Richard Bucker

I Want A Skype Replacement

Posted at — Jan 17, 2012

I’m not happy with Skype. There I said it. But like many things in life I do not have much of a choice. The first time I used Skype I was in Barcelona Spain on my honeymoon and I needed to call our family to let them know we arrived before we headed out.So it cost me $4 for the hotel wifi, and $5 for one day of Skype… and I was able to make one phone call that was interrupted 5 times by either bad wifi or Skype service. I’ll never know. I should have used my cell phone thanks to hindsight.Now I use Google Voice for as much as I can. There are still a few challenges there. It’s decent quality but in order to keep the cellphone minutes down I’m forced to use Google Talk via the browser because they do not have a wifi client for the iPhone.What I’d really like, now, is a Skype online number.  That’s a number that someone else, presumably landline or mobile, in order to reach me wherever my Skype connection is active. The problem is I cannot tell what the pricing is. I cannot tell where the discounts are and I cannot tell what the best plan is for me.The most annoying part is that they do not offer any sales support beyond their website and FAQ. I tried to enter into the system for a callback for a business-class service. They promised a callback, but all I got was an email. Granted there was a phone number at the bottom but I was not going to call it because they promised me a call.Looking at their website they promised me a 50% discount on the online number but every time I went into my cart it cost $60/yr.  Where was the discount?  Then I found a small +++ reference.  There is a catch.  You have to purchase a subscription.So after the 12-month (prepaid) subscription the cost is $2.50/month. But I still have to pay for an online number. Since I cannot buy both at the same time I have no idea if they are going to honor the advertised 50% discount. But here is something else I noticed.  I have a $10 balance on my Google Voice account and my Skype account.  I have not made a call that would cost anything … So what is this all good for?