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05 February 2010

Can I Call Home Now, Please?

Argh, the world of online telephony and payment

There was a time when I was doing my long distance phone calls either through my "normal" telephone or through Skype. Then I got fed up with both - due to the price for the phone and due to the whole Skype-is-a-black-box-giant thing. I switched to Gizmo, which coincidentally had a nice frontend for my mobile phone. There I was more or less happy for a while. OK, it would sometimes not work or was laggy, but that was expected. These aren't business calls, when they don't work, I'll call the next day. But then Google bought Gizmo and now I'm kind of stuck with what to do...


Gizmo placed me in the world of "open standards", "SIP" VoIP (which means that I can choose whichever program runs best on my computer, not what someone like Skype considers bugfree enough to feed everybody). Currently I think I could still top up my Gizmo account, but I'm a bit reluctant to do it.

So I'm shopping around for another VoIP provider. Something of the "road warrior" variety, what they call "BYOD" (Bring Your Own Device). I don't need any hand holding, I can configure whatever client program I chose.

Funny enough, the biggest stumbling block I ran into is actually paying for a good service: It looks like the world of VoIP intersects heavily with the world of fraudulent credit card charges. The result is various "verification" schemes that I've encountered so far.

There are some that want to send you an SMS (OK, that's not so bad, but the company didn't appear so, well "serious" in the first place). Some that will make two charges to your card and then you have to get the charge statement and find the amounts... good idea, but it would require a looongish phonecall to my credit card company for me and how do I prove them over the phone my identity? Then there are some who require a "verified" PayPal account, which A: results in the same "check your CC statement" game and B: damn I wanted to avoid these big brother companies in the first place!

Combine all this with the task that I would like the other party in the game to be trusted too, I'd like to not be ripped off myself either, so... For the moment things are still open... I can stay without a phone line to the "homecountry" for a while now, but I'll have to make up my mind and/or find a solution some day.

Posted by betabug at 16:55 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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Re: Can I Call Home Now, Please?

nice

Posted by: shazad at November 13,2011 18:43
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