Jajah shutting down. Alternatives?

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by Gargoyle, Dec 1, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Gargoyle
    Original Member

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    I've long used Jajah for cheap international calls when traveling. The service works a couple ways- through their website, you can click a number, their system dials you and then dials the number and connects the two. Very handy when calling other countries through my Italian cell phone, since I don't pay for incoming calls. Also, you can get "Jajah Direct" numbers, when you dial a local number (for example, when in Italy I can dial a number in Milan, and connect to someone in the states, or when in the states I can dial a local Chicago number and it connects me to someone in Italy). Rates are very nice.

    They just sent an announcement that they are closing all these services effective Jan 31, 2014. What is a good alternative? Google voice is great when I'm in the U.S. calling out, but doesn't work when I'm outside the country. I've only done minimal skype tests, found it awkward and not reliable from my laptop, but haven't tried it from cell phones.
     
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  2. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    The new T-Mobile international plan + Google Voice.
     
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  3. Gargoyle
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    Thanks, I'll check it out. I use Google Voice, but when I was in Italy in Oct. I couldn't use it to call out from there. Maybe with the T-Mobile I'd have a U.S. phone number and it would work? If so, I might need to pick up a dual sim phone or just carry another little phone just for that. (I need to keep the Italian sim to have a local number for people there to call me on).

    Or could I have a separate google voice account for an Italian number? I'll look into it.
     
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  4. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Skype has gotten much clearer and reliable when calling from a laptop (or desktop). IME it's often as good as a landline. Can't say the same about using it from a cell phone. I haven't received a single legible skype call connected from a cell phone.
     
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  5. Gargoyle
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    Even though I have 4G service on my laptop in Italy, much of the time I'm not in a location with a decent signal. Wifi and cell signals don't penetrate well through 20" thick 300 year old stone walls. So I can't depend on a system that uses direct internet connections, only one where I can use a regular cell phone connection.
     
  6. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    I've had very good luck with Skype Out from my Android phone. I bought $10 of credit about a year ago, have used it on three or four trips, and still have about $4 left. Calls have been perfectly clear (except for one time) and it works more-or-less like the phone (in fact, if I long-click on a phone number in an email, for instance, it will ask whether I want to use the phone app or Skype to make the call).
     
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  7. Gargoyle
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    OK, I had a little skype credit left over from years ago, was able to reactivate it and tried a call US to Italy, it was very clear, went well. Do the calls initiate through the cell phone voice system or through the smart phone 4G or wifi connection? If the later, it may not be as reliable when I am in Italy and calling out.
     
  8. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    I don't believe you can have an International number with GV.

    If you use Google Voice website, it will dial your US number first: T-Mo has free incoming calls in 100 countries. You can also dial from the phone directly at $0.20 per minute to US numbers so calling via Google Voice should also work.

    Skype may be a good alternative to carrying another SIM. You can get a +39 Skype number and forward it to your Google Voice number. You can also use Skype while on Wi-Fi.
     
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  9. mtaplits

    mtaplits Member

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    Gargoyle,

    I saw your post while searching Google for Jajah alternatives - hope it's OK to plug our service since there are so many people right now looking to find another service before Jajah closes.

    Spaxtel is also a callback service and it works very similar to Jajah. Some people say our call quality is a bit better as well. We are offering a free trial to Jajah users through this link:
    http://spaxtel.com/lp/best-jajah-alternative/

    Hope it works well for you.

    Regards,
    Marshall
     
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  10. MichaelRay

    MichaelRay New Member

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    Try OneSuite (https://www.onesuite.com/). It has similar callback service like JaJah...and callbacks can also be initiated from their smartphone app besides from their website. It's very convenient to use when you are traveling. There are also other features that allow you to make calls from your mobile, land line or laptop as you prefer depending on your WiFi signal strength or location.
     
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  11. Gargoyle
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    I looked at the Spaxtel and Onesuite sites- both look comparable to Jajah, but with newer looking websites; the Jajah web server would always time out frequently, and their android app didn't work so I don't know that they had a strong back end.

    Prices for both of those are comparable to Jajah, but Skypeout has much better pricing for my main usage. However, these other services might be useful when I'm calling from a non-smart phone.

    calls from US to Italy




    serviceUS to Italy landlineUS to Italy cell
    Onesuite2 cents13 cents
    Spaxtel4.8 cents27 cents
    Skypeout 0.7 cents8.9 cents
    Jajah3.5 cents24.9 cents

    Note that Skype also has a connection charge, 4.9 cents for landlines, 8.9 cents for mobile

    If I'm reading their rate charts wrong, let me know.
     
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  12. mtaplits

    mtaplits Member

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    Gargoyle,

    Your analysis is basically correct, but just a couple notes:
    1. Jajah and Spaxtel are callback services, so you are paying for 2 legs of a call. Skype is just "Internet to Phone" so 1 leg. The advantage of a callback service is that you aren't dependent on your local internet quality. If you can receive a call you're good to go.

    2. Spaxtel charges no connection fee but also 30/6 billing. This means that you pay for 30 seconds and then every 6 seconds. A 1 minute 1 second call would be charged as 1 minute 6 seconds. With Skype you'll be the 4.9 - 8.9 cents connection fee + 2 minutes (they do per minute billing).

