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"inexpensive" telephone calls in London????

Brighton, ON
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86 posts
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"inexpensive" telephone calls in London????

On a recent trip to London we used our Visa card to call Heathrow airport from downtown London. Our call to confirm our next day departure was nine minutes long. We are now back in Canada and just received the charges on our visa statement. In Canadian $$$, it was a whooping "$49.83" There has to be a better way or least expensive way to make a call in London area! We do not have an international cell phone so that option is out. Any recomendations would be appreciated before we make another trip across the pond.

Somerset, England
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1. Re: "inexpensive" telephone calls in London????

Wow, that seems a bit high, Where did you call from? Hotels are usually very expensive for making calls from....

Nice, France
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for Brighton, Nice
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2. Re: "inexpensive" telephone calls in London????

You can buy a pre-paid phone card at any newsagent or post office.

See this recent thread:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k63751…

Liverpool, United...
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3. Re: "inexpensive" telephone calls in London????

Your story is a cautionary tale for any visitors. I would imagine that the number you used was a premium rate number.

All visitors should be very wary of calling any UK numbers that do not start 01** 02* * or 03** and check the charges carefully. Numbers begining 08** are particularly confusing because 0800 calls are free but 087* numbers are charged at a mythical "national rate" which can be as much as 10x the normal rate. These numbers actually pay a proportion of these excessive charges to the recipient of the call consequently it is in their interests to keep you on-line as long as possible with pointless recorded announcements etc! Perfectly legal but IMHO an absolute scam!

Rant Over!

San Francisco...
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4. Re: "inexpensive" telephone calls in London????

The post office card is a good option. They have a monthly special where a certain destination country is free on Saturdays.

www.postoffice.co.uk/portal/po/jump1…

So if you were here now you could call Canada for free.

Another option is to use your existing cell phone - make sure it is 'unlocked' (not tied in to a network) - unlocking is usually easy to do.

Then by a SIM kit from the country you are going to. These normally come with air time bundled in.

There is also an international SIM (Mobile World) from CarPhoneWarehouse that is very reasonable for international calls too!

Stirling, United...
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for Stirling
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5. Re: "inexpensive" telephone calls in London????

A 15 minute call to a geographic number (starting 01 or 02) from a BT payphone costs 30p. Calls to 07 (mobile), 08 (free up to 10p/min) and 09 (premium rate) numbers may be higher. Flight information lines are often on 09 numbers and can cost £1.50/min.

Credit card calls cost more anyway (a *lot* more with some call providers), and your credit card co has probably loaded the exchange rate.

Florida
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6. Re: "inexpensive" telephone calls in London????

This touches a bit on the expensive phone call subject. While in London my trip partner bought a calling card from a shop and was told she'd get an hour talk time. She used it at a payphone outside the hotel, and got less then 20 minutes. I bought the same card, and took it to my hotel lobby and used it on the payphones there. I got my full hour this way, altho the hotel told us the cards wouldnt work on the lobby payphones. We never tried the room phone for anything. Way too scary. The point here is, you have to be really careful concerning ALL calling, or you can break the bank.

Brighton, ON
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7. Re: "inexpensive" telephone calls in London????

Thanks for all the input. We did not call from a hotel room phone but from an ordinary pay phone, thinking that would save us some money. Lesson learned! The post office phone card sounds like a good bet and hopefully "Canadians" travelling to Britain read this and save themselves some money should they have to make a local call in "Britian" or home to Canada.

Stirling, United...
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8. Re: "inexpensive" telephone calls in London????

Seven111, there is a "payphone levy" on calls made using calling cards from public payphones, which helps to fund the public payphone service. It doesn't apply to calls made from private payphones where the line rental is paid for by the payphone owner. The payphone levy is often not disclosed in phone card pricing information - it's something like 37p a minute.

Florida
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9. Re: "inexpensive" telephone calls in London????

Bobelinks....yes well that explains it, doesn't it?

10. Re: "inexpensive" telephone calls in London????

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