Monday, 4 January 2016

no such thing as a free phone

Introduction:
I don't know how to get a landline number for free to a mobile, but I do know the formula for getting a cheap mobile or smartphone and pay as you go sim card in the UK.
Scroll down for the clearer bits.


Almost free phones exist if you get the best value pay-as-you-go sim card and put it in some inherited or cheaply-bought mobile phone, saving the
  • price a bamboozlement contract and
  • work of understanding the contract: if it's complicated, it's not worth understanding.
Incoming calls from a number that looks like a landline are another good thing to have if you're in business. I hope someone can tell me about how to get them.

As I do my tax return I discover that one of the items is a monthly £15-£20 to Virgin Media for a landline, which I am scared to give-up in case my shoe shop customers think a mobile number is dodgy or expensive to call. If I could find a way to add a respectable-looking landline number to a free way of receiving calls on a mobile, that would be worth up to £240 a year. Even if I had all the money I could ever need, £240 saved last year could have earned another £24 this year on a P2P money site paying about 10% and double every seven and a bit years, allowing me to pay the taxpayer for my care home costs if I get old, or maybe leave a trust fund for that purpose that pays 5% towards care for the old and 5% re-investment.

So, if anyone knows the answer, please post a link to how to get a free landline-looking number for a phone without this £15 monthly bill. Or a link to where the subject is discussed.
Incoming calls and landline numbers for mobiles - Voip or mobile for incoming calls? - cheapest sim-only calls -cheapest second hand mobile phones, preferably unlocked - Cheapest SIM-only phone calls - Cheapish smartphones secondhand

Voip or mobile for incoming calls?

I don't know quite how easy VOIP is to install, but it is potentially free. Maybe someone will tell me what's good value. I should do some homework from this list:
http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/free-international-phone-calls

The specific need is for a service that links to a cheap or free landline-style number, and works over wifi on a smartphone.

This is work in progress.

http://free03numbers.com has customers with a free UK a landline-like number beginning 03303 and then six non-memorable digits. It is not taking new customers this April 2017 after "instability" in November.

http://www.03numbersforfree.co.uk connect to a voip address for free on their advanced option, or a UK landline beginning 01, but not a mobile.

https://www.localphone.com/incoming_numbers/united_kingdom/london_2031 offer a landline style number for 90p a month including tax. The number can be connected to a mobile but charges localphone's rates for incoming calls. It can be connected free to their own voip software; I'm not sure whether this includes their app for smartphones.

The next stage is to understand their suggestions of what to connect this number to; what to type into the boxes if you open a free account on their web site. There is a 1.5p charge each minute for connecting it to a mobile (otherwise you have to give-out a mobile number which might put customers off) but none for VOIP. Free03numbers.com have a video saying what to type if you know the answer, but not to say whether asterisk or skype or whatever is best to choose. They have a list of sites to try.

Voip also offers cheap outbound calls, but frankly that isn't a problem; email does the job and mobile works for emergencies.

The simplest solution is to learn nothing about voip and have two mobiles, with one turned-on for work. Callers just have to get used to calling a mobile number. This could be the way to go, as all of them order online nowadays; none rings and says "can I have a catalogue please". One or two a day ring saying "This is Microsoft asking for your passwords"; I don't know if that's worse or better on a mobile number.
Incoming calls and landline numbers for mobiles - Voip or mobile for incoming calls? - cheapest sim-only calls -cheapest second hand mobile phones, preferably unlocked - Cheapest SIM-only phone calls - Cheapish smartphones secondhand

Cheapest SIM-only phone calls: https://payg-petef.rhcloud.com/

This information is important, because once you have got a good Pay-as-you-go sim, you can choose any second hand mobile phone that works on the same network or is unlocked. You may already have one in a drawer somewhere. The trouble is that sites promoting free sims don't make any money directly. Who is going to keep them updated? An enthusiast for the public good? Who is going to host the information? A free web host? Fortunately the two have come together on Pete Foreman's site about cheap pay as you go sim cards at https://payg-petef.rhcloud.com/ which is a much more important link than it looks and lists a few other similar.
Incoming calls and landline numbers for mobiles - Voip or mobile for incoming calls? - cheapest sim-only calls -cheapest second hand mobile phones, preferably unlocked - Cheapest SIM-only phone calls - Cheapish smartphones secondhand

Cheapest second hand mobile phones, preferably unlocked

If you have free wifi for some reason, then a phone that works over wifi when possible is a good thing.

