I’ve been meaning to sign up with the Skype-in service for a while now. Skype-in is a landline phone number that transfers to my Skype account when called. The cool thing about a Skype-in number is that you can get it in one of 18 countries around the world. This is useful for me as I can tell my family and friends in the UK to call me on a London phone number, and this will get connected to Skype on my computer.
The only problem with this is that if your computer isn’t turned on at the time then you wouldn’t receive the call. The solution to this has been to also purchase the voicemail service from Skype. But now Skype have also introduced call-forwarding, so that if you don’t answer your Skype call, or your computer is turned off, you can nominate another phone number that the call should transfer to. As with most call-forwarding services, you pay the costs to the forwarded number, but as the Skype rates are so low anyway, this is minimal.
The encouragement for finally signing up to the Skype-in service came from the fact that Skype have now released a new service called Skype Pro. This service gives you free national calls to landlines from Skype, free voicemail service, call transfers, and a €30 discount on the Skype-in number. This brings down the cost of Skype-in from €50 (NZD$87) to €20 (NZD$35) for 12 months. So it’s a great deal and it opens up the Skype service to give you all sorts of options for managing your calls.
If that all sounds confusing, here’s how it all adds up:
- My Mum can call me on my own London number.
- If I’m logged in to Skype, I can choose to answer the call on the computer or transfer it to the home phone.
- If the computer is turned off, the call automatically transfers to my home number.
- And if we don’t answer the home phone, the call diverts to our answer machine.
How much does it cost?
- The Skype Pro account is $3 per month and this gives you free national calls, and free voicemail.
- The Skype-in phone number is €20 for 12 months after the Skype Pro discount.
- Transferring a Skype call to my home phone is 3c per minute.
One of the problems that I’m worried about is if our London number starts getting called by telemarketers in the middle of our night. The alternative then would be to not use the call forwarding feature, but to just send the call straight to voice mail. I would still be able to transfer the calls to our home number from Skype if I was logged in, but if Skype wasn’t running then I wouldn’t know about the missed call until I logged back into Skype.
Ideally, I would want to only transfer to the home number during certain times, but that functionality doesn’t exist in Skype yet. I think I’ll see how it works out for now – it all gets a bit confusing!
Miramar Mike is also trialing the new Skype Pro package. He’s opted for a local (Wellington) Skype-in number and is even considering ditching his Telstra home number and going pure-Skype! Follow his experiment here.