I don’t want to sound like a poster child for Skype, but I was using Skype in the Philippines long before Microsoft bought the company. I was paying a monthly subscription fee where I could call from the Philippines to any mobile phone or land line in the United States for around $6.00 a month.
After Microsoft bought the company, the plan changed. I now pay USD $2.99 a month to do the same thing. You can’t beat that deal with a stick!
I’ve been in the United States since July of 2013, but it’s a temporary stay. I should be back in the Philippines by the end of 2014. I moved to the Philippines in 2006, but I didn’t start using Skype until 2008, while Josie (my wife) was staying with her cousin in the United States.
I signed up for their “one country” plan and then I nearly gave Josie a heart attack when I called her directly on her mobile phone (from my desktop PC). It took me some time to convince her I wasn’t in Phoenix. It’s now called the “Unlimited US and Canada” plan.
I also subscribed to get a local Phoenix number through Skype so that Josie could call me from her mobile phone. Because I paid for a year at a time, it cost me a whopping USD $30.00 for the number. It hasn’t gone up since then and I still have that number (and it includes caller ID).
Yes, I know Skype from computer to computer is free, but my wife didn’t have access to a computer until later.
When I arrived in Phoenix, I thought of canceling my Skype subscriptions but I decided to keep them going. I can still make long distance calls to anywhere in the United States. I can also make local calls with Skype. In fact, my point of contact phone number for just about everything is my Skype number.
I’m on a strict budget because I’m saving enough money to get back to the Philippines without being penniless when I get there. My budget doesn’t include a mobile phone because mobile phones cost too much. Josie isn’t required to have one for work – they can call either our land line or my Skype number.
The laptop I’m using doesn’t cost me anything and I’m paying $2.99 a month for Skype services. Doesn’t that sound a lot cheaper than $50 or more per month for a mobile phone (not including the cost of the mobile phone)? My phone bill, in total, is $2.99 a month!
Sure, a mobile phone is convenient, if nothing else. Neither Josie or I are interested in mobile apps or the other “nice to have” features of any mobile phone available today. We have three, old-style mobile phones (without the ability to add apps) in the Philippines waiting for us. The only reason we plan to turn two of them on is because a lot of Internet services want to use mobile phones for secondary authentication routines. (I can’t get a personalized Google Plus profile name without one, for example.)
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