Saturday, September 29, 2007

We Usually Get Kissed First

As you may remember, my oldest daughter is spending this semester studying in Rome and the Vatican. Every few days she calls and has me call her right back so she won't use up all the minutes on the cell phone that was given to her by the school.

So I pretty much expected that the phone bill was going to hurt to the tune of at least a couple of hundred bucks. HAH! If only!

Well, we got the bill today. Now keep in mind that this is the bill for August 28th through September 14th and we have since made additional calls...

Including taxes, the bill was for *gulp* $1100.00!!!!!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH! Forget the kiss first, I would have been happy with a little lube!

Every international calling plan I look at has lower rates--- but only to land lines, not to mobile phones. And that includes AIM.

We're still trying to figure out how Skype works. We know that it won't work with Windows Vista, so that leaves my laptop (which has a microphone) out and means I have to use my desktop (which does NOT have a microphone) instead. On my daughter's end, she's got a laptop but only has wireless access at certain times in certain places and she doesn't know if her laptop has a built in mic.

Then there is some different Skype plan where you pay a monthly fee plus so much per minute. But I can't tell if that is only to landlines or does it work for the same rate when I'm callin a mobile number in Europe? GAH!

Then there are all the phone cards and dial-arounds (like 10-10-whatever). But again, some come right out and say that calling a mobile number costs more. Others say it, but you have to stumble onto that info. So, if I can't find out about mobiles, I don't want to automatically assume anything, you know?

Does anyone have any recommendations for US landline calls to a mobile phone in Rome, Italy?


Anonymous said...

I have Windows Vista and it works on my laptop.

Chantal said...

Oh, my gosh! That is some phone bill.
Is your daughter having a good time?

QB said...

Anon, their specs don't mention Vista, and it's been my experience that, unless Vista is specifically mentioned, it probably won't work with it. However, I'm glad you told me that it DOES work with yours, that makes it worth at least giving it a try. Thanks!

Chantal, she's having an AMAZING time! Today, they were going to take a train and ferry to Capri. They've had 4 weeks of intense Italian classes and Monday the rest of their classes start. Their University is inside Vatican City. I might post a few pics sometime but I probably won't post any that include her because that's just scary!

Anonymous said...

Darlin'! you poor thing. I also am having it work with noproblems on vista. Also here is another option for you...

As far as I can tell, If you have this on your phone or computer, and your daughter does the same, you can talk, IM, or text free to each other, (like skype, which also had mobile phone mods.) though there may be regular cell (local/data)charges for the cell.

Hope that helps!

QB said...

Do either of you Anons (okay, that's weird) have Vista Ultimate x64? I was back over looking at Skype and they still don't list it as Vista compatible, but in the forums they do say it can be installed. It appears though that they might be talking about Vista Home Edition x32. Most of the ones who had trouble mention that they're running Vista x64.

Anon2 said...

Hey qb,

Unfortunately I am using vista home premium on a 32 bit system.

However, on further review of the EQO network, that may be a better option for you. (I know I had the computer parts wrong... I was thinking originally it was a competiter to skype)There would be local calls and time used, but still should be cheaper. I orinally saw it here:

so I don't think its a totally random program. I intend to forward it to my friends who have family in Greece as well. You may still have to upgrade services on each side to some sort of large or unlimited data program, but thats still gotta be cheaper.

I was looking at the "How does it work" section for more info.

The other option could be the voice/IM/chat parts of yahoo, google, etc.

I also went and briefly reviewed the skype boards myself, and most of the issues seemed to be over 6 mos. old. Personally, I would just try it.

Good Luck!

QB said...

Thanks Anon2, I AM going to gather my bravery around me and try it.