How can friends call me in Switzerland from US affordably?
October 7, 2008 1:29 PM   Subscribe

I live in Switzerland, family/friends live in the US. I have only a cell phone, no land line. Other than Skype and calling cards, how can people call me cheaply? Do I need to get a US-based land line and somehow forward to my cell? There has to be a way? ... I hope ...
posted by worthylakepix to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Well, I know you said "other than Skype," but Skype has an option where you can set up a US phone number (SkypeIn) that forwards (CallForwarding)to your cell phone in Switzerland. I guess that might be somewhat more expensive for you, but it's cheaper for your friends & family.

The expensive part of any solution is connecting to your mobile phone in Switzerland. If you got a US land-line and forwarded it to your cell, you'd be paying those charges.

It looks like the Skype rate to a Swiss mobile phone is 42.2 euro cents per minute (including VAT). Pricey, but if you are at your computer when they call then you don't pay anything.

Your alternative is to get a Swiss landline, which would reduce the costs exponentially, either for your friends to call you directly or for setting up some sort of forwarding from Skype (2 euro cents / minute including VAT.
posted by polexa at 1:50 PM on October 7, 2008

have a US person buy a vonage setup and account, ship you the device and plug it into your Internet connection?

My friend brought his from Minnesota to Egypt and we got it to work via the local Minnesota number. He had to adjust some things on his end but it worked great once that was figured out.
posted by thilmony at 1:55 PM on October 7, 2008

A few other ideas come to mind (Vonage should work, I have tried it between UK and USA) like or which will allow you to talk for free between participating countries without a monthly contract. You can also look for Europe based VOIP providers like Finera who sell services under many names that will give you fee incoming number.
posted by london302 at 2:51 PM on October 7, 2008

I have a Swedish phone number through SkypeIn that forwards to my U.S. cell phone if I'm offline (if I'm on Skype, which is hardly ever, I answer it there instead). I talk to friends and relatives that way all the time, and it works really, really well. The call quality is excellent, it's cheap for them, and not particularly expensive for me.

SkypeIn for three months is US$18. Add some Skype credit to pay for the forwarding, and you can try it out for a fairly reasonable price.
posted by gemmy at 4:42 PM on October 7, 2008

My parents live in Switzerland, I live in the US. I know you said "not Skype," but the cheapest way I know how is to use VoipBuster, a Skype alternative which can get cheaper rates depending on where you're calling from, including between the US and Switzerland. You'll be able to call them for free from your PC, for 31 cts/mins (Euros, I think) phone to phone, and 3.5 cts/mins sms. Their landline rate to you is 31 cts/mins to your pc, 31 cts to your phone, 3 cts SMS, ditto if they call from a mobile. So it's still cheapest for you to call them, but I hope that helps.
posted by bettafish at 10:11 PM on October 7, 2008

I'll third the no Skype, skype option. I'm in Finland and friends family in the states. They call my skypein number, I don't answer and then call them back from my cell phone, using my Skype togo number (a local finnish landline number) that allows me to get $.02/min calls to the US. It is the cheapest and simplest solution I have found (and I researched like crazy).

Remember you don't need to be near a computer to use Skype, I rarely ever am.
posted by wile e at 12:17 AM on October 8, 2008

I call friends in the UK by using a calling card I got online. You call an 800 number and enter in the number you are calling. You don't have to enter in a code number if you register your phone number as being related to your account. I think it's .25 to connect and .05 per minute.
posted by Melsky at 11:08 AM on October 8, 2008

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