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Skype alternatives and overseas communications

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Brah
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Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby Brah » Mon, 02 May 2016 10:52 am

It does and does not surprise me when I get in contact with recruiters in the US who are unprepared to communicate in other means than phone calls.

It does not surprise me in the sense that they are typically inward-looking and don't consider the outside world, i.e. not the US; it does surprise me to hear, as I have, things like "I'm not set up for Skype", or have people struggle to get online for a call, headsets, etc.

What I do get is "Call me any time", which strikes me as ignorant of the logistics and borderline insensitive, as if they are the only person I am talking to, or, that I should bear the cost and not their firm calling me - yes I benefit but that is their work arguably part of their operating expenses.

The sheer volume of calls and people to speak with required to get the ball rolling on role makes it prohibitively expensive to do via traditional telecom methods.

Yes I know there is a paid Skype alternative but that does not address the issue and again puts the onus on the candidate when there are decades-old simple and free alternatives.

So, about those alternatives, one of a few purposes for this thread - I have had calls with recruiters using Google Hangouts (with limited success, the call quality was good for me but poor for the other side, and we switched to Skype).

Facetime and iChat are nother alternatives but I think these requires Apple products and/or accounts.

So my questions for alternative VoIP tools as well as approaches or techniques to make it easier for Luddite or technophobe or simply unaccommodating people on the other end of the contact.

What other apps have you used, how well do they work, and how do you get others to use them? Specifically but not limited to the context of non-family / non-family contacts.


A simple search pulls these up:
http://www.informationweek.com/software ... e_number=3

http://beebom.com/skype-alternatives-2014/

http://www.ubergizmo.com/articles/skype-alternatives/
Last edited by Brah on Mon, 02 May 2016 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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rajagainstthemachine
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Re: Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby rajagainstthemachine » Mon, 02 May 2016 11:15 am

check out go to meeting, its quite a good and free collaboration tool, it goes above VOIP calling, however certain features may require subscription.

check it here : http://www.gotomeeting.com.sg/
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Re: Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 02 May 2016 11:19 am

1. Buy Skype credit so that you can dial directly to landlines and mobiles in the USA and the rest of the world... it's really cheap... and far better than farting around with other VOIP technologies... it just works. It's 2.3 cents per minute to the USA. Talk for an hour and a half for 2 bux. Why deal with the headaches of getting something else working.

2. But an inward phone number from Skype. You can get a Texas 832-XXX-XXXX number for $52.26 per year. Since virtually every phone number in the USA is toll free from a mobile, any potential employer can call you on your USA number for free and it rings on your Skype on PC or mobile.

I used both for years without issue. I've dropped my USA number now that I am back but still use Skype to call overseas because it is so much cheaper.

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Re: Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby nakatago » Mon, 02 May 2016 11:50 am

What I do, if they don't have my messaging platform of choice or don't ask for mine, I keep giving my phone number if they want to call that.

But if I call them, I use a web-based solution: used to use Skype but found Google Hangouts has better call quality and cheaper rates. YMMV, of course. If you're opting for Skype, go with SE's solution. I used to have a Google Voice (US-based) number but I haven't checked what's happened to it.

Not being a bigot and in fact, some of my good mates are recruiters, but recruiters are insensitive bastards, wherever they are in the world.

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Re: Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby bgd » Tue, 03 May 2016 11:04 am

I guess not ideal if you are looking at leaving but Starhub have their 018 number which, for $7 a month, gives free calls to 19 countries, including the US. I guess the other telecos have something similar. You probably get locked in though.

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Brah
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Re: Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby Brah » Tue, 03 May 2016 7:13 pm

bgd wrote:I guess not ideal if you are looking at leaving but Starhub have their 018 number which, for $7 a month, gives free calls to 19 countries, including the US. I guess the other telecos have something similar. You probably get locked in though.

Great info, thanks for this. I use 018 before international calls to get a cheaper rate but didn't know about this service.

They said they can enable the service in an hour and there is no contract, can stop it any time.