    Cheers,
    Marshall
     
  13. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    I have over the years used a combination of services for my telecom needs. For international calling when outside the US I have used ActionVoip They also have an ipad app, and a mac client plus builtin inbrowser SMS and calling. It works like a charm in Cairo, Egypt; Tel Aviv, Amman, and even Paris. For enhancing my old cellphone, I had used another mac Dashboard widget/client for SMS from Alco Bloom Ofcourse there is free SMS from google, and Skype Pro. With ipad & iphone there are atleast a dozen apps that address a small slice of the market or a niche. For calling from US/Canada/UK/ with Voip capability I have used Reliance's global caller

    I have yet to find a All-in-One killer app or service. Saving 2c/SMS over a course of a year, is denying the traditional carriers few shots of Jamesons, that they might have on my tab ;)

    See what works for you !
     
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  14. cinnamon

    cinnamon New Member

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    Marshall,

    Thank you for the full picture and overview! I had not heard of Spaxtel before, I came across this discussion while searching for Jajah alternatives.

    BTW, I run the iPUG ( http://www.theipug.com ), the iPhone and iPad Users Group, in Tucson, AZ. We are the only iOS Users group in Arizona. We are always looking for excellent calling apps for iPhones, but also in general, I think everyone interested in telephone services. If there is more you want to highlight about Spaxtel, I'd be happy to share with our group in our January meeting coming up. Meanwhile, I am signing up to try Spaxtel myself to try it out. Best wishes.
     
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  15. mtaplits

    mtaplits Member

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    Cinnamon,

    Thanks for letting me know about your group - I think it's best to highlight that we are specifically built for people who travel and need to call from anywhere. Hope you signed up and will become a user. Happy new year as well.

    Cheers,
    Marshall
     
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  16. Gargoyle
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    Looking into this more. At first Spaxtel looked good, but I need a way to use a non-smart phone (a stupid phone?) in the U.S. to call international numbers, and they don't seem to have that feature. I also don't see a way to do that with Skype or Google Voice. (perhaps it's possible with Google Voice by dialing into the account and then pushing more numbers, but I don't want to dial 30 digits to make one call) It appears that I can do that with Onesuite, they say I can set up regularly called int'l numbers with shortcuts, where I just dial 4 digits. If so that will do the job, I'll test it out shortly.
     
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  17. Gargoyle
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    Followup. Onesuite's website is badly designed, hard to find the right features and sections. Every time you go to the FAQ you have to log back in to return to your account. But it does have the right features. Their call-back is slower to connect than Jajah was, but their zip dial (where you dial a direct domestic number to reach an international number) works quickly and easily.
     
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  18. listenmissy

    listenmissy New Member

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    I have been using Spaxtel to call my dd in France. Since I generally have good internet access, I have found it easy to add all the numbers I call from (home, cell, office) and put in dd's French mobile as a favorite. It's been a reasonable solution, and I prefer using "real" phones vs. the computer (e.g. skype, fb chat, which is skype anyway, facetime, etc.). There is no need to use a smartphone as it's a callback service. I think Jajah was less expensive, but since they're gone, Spaxtel is pretty simple.

    As for a zip dial service, I tried keku but found it unreliable (calls would not actually connect. At least if I call using Spaxtel, if dd's phone is off I get the voicemail. Using keku, just... nothing).
     
  19. Gargoyle
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    I tried Viber Out for a transatlantic call. It's very dependent on the internet connection, and the call quality was not usable. That was only one test, but it indicates a possible concept weakness.
     
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  20. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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    Ouse viber quite a bit to communicate with my friend in Brazil. We text all the time that way which saves a ton of $$. Texting is not dependent on the internet connect. We also talk to each other. This works well enough but only if there is a good internet connection. Otherwise there could be many interruptions in service.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  21. Gargoyle
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    Here's another option: www.tollfreeforwarding.com
    They have a 30 day free trial, you get a local number in whatever country and that forwards to your existing land or cell line.
    That would work when, for example, I'm in Italy, and Mrs. Gargoyle is in the states; she could use that number to call me.
     
  22. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    Being a telecomm flicklebot, I moved from whatsapp to telegram.org for messaging (It is in cloud so, a big plus with multiple devices) and rnetcall app for ipad/cellphone/macbook. Rather than have one app do everything - I decided to split it :)
     
  23. okelvich

    okelvich New Member

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    Hi,
    I have a good replacement for Jajah service. If you would like to get more information, please contact me +971563496620.

    Regards,
    Oksana
     
  24. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    We have three magic jacks and have saved literally thousands of dollars when calling the US from international locations. My latest purchase was a magic jack plus which I am presently using in Spain. US and Canada is included for $20.00 per year. I believe they have a plan to call internationally, but I do not use that.
     
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  25. Gargoyle
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    Do they require an internet connection? I'm often in locations with very poor or no internet signal, and maybe 1 or 2 bars of cell signal. Call-back systems work, but standard voip doesn't.

    ActionVoip seems to be working well for me in those situations, and rates seem good.
     
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