I have family around the world and it has been nice that we traveled together to Japan, but most of the time, I communicate with them over the phone. Then, when VoIP appears, I tried Skype-to-Skype, the quality was OK, but it started to get worse and worse lately. I could hardly hear the conversation, and after a few times, I gave up.
I can’t remember when or how I found Rebtel, but a few months ago I started looking into this site. I was skeptical about the free calls, and how they work. Not all calls are free, but the rates for other calls are fairly cheap and they are very helpful in instructing the user how to make the free calls.
Basically there are 30 – 40 countries that you can call for free (including many European countries), so you want to set up the phone numbers first and save them in your account (can be added later also). Rebtel converts them into local numbers for you to call and can automatically send the numbers as SMS to your cell phone to store if you choose. Then, email your friend that you will call at a certain time and ask the person to disconnect the call without picking up. Your friend needs to have a phone that can see incoming phone number, and note that number (which will, magically, be a local number to your friend) then call back. During this whole time, do NOT hang up the phone while your friend disconnects and calls back right away. It should only take 10 seconds or so to talk to your friend again, and for free with no limits!!
As I said I was skeptical, but since Rebtel gives me 10 minutes free to try with no credit card number needed, there is really nothing to lose. I signed up a while ago and have everything set but did not make any calls until today, when I need to call my boyfriend abroad as he is temporarily out of the country. He is in one of the free Rebtel countries, so I gave him the instructions and tried this out. The call was very clear, and I checked on my Rebtel account, it showed up as a ‘smart call’ (what they call their ‘free call’) and $0 balance for the 16 minute conversation. It will use the airtime and treated as a local call if you are using this on the cell phone, so it is better to do this on a landline. They do let you register 5 different phones so that’s very convenient.
If you are interested in trying it out, please click on the button that says ‘Join Rebtel’ on the right so that you can get a 20 minute international call credit instead of 10 if you do not use the link. Try it out and see it for yourself – I think this is going to be the next Skype!