Author Topic: Cheapest voice-only outgoing calls (phone)  (Read 279 times)

Cpa Cat

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Cheapest voice-only outgoing calls (phone)
« on: April 21, 2017, 07:27:31 AM »
I use Ting for my phone and I like it, but lately I've been hitting the 1000 minute mark a day or two before the bill cycle closes. Minute 1001 costs an extra $17.

Last month, I shut off my phone and stopped using it for the last day of my bill and avoided it. This month, I was on with tech support for an hour and a half when minute 1001 ticked by. So frustrating!

The culprit calls of my minutes-use are phone calls to the IRS.

So I'm wondering if there's a better way.

I don't need a smart phone for these calls (or even a phone - I have a good headset for computer-based voice), I don't need incoming calls, I don't need text or data. Outgoing voice calls only.

What's the cheapest way? Bearing in mind that I usually only tick 1001 in my busiest months, so I don't necessarily want to pay a monthly fee just so I can save $17 four months of the year. Is there some kind of pay-as-you go, no frills option I can use?

I.P. Daley

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Re: Cheapest voice-only outgoing calls (phone)
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 07:50:25 AM »
Localphone seems like a solid option for what you're after.

0.5/minute PAYGO, or monthly minute packages at 75 for 250 minutes, $1.60 for 800 minutes, or $5 for 5000 minutes (easy to unsubscribe from without closing the account). No requirement for purchasing a DID phone number, some of the better voice call quality you'll encounter at this end of the price spectrum (and far better audio quality than any free service), pre-configured apps for Android/iOS for use over WiFi/mobile data, can be used from any computer with speakers/microphone using their desktop app (Windows/OSX), SIP phone friendly account credentials (if you need that sort of thing - opens up usage on other smartphone and desktop platforms, etc.), and you can actually set outbound Caller ID on the account to use your existing mobile phone number so nobody knows the difference.

If you're on Ting's GSM coverage and don't need to roam off of the T-Mobile network, you also might be interested in giving US Mobile a look. If you're on Ting's CDMA coverage and don't need roaming off Sprint, give Twigby a glance. You ditch trying to harmonize prices between T-Mobile and Sprint wholesale as well as roaming rates, and the cost drops a fair bit... especially if you've only got one or two lines on the Ting account.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 07:56:31 AM by I.P. Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

ditheca

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Re: Cheapest voice-only outgoing calls (phone)
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 11:03:32 AM »
You can make cheap outbound calls using a computer or internet-connected smartphone using Skype.

Just make some of your calls with that on months when you start getting close to your limit?

seattlecyclone

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Re: Cheapest voice-only outgoing calls (phone)
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 11:23:35 AM »
You can use Google Voice through a computer for free. It supports incoming and outgoing calls. I use this all the time when I'm at home to avoid using minutes on my pay-as-you-go cell plan.
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Nothlit

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Re: Cheapest voice-only outgoing calls (phone)
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 11:26:59 AM »
I use Google Hangouts to place outgoing calls on my iPhone when I don't want to use real minutes. It's free.

I.P. Daley

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Re: Cheapest voice-only outgoing calls (phone)
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 12:16:30 PM »
You can make cheap outbound calls using a computer or internet-connected smartphone using Skype.

Just make some of your calls with that on months when you start getting close to your limit?

Just wanted to draw something to your attention. Microsoft charges 2.3/minute for US calls without a monthly calling plan for outbound calls using Skype, and requires a proprietary application to use.

The service I mentioned, Localphone? They charge 0.5/minute for US calls without a monthly calling plan, their monthly calling plans are cheaper as well (even with a phone number), and they use open standards with their service so you don't have to use their applications to make the calls with if you don't want to. The call quality can be a little bit better than Skype at times, too.

The more you know. :)



Google Voice
Google Hangouts

It's worth noting that Google Voice has hard limits on call length before disconnecting at 180 minutes (three hours), and I've found on occasion in the past that they'll sometimes (and frequently) cut off right at the 120 minute (two hour) and 60 minute (one hour) marks as well during peak hours. Painfully irritating when you use them for long-winded support calls. Call quality to this day can still be hit and miss, too, and I have found they still have issues on occasion with IVR (interactive voice response) menu systems that require DTMF tones (phone button presses) to navigate more often than not. Caveat emptor. You get what you pay for.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 12:19:15 PM by I.P. Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Cheapest voice-only outgoing calls (phone)
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 12:36:12 PM »
It's worth noting that Google Voice has hard limits on call length before disconnecting at 180 minutes (three hours), and I've found on occasion in the past that they'll sometimes (and frequently) cut off right at the 120 minute (two hour) and 60 minute (one hour) marks as well during peak hours.

I might turn homicidal if I had this happen to me during a call with the IRS.

Thanks for the suggestions, guys! It sounds like Skype would be easiest, since I already have Skype configured on my computer and know how to use it. And the cheaper Localphone if I'm feeling froggy this month and want to learn a new program that's cheaper.

Heroes821

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Re: Cheapest voice-only outgoing calls (phone)
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 01:57:55 PM »
If you are doing it from home your internet provider might offer phone services.  My current bundle came with a home phone line that I have never connected but by adding that line reduced my bill supposedly.  I know a local Co-op here offer Gig fiber to houses 1 GB down and up for $80/month, but you have to have a phone with them $10? a month so gig internet for $90/month. unlimited calls from the house phone.

SuperSecretName

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Re: Cheapest voice-only outgoing calls (phone)
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 02:11:55 PM »
download textnow. free outgoing calls on wifi