Since one of our daughters has been studying abroad this semester in Florence (aka Firenze) Italy – I set her and myself up with Skype. This is a great service for low cost (and FREE) international long distance calling – depending on whether you are calling computer to computer or to/from a real phone. Susan had been using the microphone and speakers built in to her laptop as her telephone. Last month I hand delivered a USB headset to her. Now, the sound quality of what I hear from her is superb.
One of the features of the Skype service is called Skype To Go. The best way that I can think of to describe this is kind of like a calling card. You get a special telephone number in your local area. When your authenticated phone calls the special number – you are connected into the Skpe system and your account. You can speed dial from a dialing diretory of your contacts.
The Skype To Go service has been working well and was a great resource. Basically, I could call my Skype to Go number from my mobile phone dialing directory and then call Susan just by pressing the number 1 for my dialing directory. I don’t need to enter an account code, nor a password, nor her telephone number. Kind of convenient. That is up until last week. Now it seems like the Skype to Go feature is broken. It seems like this has been down for quite a while for a system that is to be considered ligitimate. I finally got someone from technical support to acknowledge that there is a problem – however they can give no idea of when it will be working again.
By the way, I just got set up for Google Voice. Google Voice has many features including low cost long distance telephone calling. It is not quite as simple to use from a mobile phone but at the moment – it does work – which is something that we can’t say about Skype to Go.