Subject: Calling cards and telephones abroad
Hello Fellow Communicators:

My friend, Craig, obtained a GSM phone for use in Europe together with a calling card that promised discount rates. He soon discovered that if you spoke for 20 minutes, then you did indeed get a good rate. However, two wrong numbers cost him 7.5 British Pounds each. The moral is that you have to look carefully at phone service charges when travelling. My recommendation is to forego the calls and use cybercafes and email.

On the other hand, being type A I feel a need to stay in touch with my business. As a result, my phone rings in Europe as though it was a domestic call in the U.S. But for that luxury, I pay handsomely, i.e., $2.00 USD per minute outgoing and $1.00 incoming. I am going to get a European GSM phone billed to a European address and that should drastically reduce the charges.

I have a Net2Phone account which I tested last year with a call from Cape Cod to Venice. It worked although I felt that Marconi was sitting by my side. I would not recommend it, but it was cheap and you could communicate (although barely).

Tom