In these times when Indian Diaspora is all around the world, the need for them to communicate back to their loved ones in India is always there.So there comes the need to find providers of cheap calls to Inda. There was a time when the telephone companies had the monopoly over international phone calls. The charges for international calls to India were anything but cheap. ISD calls would rip-off your budget.
Airtel is launching in UK and currently promoting 50% extra minutes until august 31st 2008, which effectivly makes the cost as 2.3p a minute. This post here, summarises it well.
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In last few years with help of all new technology the options available to make long distance cheap calls to India had increased. No longer is the telephone service provider the only option for international calls to India. There are so many options available that we can easily get lost in the maize. Weather it is cheap calling cards to India or VOIP to India through internet, it may be fixed numbers to call that connect you further to your destination in India or use your mobile phone minutes from your call plan to make cheap calls to India. Use your PC with applications such as Skype to make cheap international calls, the options are a lot. But to find the one that suit you depending upon weather you like it simple or you are tech savvy, the decision to make the correct choice is daunting. Many of us keep giving our hard earned money to the telephone provider just because we don't want to take the effort to know the other cheaper phone call options available. Here we try to summarise all different options for you to make cheap calls to India.
You want to talk to your beloved ones in India and you are looking for calling cards to India. This seems like an easy decision. you go online you saw some phone card which gives excellent rate for your city and you buy it. That is easy! No! As you find out later that actual charges are lot more and your card has already expired while you don't even have used all those minutes. Selecting a calling card for India is a daunting task but selecting a prepaid phone card wisely keeping an eye on any hidden charges or expiry terms and one that gives the best price for your particular country can reduce your international call charges dramatically. So first lets see the benefits of using Calling cards to call India or anywhere.
Benefits of Calling cards
First calling cards are very convenient. Even if you don't have a landline phone number you can go to a public booth and use your calling card. If this is the case look out for cards that have toll free number. Some cards have different rate for using toll free number than toll number.
You do not need to switch your normal telephone carrier, stand-alone prepaid phone cards can be used with any telephone company. You get mobility. You can call from any phone including cellular, you are independent from local carrier and you get anonymity. Often you can find the absolute LOWEST rate to a particular international country by using prepaid phone cards rather than direct dial service.
You can get phone Cards Online:
Buying phone cards online is very convenient and it has a lot of advantages:
Wide range of the phone cards in one place
Easy to compare the rates and select the best card for you
Instantly get the PIN at any time and any place where you have an access to the Internet (go through verification to eliminate any delays)
How do phone cards work?
You simply pay for the calling time in advance and reduce the prepaid balance as you make calls. To make a call you dial Toll Free Access Number, enter your "PIN" number, and dial the phone number you wish to call.
Choosing a calling calling/phone card?
Choosing a calling card that suit you can be quite cumbersome. Just don't go for the advertised call rates. Actual rates can be quite different when all the hidden terms are applied. So always read the fine print.
1. So research the card of interest to you. Before purchasing, it is a good idea to check out the "fine print.
2. Study the rate offered.
When you choose a very cheap prepaid phone card, it is usually associated with more hidden charges. You need to pay attention to several common hidden charges, or the card can turn out to be a lot more expensive than you bargained for.
Common hidden costs that you need to look for are:
This can also be called first-minute surcharge. A connection fee is the additional fee imposed by the telephone company every time you use your phonecard to make a call. It varies from card to card. Connection fees add tremendously to the per minute cost of the call. If you encounter a call drop and have to redial the number you will be charged connection fee all over again. But sometimes when you need to make long calls these cards with connection fee turn out to be cheaper than others.
Be wary of disconnection fees, which works pretty much the same way as connection fees but are charged when you hang up. Also known as hang up fees.
Maintenance fees are deducted from your card without you even making a call! These fees are assessed on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. Some phone cards will start to charge a maintenance fee either when the first phone call is connected or after the first phone call is finished.
Certain phone cards charge a communication fee up to 25% of the phone call's cost.This makes the rates to be 25% more expensive in reality. The advertised total minutes looks more attractive because this fee is usually applied after the call is finished.
Long Talking Fees:
Certain phone cards charge this fee that's rarely known to lots of customers. If the customer talked for more than 20 mins, 40 cents will be charged for every 20 minutes talking time. This equals to 2 cents more per minute.
Multiple Minute Rounding:
Multiple minute rounding means you pay for more minutes that you actually spoke.
Many Calling card companies use VOIP this brings poor quality. Often calls will have intolerable delays, missing words, and sudden disconnections.