I Is For International Calls

Until I moved from London to the USA in 1994 I knew little of International Phone Calls, except that they were horrendously costly to make, and that the quality of the call was almost certainly going to be awful.

I remember when my uncle and aunt emmigrated to Australia in the early 1970’s that we would talk to them once a year, with calls costing about a pound a minute, and everybody would pass the phone around and pretty much just say “Merry Christmas” and that was it.

Having moved to the USA, I still wanted to be able to call my family back in England, and that cost in the 1990’s about 50 cents a minute, plus other charges, which was not good for the bank account.

Fortunately I was at that time working from home, for a London based software house, with my clients being locations for one of the major oil companies, that were dotted around Central and South America and the Caribbean.  Therefore if I wanted to make a personal call to the UK, the cost pretty much went unnoticed, and so things didn’t really change until my contract came to an end in 1999 and I had to pay for my own calls back home.

At that time I did find that I could place calls cheaper by using International Calling Cards, and found one that did save me a lot of money, even though the cost was a lot more than I pay today.   It was when that card went out of business about 5 years ago that I began to look into finding a new International Calling Card, and found out that I could really save a small fortune.

Things really changed when researching into my family history online I met a wonderful English Rose and fell in love.  Over the months our emails turned into phone calls, and I knew that with money being tight, finding the best International Calling Card that suited my needs was paramount.

Changing the subject for a minute, Debbie, my English Rose, wrote about How Debbie Met Tony, and if you are interested in learning more about us, this makes a good read.

Anyhow, I am well aware of how I can often waffle on and digress, and so to cut a long story short, I settled for a calling card company that has a range of cards, and that offered me a great price for calling Debbie, with no surcharges, no hidden charges, and it has been absolutely brilliant, saving me hundreds of dollars over what I could have paid.  The web site for that company is Almost Free Phone Calls, and I highly recommend them.  The card that I used gave me 28 hours of calls to the UK for $20, which was fantastic.

One other problem that I had was that in my last 2 years in Florida, before moving back to the UK, I did not have a landline, and so all my calls had to be made on my cell phone.

Now as anyone with a cell phone knows, if you go over your minutes, it can cost you dearly, and since we were talking for hours every day, the local cost was beginning to mount up.

It was then that I came across Metro PCS, who had monthly plans that included unlimited minutes on your account.

Now since my International Calling Card had a local number that I could dial, I only needed to make local calls with Metro PCS, and so I ended up with a second cell phone, purely to call Debbie in England, and with the Calling Card number programmed in, keeping in touch was incredibly easy.

Since the cost of calling from the UK to the USA was about 4 times as much, she used to “ping” me, calling me and just allowing the ring to sound once, and then I would call her back.  It worked perfectly.

So why am I writing this article you might wonder?

Well, the fact is, that many of us have family and friends who either live overseas or are visiting overseas, or maybe we are fortunate enough to travel overseas ourselves.  It has always been expensive to make those overseas calls as we all know, but if you want to call Mom on Mothers Day, or a family member on their birthday, or just to say “Hi” to an old friend who is overseas, by using one of these International Calling Cards, it’s now very affordable.

Before I end, let’s not forget those who have family and friends who are serving overseas in the armed forces.  Sending them an International Calling Card (which you can do via email etc), will make it easier for them to call home and to keep in touch, and it makes a great gift.

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