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Forums > Social Discussion > Future Phone (Free international phonecalls from the US?)

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:www.futurephone.com

Free international phonecalls from the US.

Apparently some kind of tax/phone/advertising thing.

I don't get it. It sounds sketchy. But everyone on the web says it works.

Anyone try it?


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Apparently this is a clip from the NYTimes article. But I know nothing.

October 19, 2006
From the Desk of David Pogue
The Final Word on Futurephone By DAVID POGUE
By now, you might be sick of hearing about Futurephone, the company I
recently profiled in my blog because it offers totally free international phone
calls to over 50 countries. No signup, no fees, no surrendering your name or
address.
Man, we're a cynical bunch these days. Very few of you were persuaded that
Futurephone's business plan is what its chief executive says it is: "to build up
the company's brand-name recognition. Our plan is to offer additional services
in the future."
Last week, I attempted to shoot down some of the sillier explanations of
Futurephone's real game -- the ones where readers speculated that the company is
going to harvest its customers' phone numbers (why? -- isn't the phone book much
more convenient?) or listen in to the calls (wayyyy too boring to be plausible).
This week, several of you suggested that Futurephone's actual business plan is
far more complicated -- and far more plausible. If it's true, it's incredibly
clever.
In his blog for example, Alec Saunders explains this game of telecom arbitrage
like this:
"Ever wonder why it is that FuturePhone, Radio Handi, FreeConferenceCall, and
PartyLine Connect all have access numbers in the 712 area code? These services
all provide 'free' services to you. There's 'no catch.' You just have to make a
long distance call to get them.
"So how do these services get paid, and why are the access numbers all in
Iowa? The short answer is tax subsidies."
He goes on to explain that our government gives the states money to help them
with maintenance and improvements to local telephone plants. There's also an
invisible tariff involved, amounting to three cents per minute collected by the
*terminating* phone company.
Alec speculates that Futurephone is performing a sort of tariff arbitrage.
"Let's take FuturePhone as an example...All you have to do is call 712 858
8883 (a number provided by the tiny Superior Telephone Coop in Estherville,
Iowa), and then enter the international call you want to make using the standard
011 prefix.
"So how do they make money? ... Say that FuturePhone's cost to terminate the
call is 1.25 cents. That leaves 1.75 cents per minute to split with the folks at
Superior Telephone Coop. Give them half, which leaves you 0.875 cents per
minute, and you've got a pretty attractive proposition ... Everybody wins! The
good citizens of Iowa win (they've now got a fiber network joining up 150 of
their independently owned telcos), FuturePhone has a seemingly profitable
business model, and you win by getting cheap overseas calls."
Now, Alec goes on to imply that this plan is sneaky and that somehow you wind
up shouldering the burden. Me, I don't see anything wrong with it. The
Futurephone guy and his fellow Iowans have stumbled upon a clever scheme, if
they are indeed using this arbitrage ploy. It's perfectly legal, and does, in
fact, win us free overseas calls. (Alec ignores, for example, the fact that many
people have cellphones or home phones with unlimited long distance for a fixed
price. For us, these international calls are really, truly free.)
So is that what Futurephone is doing? I asked Futurephone's Tom Doolin
point-blank this week.
All he'll say in response is that, "Our company is private and we do not
disclose proprietary or confidential information."
But he did note that the company is now "actively pursuing potential
advertising sponsors." That's a new bit of information, which I found explained
in more detail on an ABC News Web article. "They'll listen to a 10-second
commercial if they can make a free call," Mr. Doolin told ABC News. "In the
middle of next year you might see something like that."
(He also, by the way, stressed that, "In response to your follow-up on
personal privacy, let me assure you that Futurephone.com does not record
people's telephone conversations.")
For now, I think a lot of the commenters and bloggers are being too cynical.
My own reaction is much more along the lines of this reader's comment:
"It WORKS! I just called a relative in a small town in Greece from my cell
phone and was connected immediately. (I have never been able to call using my
cell phone before.)
"To those who think that Big Brother is monitoring the calls: if they are the
least bit interested in my conversation -- in Greek -- with an 86-year-old aunt,
so be it; you just saved me $50-$100 a month!"


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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:are you getting comissions on sales or something NYC tongue

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Dr_Molly


Dr_Molly

Pooh-Bah
Location: Away from home

Total posts: 2354
Posted:No, he just has a vested interest in being able to make long distance calls cheaply ubblove

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Mr_Chutney
SILVER Member since Apr 2003

Mr_Chutney

Tosser
Location: Herefordshire, England (UK)

Total posts: 1711
Posted:NYC-

If this works I owe you a drink, a hug, and quite possibly the role of God parent to all of the children I may father ... smile

If not..

easy come, easy go smile


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:I assume it works.

