The Fixer: Cheap international calls

How to keep in touch with family and friends abroad

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Cheap international calls

Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a financial issue alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.


Dear Fixer,
My son is moving to Chicago with his job in a couple of weeks and I want to be able to call him while he is there without it costing me the earth.

I understand that you can use a computer to make free calls to the US, but I do not know how to set myself up to do this.

My son says that he has Skype. Is this the best service to use, and how does it work?

M Thompson, Bakewell

Dear Mrs Thompson,

Internet phone calls are made using a system called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). There are lots of different types of VoIP services available in the UK.

However, if your son already has Skype then this is probably the best one to go for, as while international VoIP calls to landlines are generally cheaper than those made by landline to landline, signing up to the same service as the person you are calling means you can talk for free.

To use Skype, you will need a Windows or Mac computer and a broadband connection with which to makes the calls. If your computer does not have a microphone and speakers, you will also need a headset so that you can hear and be heard.

All you need to do then is search for Skype on the internet and download the service to your computer before searching for your son (using his Skype address).

Once the two of you are set up as "contacts", you can talk as often and for as long as you like without it costing you a penny.

If your computers are set up for video calls, he can even wave to you from Chicago and show you round his new home.

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to themoneyfixer@aim.com and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.

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