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How to save money on festive phone calls this Christmas

16th December 2009 Print

As Christmas draws near, most people will be counting the money spent on presents, food and drink for the festive season. However, those of us with friends and family living abroad will also have to take into account the cost of keeping in touch.

New research from has revealed that 25% of Brits are planning to make calls to friends and family living abroad over the Christmas holiday. Of that group, a massive 76% intend to use their landline home phone to make those calls without using an international calling plan or "add on". Furthermore, whilst 41% claimed they found it expensive to make calls to friends or family abroad, only 17% will be taking advantage of internet phone services such as VoIP and the huge savings it can offer.

Michael Phillips, product director, commented: "Christmas is always a costly time of year so it is troubling to see so many people prepared to waste money by making international calls through their landline phone, ignoring cheaper options.  Everyone needs to be smarter with their money these days, so I would urge anyone with relatives and friends living abroad to seriously consider international calling plans, add-ons or VoIP.

"It is also worth remembering that many landline providers, from TalkTalk to BT, offer highly competitive overseas call packages. There is the benefit of landline quality calls and, for even low volumes of calls, this can sometimes work out cheaper.

"VoIP really offers amazing savings to more exotic destinations such as India and, if you call other VoIP users on the same service, it can be free.

"When you also take into account additional calls abroad for birthdays and anniversaries then these options can save callers hundreds of pounds. Consumers should always use a comparison service to shop around for the best package and ensure they stay in touch without straying into the red."'s top tips to cutting the cost of Christmas calls:

Consider VoIP - VoIP phone calls are made over your broadband connection instead of your regular phone line. The most well known providers are Vonage or Skype. The main advantage here is cost, specifically to destinations such as India and calls to VoIP users on the same provider (eg Skype to Skype), which are free.

Package add-ons - If you frequently make international calls, check to see if your home phone supplier has any suitable add-ons or a specific international calling plan that could save you money. For example, BT offers an International Freedom add-on which gives free phone calls to 36 popular destinations.

Use prefix dialling codes - Some home phone providers allow you to make cheap international calls from your landline by dialling a prefix number before your call. This is a simple way of making international calls cheaply and without too much fuss.

Shop around and switch - Switch to a provider offering good deals on calls to the country of your choice. Compare the different packages available using a reputable price comparison site and find the best deal for you.