Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Saving Money on Telephone Calls

With thanks to Les Roberts for this guest post :

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have become so reliant on your mobile phone, and so used to getting ‘free’ call time and texts (I say free but they’re not really free, we still pay for them) that you rarely use your landline for anything other than as a connection to everything the internet has to offer.

And so your telephone sits in the hallway, gathering dust, a relic of a bygone era when we made plans and stuck to them instead of changing them by text every five minutes as we do now, just because we can - or, again if you’re anything like me, out of necessity as you run about 15 minutes behind the rest of the world.

However, it appears that the lowly landline may not be dead and buried after all, as they can be used not only to make cheap calls to 0845 and 0800 numbers, but also to other landlines, mobiles and even international numbers - which is really useful if you have friends or family abroad.

The way to get these discounted calls is to use access codes, which are available for free, on sites such as cheapcalls.co.uk. You simply get the relevant code from the site, be that for a call to another UK landline, mobile or international number and tap it into your phone before dialling the phone number that you want to be connected to. You then press the hash (#) key to get connected and save money on your calls.


You still have to pay your providers connection fee, but you’d pay that anyway whether or not you used an access code, and the cost of the call will appear on your next bill, again, as it would normally. Furthermore, you don’t have to register any details, exchange any credit card or bank details or join any mailing list, it really is just a case of getting the free code and dialling away.

I’m not sure how the access code companies make their money, I’ve read that it’s most likely through revenue sharing the cost of the call with BT, but that’s not really a concern when you can cut your landline to mobile call costs to just 3p per minute and make calls to other UK and international landlines for as little as 0.5p per minute.

There are other ways to save on the cost of your landline calls, such as getting a package from your landline provider that offers free evening and weekend calls and making sure you only make calls during the inclusive hours. It used to be the case that if you went with a provider other than BT you would still have to pay a line rental fee to BT, but the introduction of wholesale line rental revolutionised the market and opened it up to a host of companies that offer a range of plans to suit a variety of customers.

However, even if you choose a plan with inclusive call time, you’ll still most likely find that there are restrictions on them, either through only being able to make calls at certain times of day or having certain types of calls excluded, such as to mobile and international numbers.

Which means that you can still save money by using access numbers - it looks like it could be time to dust of the old trim phone after all.

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