According to StarHub, 1 hour per minute = 15c/minute, which * 60 minutes = $9

The Skype service to the US is 2.3c/minute, some time back I paid $10 for it, used it a couple of times.
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whateverls14
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Re: Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby whateverls14 » Wed, 18 May 2016 11:47 am

why dont you just use http://linktomp3.com/ ?
Last edited by whateverls14 on Mon, 23 May 2016 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Brah
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Re: Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby Brah » Wed, 18 May 2016 12:28 pm

I sometimes do, it's the same thing, different app, and few in the US use it so not relevant for this purpose.
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Re: Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby the lynx » Wed, 18 May 2016 1:16 pm

Brah, I agree with SE about Skype credits. You use Skype credits to call landline and mobile numbers in USA. I've done that few times to USA, Canada, UK and Australia, and I've been very happy. It has become my go-to for situations where the person I call is not familiar with Skype or VOIP products, and couldn't be bothered to learn to use them. You only have to make sure that you have good Internet connection on your end - that's all. I forgot the math in terms of costs per minute, but for only $10 or $25 package, you can significantly better call quality. And pretty good mileage for the credits.

I also second bgd's 018 (or 019 for Singtel) idea but you need to be a current postpaid subscriber for 12-month commitment to use it. The 12-month starts from your first use. Not worth it if you're looking to leave in less than that.

I see the domestic helpers and construction workers flock to buy those IDD call cards. There must be a reason why they rather go for this, than say, their own telco provider's 018/019 route. Any idea?

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Re: Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby Brah » Wed, 18 May 2016 1:35 pm

Thanks Lynx, and I agree. I've had a $10 paid Skype subscription for years and never used it until recently, and it is very cost effective.

I have used this recently for calls with some recruiters there, but not all.

I was admittedly being stubborn at certain recruiters' stubbornness, self-righteousness, inflexibility and ignorance, and frankly, attitude. Especially as this was a non-issue for many of their competitors in the industry.

If this were, say, 2001 and we didn't have smartphones as we know them today, if the apps weren't free and as remarkably fast and simple to download, create an account, and use, I might understand.

Yes this is to my benefit, though as much to me as it is to theirs - this is their business and they should make this minimal amount effort as do many of their competitors. And stupid not to, as many have out-of-state candidates and client companies and they would save money.

Bloody Luddites.

Re 018, see my response - no contract needed and can be month-by-month.
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the lynx
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Re: Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby the lynx » Wed, 18 May 2016 3:33 pm

Ah my bad. I must have missed it from your post in my reply. Damn they must have changed since the last time I looked at 018/019 options AND it is still more expensive than Skype.

But frankly, regarding recruiters, say all we want about them (especially them being ignorant pricks) but they stand between us and the big job. If I weren't to be desperate and I know my stuff and where I stand in the industry, I'd have given them a good dressing down for being such useless pretentious lot. But at times, I would have suckered to compromise just have them on my side.

Nevertheless I wish you all the best, and zero pain from the recruiters. :P

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Brah
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Re: Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby Brah » Wed, 18 May 2016 4:39 pm

...agree, and why a good network can outweigh having to use recruiters.

Not all recruiters are bad, but the odds are way in favor that they will be.

And thank you for the well-wishes!
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Re: Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby kaseyma » Thu, 19 May 2016 11:01 am

The friends and family I have around the world are all on Skype, so that's what we use.
For calls to non-toll-free numbers I use 018, but for toll-free numbers in the US I also use Skype (they are toll-free).

Have also been called by others on WhatsApp, but I haven't tried using this to call out.

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Re: RE: Re: Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby ecureilx » Thu, 19 May 2016 11:10 am

the lynx wrote:I see the domestic helpers and construction workers flock to buy those IDD call cards. There must be a reason why they rather go for this, than say, their own telco provider's 018/019 route. Any idea?


Call cards are cheaper for some destinations, like 120 minutes to India on some cards, at 8$. And 150 minutes to Philippines at same price

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Re: RE: Re: Skype alternatives and overseas communications

Postby Bigjohn32819 » Thu, 19 May 2016 12:19 pm

the popular whatsapp app soon releasing video calls ...

goodbye skype ?


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