Contact us Customer service: 0800 1388 388
0800 840 4949

Simplifydigital.com’s guide to saving on your international calls this Christmas

Millions of homes call abroad every day and the number - greatly increases as the holiday season approaches. In fact, a recent Which? survey shows that a staggering 40 per cent of UK homes call abroad on Christmas day itself*.

By on November 17, 2011 at 14:31 PM
Press
Home phone
Simplifydigital.com’s guide to saving on your international calls this Christmas

 

Simplifydigital research shows that families are wasting millions of pounds per year on international calls by failing to shop around for the best international calls plan.  One third of homes has not changed their home phone package in over five years and is missing out on big savings.  

As Charlie Ponsonby, CEO of Simplifydigital.co.uk comments:

"We take thousands of calls from customers who pay through the nose for international calls that they could get cheaper or even for free.  With a little help from our independent experts, switching to a cheaper call plan is extremely easy."

Home phone customers have two basic options when calling internationally - using a conventional home phone service from the likes of BT, TalkTalk or Virgin Media - or using a VOIP (voice over internet protocol) service which uses the internet to carry the calls.

An increasing share of homes is turning to VOIP solutions from Skype and Vonage for example when calling internationally as they offer great prices and features such as video calls (ideal when speaking to family abroad).

Choosing the best call plan

A conventional call plans using the BT or cable network require customers to pay for line rental which varies from £7.50 to £14.60 per month. In addition they then subscribe to a suitable call plan.  These plans change regularly and it is the homes on old "legacy packages" that tend to lose out. 

In addition, some call plans include free or heavily discounted international calls (to varying call destinations).  So the key is to find the plan that matches the international destinations you call regularly.

Charlie Ponsonby, CEO of Simplifydigital.co.uk, concludes:

"Families who regularly make international calls and have not shopped around for a  call plan are crazy! They could be literally pouring £1 coins down the drain every time they pick up the phone."

International call cost table


International call rates

 

Simplifydigital pick of the international call deals this Christmas

To illustrate the potential savings, we take the example of the Davis family who have children living in Florida.  They speak every weekend for about half an hour making 120 minutes of call time to the US every month.  The standard BT rate for these calls would be 12p per min., making a cost of £14.40 per month for the calls (plus £10.00 BT line rental saver), making a total cost of £24.40 per month.*
*BT line rental saver, £120.00 must be paid a year in advance.

SkyTalk Unlimited
•    £5 per month (plus £9.95 per month line rental)**
•    Free daytime, evening and weekend calls to UK landlines
•    Allows you to make inclusive calls to 20 popular international destinations including Australia, USA, Canada, and most of mainland Europe

Monthly additional cost to the Davis family of speaking to the family in Florida  = £14.95, so a saving of £9.45 per month versus BT standard rates.
**Sky Upfront line rental, £119.40 must be paid a year in advance.

BT Unlimited Anytime Calls
•    £5.00 per month for free calls to landlines at anytime of the day
•    No free International calls but BT have "Bolt ons" that you can purchase: e.g. BT International Freedom Bolt On:
-    £5.00 per month
-    Unlimited calls to landlines abroad
-    Calls to France, USA and Australia are Free

Monthly additional cost to the Davis family of speaking to the family in Florida if they take the BT International Freedom plan = £5, so a saving of £9.40 versus BT standard rates.

Primus Home Phone Max
•    Free (plus £12.99 per month line rental)
•    Free daytime, evening and weekend calls
•    Low rates to many international destinations

Monthly additional cost to the Davis family of speaking to the family in Florida  = £4.20, so a saving of £7.21 versus BT standard rates.

Simplifydigital pick of the VOIP call deals this Christmas

The two most popular VOIP services in the UK are Skype and Vonage.  Skype offers standard calls and video calls and you can make Skype calls from your PC, mobile phone, or even Skype enabled TV! 
Most customers use the PC calling method, which is good for "occasion calls" (such as a weekly call to a relation), but are not as convenient for those quick ad hoc calls, when you would normally just reach for your phone handset.

Skype Unlimited Worldwide
•    £7.99 per month
•    Free calls to 40 popular international destinations including Australia, USA, Canada, mainland Europe and a few other destinations in Asia including Thailand, China, and Singapore
•    You can also purchase Bolt ons to get discounted rates to International destinations not covered by Skype for example for 99p/month you will get 60 minutes to use which you can call India for 1.7p/min, rather than the standard calling rate of 5.4p/min

You require home broadband (and therefore line rental) to call via Skype, so monthly saving versus the standard BT rate is £6.41 per month
Vonage V Plan 2
•    £5.99 per month
•    Free calls to 15 popular International destinations including Australia, USA, and most of mainland Europe
•    Free calls at anytime of the day

You require home broadband (and therefore line rental) to call via Vonage, so monthly saving versus the standard BT rate is £8.41 per month

 

 

 

Notes to editors:
Simplifydigital.com offers a free and impartial "Switching Support" service for anyone looking to get a digital TV, broadband or phone package.
Its London-based impartial experts are available for free over the phone, to answer all those tricky questions and match the family's needs to the best deal available.
Simplifydigital.com's experts are available for free on 0800 1 388 388 seven days a week (Lines open Mon-Fri 8am-8pm; Saturday 9am-5:30pm; Sunday 10-5:30pm).
You can also use Simplifydigital.com's Ofcom accredited comparison engine online at www.simplifydigital.com.

Data:
*Research from Which? 2008

Call for free advice and to switch providers

0800 840 4949

Calls are free from a landline

On a mobile? Call 0203 092 5174 for standard rates

Our call centre is now closed, we'll reopen tomorrow at 8am

You can: