Cabin Fever!!!

I’ve got serious cabin fever. My car broke down and I haven’t been able to get it fixed (money probs) so, all I’ve been doing is surfing the Internet and buying things online… yikes! I’m trying to decide whether or not I need an acoustic guitar or a pair of vintage retro sandals. Came across this board and now am totally excited to check out the book and cruise around all these messages! Meanwhile, my long distance company just informed me that their rates are going up so I’ve been searching cheap ways to call long distance as well. My cell phone just doesn’t get the best reception, EVER, and I think they charge WAY too much for LD. Does anyone have any cool experiences with a calling card or VOIP?

Free long distance with (loads of spam though set up a dummy email account) and rather cheap rates with

No experience with VOIP though.

  1. Take a walk, some fresh air will do wonders for cabin fever.

  2. I have AT&T’s VOIP service for my home office phone and it works well but some folks dont’ have as much bandwidth and report problems. There are some online sites for testing your net bandwidth but I don’t have a link for them just now.

  3. Join SDMB so you can say hi to Opal

I’ve heard good things about Skype, although I’ve never used it myself.

I have used both Skype and Vonage, and I felt that both were pretty good. The quality was acceptable for me, and better than a cell phone on average. However, Consumer Reports had an assortment of panelists try out Internet phone service and they concluded the following:

They also found that a cable internet connection with plenty of bandwidth is required for decent sounding calls.

I also used AT&T phone cards from Sam’s club for a while. They’re only about 3.5 cents a minute, and if you program the card number into your speed dial it’s not that much of a hassle to use all the time. Since one card lasts me a year or two, I simply had a friend with a Sam’s club membership get me in to buy them every so often.

Currently I use only my cell phone, since I have decent reception where I live. Have you considered switching cell phone companies? Consumer Reports found that Verizon generally had the best coverage in the US.

I think this OP is looking more for opinions, so let’s move this to IMHO.

samclem GQ moderator

Thanks for all the replies so far! And, thanks for moving this to a more appropriate sub board… still kinda new at this! I have looked into Skype, bt my main long distance phone call goes to the parents out in Costa Rica and they don’t like using the computer much. Also, I don’t live nearby a Sam’s Club… can those be purchased online?

Being cooped up sucks, especially in the summer! Man! As far as long distance goes, I decided a long time ago that it’s over-priced. I use a OneSuite calling card for all my calls (I don’t even have a land line). You can buy it right online at their website, so no need to drive anywhere. Cell phones totally charge too much too.

You can use SkypeOut to call a regular phone line. It looks like Costa Rica is only 6.6 cents a minute, which is pretty reasonable. It also looks like you can buy Sam’s club calling cards online only if you are a member, so I guess you are out of luck there if you don’t know anyone. Doesn’t really matter though, it’s really a domestic and not an international card. Callinging Costa Rico with it is about 24 cents a minute if I understand their rate system(7 minute surcharge which I think applies to every minute, but might be just a one time charge). I’m sure a search will turn up lots of other cheap cards though, like that OneSuite mentioned above (8 cents a minute for Costa Rico it looks like).