Free Phone Calling To Your PC? Hardly so!

17 03 2005

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Free Phone Calling To Your PC: Teleo Better Better Than SkypeIN – Robin Good's Latest News: “After Skype has recently made the headlines with its release of the SkypeIn service, which allows Skype users on any computer platform to receive phone calls from any standard telephone line, a new tool challenges this latest feature, with an impressive PC-based offering where, those who call you on your PC, do not need to pay for the call.”

I think this is wrong on various counts:

  1. The use of “free”. As far as I can see, only the 30-day trial is free, then is either $4.95 per month, for the basic plan, or $2.95 for the “Lite” plan. It's not clear whether you can use it for PC-to-PC calling without subscribing to either plan. With Skype, I can do PC-to-PC calls for free without any kind of subscription.
  2. Inbound calls from a landline phone are free for the caller, hardly so for the callee. You have to subscribe to the basic plan which is $29.70 per six months, whereas SkypeIn is $30 per one year.
  3. “Second, Teleo integrates itself seamlessly inside Microsoft office applications.” Might be an advantage for someone who uses Windows. I don't, so it's not much of an advantage to me.
  4. When you read things like “Due to the overwhelming success of Teleo's beta launch, we are unable to accept additional beta testers at this time. Please check back later, and stay tuned for our full v1.0 launch later this year!” the term “vaporware” starts clicking in your head. Also, there's no date set for a 1.0 release, so are beta testers expected to have a one-month free ride and then start paying for using a beta product?

OK, I might be a bit overly suspicious here, but I've seen too many vaporware products touted as the next best thing since sliced bread not to be just a little wary.

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