheap long distance

Do these programs go overseas for the same rate, like to Germany for instance?
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Re: Cheap long distance
Old 03-02-2004, 11:50 AM   #5
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Re: Cheap long distance

The rates for Onesuite are higher for international, depending on which country. If you call one specific person in a foreign country a lot, you could both get a packet8 VOIP phone setup and talk to each other as much as you want for free.
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Re: Cheap long distance
Old 03-04-2004, 05:44 PM   #6
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Re: Cheap long distance

When we moved ashore and I got high speed internet, I got a voice-over-IP phone service that costs about $20 a month for 500 minutes outgoing calls (US and Canada), unlimited incoming, and pretty cheap international (although I don't use that). Other plans for those who talk more.

If anyone is interested, send me your email in a private message. (Disclosure: their referal program gives you and me a free month if you sign up in response to a referral.)

Dory36
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Re: Cheap long distance
Old 03-09-2004, 06:53 AM   #7
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Re: Cheap long distance

Wow, and I thought I was doing well with Sams' Club's prepaid cards which are under 4 cents/ minute now. (3.57 cents I think.) But as far as I know they don't expire, and I just realized my Club membership is lapsed over a year but I can still buy minutes by credit card over the phone .

Can you use regular phones with those voice-over-IP setups? I know the connection is completely different, but I'm thinking maybe they provide a fake phone jack that I could plug my favorite phone into. (I just bought a cordless with speakerphone & headset jack that I really really like.) Even if I have to dial from the PC.
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Re: Cheap long distance
Old 03-09-2004, 10:35 AM   #8
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Re: Cheap long distance

The VOIP terminal adapter setup has a standard rj-11 phone jack on it and should take any regular phone.

Further, after disconnecting your land line, you can simply run a wire from the VOIP TA to any wall phone jack in your house, and all your other jacks will become live phone jacks.

The quality is considered to be somewhere between a cell phone and a regular quality land line. Some people report short delays on very long haul calls to other countries, and very good domestic quality.

Check into sams club again...they seem to charge different rates for different places...the sams clubs here in northern california are charging 2.9c a minute...I have a box full of 120 min cards I bought there 2 years ago at that rate, and when I was in there the other day they're still that rate...although I notice the samsclub web site is at 3.47. Sams club 'indexes' their prices to the local market - - my sams club in my mediocre town is somewhat less expensive than the one in my dads fancier town. Costco's all seem to charge the same price everywhere, but they dont list phone cards on their web site.

Onesuite allows you to print out a 'phone card', essentially their 800 # and your PIN. Using this at any phone gives you 2.9c. Using a local dialin number drops it to 2.5c.

The Vonage referral that Dory mentioned can be a good thing if you actively recruit friends...by signing up a dozen other people you can have a year of phone service for free!
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Re: Cheap long distance
Old 03-09-2004, 10:51 AM   #9
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Re: Cheap long distance

i see this alot on another forum i read.


www.vonage.com
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Re: Cheap long distance
Old 03-10-2004, 01:54 AM   #10
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Re: Cheap long distance

That's the one I use (vonage). So far so good.

Everything written above seems correct - your modem-like box (that comes with the service) plugs into your DSL/cablemodem/router and produces dial tone for the phone line plugged into it. No special phone.

One interesting aspect -- if you travel, you just take your modem with you and plug into broadband anywhere, and your phone number is working there. I don't think this portability is limited to the vonage; I've heard of other VOIP users doing the same thing.

Dory36
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Re: Cheap long distance
Old 03-10-2004, 07:29 AM   #11
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Re: Cheap long distance

Yep that can be done with most VOIP setups. Its conceivable that the company could limit where your terminal adapter would work, but unlikely they'd bother.

This portability creates another benefit. If you have a friend or family member going to another part of the country or another part of the world, have them get a vonage or packet8 phone with a phone # in your local area (you can say which area code you want, and even 'port' your current phone number a la the recent cell phone changes).

Once they move, their VOIP phone still has what appears to be a "local" number. They can call you with their unlimited free minutes, and you and everyone else in the local area can call them as a free "local" call.

I know a few folks that sent Grandma and Grandpa a VOIP box after they retired and moved out of state. Since they're plug and play they're easy to set up and a great way to keep in touch on the cheap.
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