Skype! Should I ditch the cell?

DHS OdiumDHS Odium Registered User regular
edited May 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So I currently have a cell phone, nothing fancy, I only ever use it for actual calls, I hate texting and don't pay for it. I have the lowest plan from AT&T, and pay around $40 I think for 450 minutes a month. It should be noted that I have a bajillion rollover minutes because I don't chit-chat on the phone. My calls are brief and to the point with anyone I talk to. I have considered a Go Phone type of plan as well, but I don't know too much about that either (let me know if this is a better choice for me after reading this post).

Anyway, I've know about Skype for some time but recently I've actually become interested. What I want to know is if it's a feasible replacement for a phone. I know it's free for Skype to Skypke calls, but I don't know anybody with Skype. I could get my fiancee to try it, she has an iPhone, and I believe there is an app on that. Besides her, the only other people I talk on the phone with is my parents, and some friends. I can't get my parents to get on Skype. Well, I probably could, but I doubt they'd use it, and they wouldn't want to sit at a computer to talk to me. My dad has a WinMo phone which probably has an app, but that's just getting out of hand. Baby steps here.

So my solution would be something Skype offers, I make an account, pay for a subscription to allow me to call land and mobile lines, and also pay for a number to allow people to call me directly. Problem would seem to be solved, as no one would actually have to use Skype but me, or be aware that it's what I'm using.

I'm a little fuzzy about how much the actual cost ends up being, even after looking at their site. I can't use my current phone number could I, it would have to be a special one from Skype? No way to transfer it? That's a bummer. Anyway, there seems to be a subscription for $3 a month to call land or mobile lines, but there's also a charge of $.02 for each minute? That seems pretty cheap. How much is it for a number? The site said $60 a year, which also seems cheap. Is it really as easy as getting a number, and just giving that to people? How does voicemail work?

Beyond all the actual details and payment plans, how would I adapt to it? Has anyone here made a switch to Skype only communication? I have a PSP 2000, so I would just need to buy the headset to be able to use that. The places I am in most often are home and work, both have high speed internet connections, and I'm almost always on the computer. So that solves the issue of people contacting me most of the time. The PSP would then need to go with me everywhere else, and I would have to rely on free WiFi access. Something I haven't had a whole lot of luck with. Has anyone used the PSP for Skype? Does it have to be on all the time, is there a sleep mode that rings? One issue I see is you always have to set up connections, so unless I go to the exact same places through any trip, I'd have to spend a minute to try to connect, and leave it on, just in the off chance someone wants to talk to me at that point in time. How does it drains the battery?

Consider that I've had a cell phone for nearly 8 years, with the same number, and I am used to the ability to instantly talk to anyone I want. It is easy to get used to the idea that I need to be online to make a call? What about emergencies?

When I get home later I'll probably create a free account just to play around with it on the computer and PSP, but I'd like some input for those people using Skype, and hopefully some input from PSP users doing the same.

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Posts

  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I have an iPhone and a Skype account where I can call out, but I can't receive calls (I'm in Canada and for some reason you can't get a Canadian number).

    It's $3/month roughly and well worth it, IMO.

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Provided you have friends, you need to have at least a Go-Phone.

    People without cell phones at all are assholes, and a pain in the ass to hang out with/get ahold of/etc. Don't be that guy.

    Thanatos on
  • Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Skype is great, but it's not perfect. It fails to connect sometimes, you need to leave it running all the time, and while the voice quality is usually excellent, I still occasionally get people telling me they can't hear a word I'm saying because of static or echoes (and this is on a 10Mbps cable connection). I've had Skype Unlimited for a few years now, and I would absolutely recommend it as an alternative to a landline for making long distance or even local calls, but you still need a cell phone for various reasons:

    1. When you call out from Skype, the party on the other end sees the incoming number as "1234567" or "Undisclosed" or "5555555" - there's no caller ID capability, even if you have a SkypeIn number. That makes a lot of places very antsy, especially anything involving food delivery: they like being able to match the incoming number to the number you give them for callback.

    2. I would think that trying to use Skype on the road would be very difficult, if not impossible. You may have wifi at home and at work, but what about in the car? Buying groceries? In the middle of a park, waiting to meet someone? It also seems pretty physically awkward to use the PSP as a Skype phone.

    A basic pay-as-you-go phone will set you back *maybe* $15/month, and in exchange for that, you get the convenience of avoiding the above problems, the safety of knowing that you have a way of calling for help if you're driving on an interstate and your car breaks down, and the ability to do basic phone stuff like send texts and use annoying ringtones. Use Skype at home, but keep a cell phone around too.

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  • CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    It sounds like a pay as you go phone is what you're looking for. It's going to be much more cost effective if you only have 450 minutes a month and are racking up a ton of extra minutes.

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  • EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    1. When you call out from Skype, the party on the other end sees the incoming number as "1234567" or "Undisclosed" or "5555555" - there's no caller ID capability, even if you have a SkypeIn number. That makes a lot of places very antsy, especially anything involving food delivery: they like being able to match the incoming number to the number you give them for callback.

    I've received 3 calls with Skype from 2 different people. First one from the two-timer came with his username. Last night when he called I got seemingly random numbers. I got another call from a friend in Europe and her number was 'undisclosed'.

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  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I've got Skype on my cellphone, if that tells you anything. I only use it for international calls and conference calls.

    If you really wanted to get rid of your cell phone, you could get an IP phone (I believe skype sells one) that would essentially function like a landline telephone. But I wouldn't just use skype on a computer as the only method of contact.

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  • DHS OdiumDHS Odium Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Thanks for all the input. It sounds like I should stick with my cellphone for now, I'm out of contract so I can shop around. I won't get a Go Phone just yet, as I'm still interested in more robust phones that would let me get work email and such.

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