Thursday, May 17, 2007

Keeping in touch

As we prepare to go the UK for six months, we’ve been looking at all sorts of options for dealing with calling home and using email. There are plenty of options, but a lot of them are expensive, with a capital E. We’re probably going to use Skype in part, though so far it’s debateable how well it’ll work for us. But we’ve done some testing here at home and things are starting to come together.
Skype, of course, is only of use if you’re close to the laptop. Another option I wouldn’t have normally considered is a calling card, but Pingo’s cards seem to be very economic to use - and they allegedly don’t have any of those awful charges that eat up the money on the card before you’ve even started talking. I’ve just had a look at the FAQ, and it seems it’s only when you call from public phones that you have additional charges. Well, that’s normal, I guess.
Usually when I come across these sorts of cards on the Net, they’re limited to one country, but Pingo actually lists NEW ZEALAND. I had to use capitals to show that for once the great US of A has acknowledged that there’s a little country down the bottom of the world. We’re not the only country they acknowledge and act as a prepaid calling card provider for. In fact, the list goes on and on, and their site quotes all sorts of rates for calling from hither and yon and back again. Yes, even for NZ. Ain’t that amazing?
Their rates are very good too, though there seemed to be a bit of a discrepancy between their quote in English pounds compared to the same quote in New Zealand dollars. One is 2.7P per minute, and the other is a phenomenal .072 per minute. I don’t think those two quite equate. Nevertheless, that’s a pretty good rate. But what I did like the idea of is having a pin connected to the card. Gone are those awful days when you had to press umpteen buttons to get to the person you wanted to call. And if you made a mistake - you started all over again!
Pingo calling cards are available in NZ, but I can’t find a direct link. So I’m going to give you one for the International prepaid filipino calling cards, since I can find that link much more easily!