A while ago I thought I should take another look at RebTel. They got $20m worth of investment, after all (see RedHerring funding announcement). I wondered how they were doing.
Armed with a new mobile number and, effectively, a new identity, I signed-up the other day when I needed to talk to a few people abroad and was a bit nervous about using my Vodafone account to make super-dooper expensive international calls (in truth, I need to go and see how much they charge — see my next post).
It was a piece of simplicity to sign-up. Really easy. Within seconds I was using the $10 starter credit I got as a bonus for signing up to call people around the world — and, GENIUS, using an 0207 number to do so — so it’s covered in my unlimited landline service plan package with Vodafone.
I really like how RebTel handle things. Online, you just type in your friend’s phone number and select the country. RebTel then allocates that number an 0207 direct dial number. When *I* call that number from my handset, RebTel connects me immediately to my friend — and, the call is generally free if my friend hangs up and and redials with their own RebTel local access number. If they don’t, and often I’m calling people who don’t necessarily count as friends and who wouldn’t be that interested in setting up a RebTel account, so in that case, I just pay the reasonably good rates (0.8p/min to the USA from the UK). [Got the rate wrong… I thought it was 8p a minute, it’s actually POINT 8 pence, i.e. 0.8p/min)
If I shop around, I could get a cheaper rate, I’m sure. The simplicity of storing my friend’s number in my phone book and calling it is worth a lot to me though.
You can setup friend phone numbers easily online, by SMS or by http://mobile.rebtel.com/ from most mobile browsers. Nice.
The audio was clear and entirely usable to the various countries I was calling (USA, Europe). I immediately added a load of cash to the balance and started calling more people.
If you haven’t looked at RebTel recently, I reckon you should — www.rebtel.com.