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Posts Tagged ‘Skype’

In the process of searching for cheaper long-distance calling rates to certain countries from Skype, I checked online for calling cards.

Given a mobile rate of 23 cents per minute on Skype, surely you could save a lot with a calling card, right?

Not when you look for cards without all kinds of supplementary (hidden) fees, such as:

Connection fee
“Rounding” up of one or more minute (up to 4 minutes in some cases)
Maintenance fee
Peak/Off-peak rates
Toll-free surcharge
Payphone surcharge
Minimum order amount

Starting with a card with a per minute rate of 9.9 cents, you find out the price is a lot higher with rounding up of each call by 4 minutes, a 99 cent weekly “maintenance” fee, and a 1.4 cent per-call connection fee.

By the time I found a calling card comparable to the flat-rate service Skype offers, it’s up to 19.5 cents per minute, with all applicable per-call costs.

What seems like a 57% discount with the 9.9 cent per minute calling card, becomes more expensive for short calls, and the most expensive calling card is only modestly cheaper than Skype, at 15%.

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As a paramount sign of over-regulation of the cell phone market in the U.S., and misplaced priorities, it’s cheaper to send a text message to Iraq than to the U.S, via Skype, at a cost of 9.7 cents USD per message to Iraq, and 11.2 cents to the U.S.

The ironies abound, with the U.S. taxpayer bearing the overwhelming cost of securing a stable government in Iraq, while Iraqis can send text messages for cheaper than Americans can, despite a continued lack of basic infrastructure there, and decaying infrastructure in the U.S.

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