05 January, 2008

Rebtel - perfect for international calls


I've had a Rebtel account for at least 18 months, but I have recently introduced my wife to the service.... and she's loving it.

Here's how it works:
  1. Configure your account / telephone numbers / address book appropriately. (Yep, there's some set-up required at Rebtel's website.)
  2. Then the Rebtel User (eg in US) calls their international contact (eg in Ireland) on a local (ie US) number.
  3. Rebtel takes the incoming call and, matches it with the directory in your account, connects to your contact's number in Ireland (ie their ordinary landline).
Advantage: Given that local calls are free in the US, then the Rebel User only pays for the international portion of the call - which is priced at VoIP rates not International Mobile rates (ie 2 cents per minute rather than 50+ cents per minute!)

There is an additional twist in it for advanced users. After step 3 above, then if the international contact hangs up, and then immediately dials the last number received, then the call between the two people is re-established. Then Rebtel user is then not paying for the international portion at all! Very cute.

However this last step is usually way too fiddly to be bothered with. And I've had quality problems too with this advanced usage.

Another huge advantage is that my wife now has a number in Ireland. So if anyone rings it, the call will be patched through to her mobile phone or landline. So the initiator of the call pays for the cost of the local call (if applicable) and my wife pays for the international portion of the call. Very useful.

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