Skype – an early review

I have a few friends living overseas. Calling them long-distance ain’t cheap. So I installed Skype today. And guess what? It works. I talked to a friend of mine in France and although there was a slight delay in the signal, it was negligible. We started with a regular audio call, no video feed. The sound was just as good as any telephone and there was no delay. The slight delay only kicked in after we switched to video.

For those not-in-the-know, here’s the Wikipedia entry for Skype:

Skype is software that allows users to make telephone calls over the Internet. Calls to other users of the service and to free-of-charge numbers are free, while calls to other landlines and mobile phones can be made for a fee. Additional features include instant messaging, file transfer and video conferencing.

Continue reading Skype – an early review

Long-Distance Phone Plans In Atlantic Canada

old telephoneI changed my long-distance phone plan today. I use Primus, which had a much better rate than the competitors back in August, 2000 when I got it.

My old plan was The Dime Time MAX (which isn’t offered anymore):

  • $3.95 network monthly fee
  • 10 cents per minute evenings (6pm-8am) & weekends anywhere in Canada. Never
    pay more that $20 a month for up to 800 minutes. 10 cents per minute
    thereafter.
  • 20 cents per minute for daytime calling in Canada (from 8am to 6pm).
  • 20 cents per minute flat rate to the US anytime.

My new plan: Truly International

  • 6 cents per minute in Canada and US anytime.
  • $4.95 total for network and monthly recurring charge.

Comparable plan from Rogers: Smart Plan

  • 5 cents per minute in Canada and US anytime.
  • $5.50 total for network and monthly recurring charge.

Comparable plan from Aliant: Simply Your Way

  • $5.95 network charge, plus:
  • $3.95/month if you choose 6 cents a minute
  • $1.95/month if you choose 10 cents a minute
  • No extra charge if you choose 15 cents a minute

We only call to Newfoundland and we don’t do that often. I usually don’t have more than 120 minutes per month in long-distance calling.

The Rogers plan has a better minute rate by 1 cent, plus I MAY get a discount from them since their my cable TV and internet provider. I’ll look into that.

Unlimited Complaints

According to HBC Connections Long Distance Plan, “unlimited” means 20 hours per month, as Steve discovered:

…the salespeople were trained not to inform prosepective clients that the limit is 1200 minutes unless they question them on the meaning of the term “unlimited”. They freakin’ intentionally mislead people!! Jeeeeezuss! I informed her that I did indeed ask them to verify the term “unlimited”, so she said that they would have their QA people review the tapes.

Unfortunately, it’s a common marketing ploy by phone companies. When Does Unlimited Mean Unlimited? describes their experience with its new meaning:

Rogers promised me an unlimited plan, and then changed the definition of the common English word unlimited to mean the exact opposite. It’s positively python-esque in its hubris.

Dishonesty sucks.