I want to pass on to all of my colleagues in HAPPEN, one way to save costs on long distance calling. As a relative newcomer to Canada, I've tried numerous ways to reduce the costs of my long distance calling and honestly, the savings have never materialized, until now.

My colleague in Winnipeg with whom I have almost daily conversations (he is building my new Social Media website) recommended that I take a look at a product called Magic Jack. The device costs $39 dollars, but you can order the product on a free trial basis at http://www.magicjack.com/.

What you get is a device that plugs into a USB port of your computer. In the other end of the device, you plug in a phone jack. There it is, ready. Loading the software takes about a minute and it is simple to do. You will also get a telephone number with the Magic Jack. This can be anywhere in USA or Canada (I selected a New York City number as I plan on building and marketing my business in the American market). Jobseekers may also find this useful if they are also looking to showcase their talent to the US market.

You get local and long distance free (just put in the ten digit phone number without the long-distance prefix) and press talk; directory assistance; voicemail (and this will email you the .wav file); call waiting; three way calling and free tele-conferencing.

Now I am not saying that this is the only way to make cheap long distance calls, it is not. I have tried Skype and found that the PC to PC calls are poor quality but the calls to land lines are not cost effective. I have tried card calling and found that not to be cost effective unless you know a person to be in as normally these attract a 20 cent minimum charge, which is not effective for a one-minute call. NOTE: you do need a high-speed internet line to use this, Satellite internet users may find the line speed inadequate for a service.

I purchased the Magic Jack plus the 5 year plan ($99 + tax) but that is my total long distance costs for the next 5 years and can also use Magic Jack in Starbucks if I wish.
Peter B. Giblett CITP, LLB
website: Perspectives & Strategy Site
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