I trust nothing about it.

But I assume it works.

Maybe it collects numbers for telemarketing. Maybe they record your conversations and replay them on the internet. Maybe it's for the aliens to clone our voices for the invasion.

If they're putting Ads on it, it might not be that crazy.

As long as you don't actually trust it I think it could be cool.


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biggins
SILVER Member since Sep 2002

biggins

member
Location: In Bed, New Zealand

Total posts: 165
Posted:if it works then its cool.......i guess the technology would just be similar to skype and VoIP stuff. the thing is there is wisdom in the saying "there is no such thing as a free lunch"........

Wielding a Wooden Spoon

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Mr_Chutney
SILVER Member since Apr 2003

Mr_Chutney

Tosser
Location: Herefordshire, England (UK)

Total posts: 1711
Posted:Well a little research and teting has revealed that it works fine from my ladies US Cell to my UK landline, but when trying to call my UK mobile it claims that the country is not supported (number definitely correct).

It will be cheaper for Ali to use the service and add long distance calls so even for this, I'm grateful

As for trusting the service- something for almost nothing, no trust, no question.

I am grateful though smile


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Yes. It doesn't work for UK Mobiles.

And in the US calling Iowa isn't a big deal since most mobile service is nationwide anyway.

Hey, if it helps just Chutney it was worth it. wink


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Anyone else try it?

I think Ima ganna on Sunday.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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fNi
GOLD Member since Mar 2004

fNi

master of disaster
Location: New York, USA

Total posts: 3354
Posted:I tried it several times...not going to use it again til we get our phone/cable/net bill...will keep you posted

kyrian: I've felt your finger connect with me many times
lou kitten: sneaky little meatball..
ezz: please corrupt me more

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted: Written by: fireNice


I tried it several times...not going to use it again til we get our phone/cable/net bill...will keep you posted



I would like to express my deepest gratitude at being a guinea pig for this experiment. Thank you! hug


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Richee
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

HOP librarian
Location: Prague, Czech. Republic

Total posts: 1841
Posted:There is a small bug in it. It is free partialy,

because you have to pay for the first des-

tination.



A ---- $ ---- B -------- C



Practicaly, the cost efeciency vary by dis-

tace between A and B.



take care,



:R


POI THEO(R)IST

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fNi
GOLD Member since Mar 2004

fNi

master of disaster
Location: New York, USA

Total posts: 3354
Posted:right, but my phone plan (like a lot many in the US) has nationwide local calling...meaning I can call anywhere in the country and it not cost long distance, as its covered.

kyrian: I've felt your finger connect with me many times
lou kitten: sneaky little meatball..
ezz: please corrupt me more

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Indeed Richee. Anyone with a cellphone already gets nationwide minutes included.

So if you get "free nights and weekends" like many people, it's no extra charge.

As opposed to not being able to call internationally at all from a cell phone.


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted: Written by: NYC


Indeed Richee. Anyone with a cellphone already gets nationwide minutes included.

So if you get "free nights and weekends" like many people, it's no extra charge.

As opposed to not being able to call internationally at all from a cell phone.



In the past I've had to use calling cards to call internationally (because I only have a cell). So this would be free, which is nice.

I'm a bit concerned about hidden charges.
I am also wondering about the connection and the delay with it.

NYC, have you tried it yet?


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Richee
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

HOP librarian
Location: Prague, Czech. Republic

Total posts: 1841
Posted: Written by:

Pele

I'm a bit concerned about hidden charges.







I agree, the page is not transparent at all,

but read the FAQ, question 2.



lighitning,



:R


POI THEO(R)IST

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: Pele


NYC, have you tried it yet?



Molly is here.

I have no other friends.

wink


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fNi
GOLD Member since Mar 2004

fNi

master of disaster
Location: New York, USA

Total posts: 3354
Posted:well, according to my mate who is the one who handles the phone/internet/tv bill, its the normal amount

kyrian: I've felt your finger connect with me many times
lou kitten: sneaky little meatball..
ezz: please corrupt me more

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Cool.

Thanks!

hug


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Delete

Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:They killed this. *pout*

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Delete

fNi
GOLD Member since Mar 2004

fNi

master of disaster
Location: New York, USA

Total posts: 3354
Posted:yesh *sad*

it was so convenient too frown


kyrian: I've felt your finger connect with me many times
lou kitten: sneaky little meatball..
ezz: please corrupt me more

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