If you don't have a favourite mobile phone in a drawer, unlocked to any network or ready to use a PAYG sim from that network, then ebay is pretty good at finding local or lowest price+postage offers for a offers that you can sort in a dozen ways from here:
Ebay.co.uk/sch/Mobile-Smart-Phones-/9355/i.html

There are some other sites too. http://second-handphones.com has a good search system for phones over £30 or close, and plenty of stock from phone recycling companies. The search system is useful. If you have a certain sim card and do not want the hassle of unlocking a mobile phone to work on it, you can buy a cheaper phone from a seller on the same network who does not want the hassle of unlocking either.

Cashgenerator.co.uk and cashconverters.co.uk, the two big pawnbroker franchises, have web sites too for promoting pawned mobiles. They may be a bad deal for borrowers but I hope that it does not encourage that bad deal to buy from them as second-hand mobile phone buyers. Maybe it does. I don't know. Anyway, if the web sites haven't changed then the pages are
http://www.cashgenerator.co.uk/mobile-home-phones

https://www.cashconverters.co.uk/shop/mobile-phones/6397 

Aliexpress phones take weeks to arrive from some seller in China, sometimes with a fraud attached so best bought with a credit card fod disputes. They include some very cheap credit card sized phones, and some smartphones under £40 with cheap glass that breaks if you hint at sitting on it. You can get second hand phones with better glass at the same price, so generally that's the better-value deal and a greener one.
Incoming calls and landline numbers for mobiles - Voip or mobile for incoming calls? - cheapest sim-only calls -cheapest second hand mobile phones, preferably unlocked - Cheapest SIM-only phone calls - Cheapish smartphones secondhand

Cheapish smartphones secondhand from the same places

I am no great expert on this, but can only say what I know about the cheapest smartphones second hand. For example I don't know why fairly small apps like Waveapps for scanning receipts as mentioned on my book-keeping post don't find enough room to download to my old Samsing Galaxy smartphone that says it has plenty of space. There is probably a knack. There are a lot of things I don't know. Anyway, here is something I do know. 

Blackberry smartphones

don't work well with other systems and cards or for misers in general. There are endless discussion threads with the answer "no" to whatever question is asked. So they are cheapest second-hand.

Nokia smartphones

This is the second cheapest smartphone second hand because it uses an obscure operating system called Windows which can't download your favourite apps. If you don't want to download an app, then maybe a nokia smartphone second hand is the one for you

HTC Desire smartphones

This was some kind of cheapskate smartphone which often didn't have the technical ability to download many apps. Later versions may do - I don't know - but the brand has become what it was meant to be: the brand for a teenager's first smartphone. For that reason it is often cheap

Slippers and UK-made nonleather shoes: Veganline.com

This heading might look a bit odd but I use this phone for a UK-made vegan shoe shop called Veganline and want to make my related pages look relevant.

Random and unknown smartphones

The one closest on an ebay local search might be a couple of pounds cheaper if you can collect and save postage. Oh and there are cheap ones on Aliexpress, but they break if you sit on them and are best bought with a credit card for some sort of come-back if the seller is a scammer.
Incoming calls and landline numbers for mobiles - Voip or mobile for incoming calls? - cheapest sim-only calls -cheapest second hand mobile phones, preferably unlocked - Cheapest SIM-only phone calls - Cheapish smartphones secondhand

Free bonus afterthought

moneysavingexpert.com/phones/cheap-overseas-calls lists loads of other situations including 18185.co.uk that offers 5p outbound calls via an 08 number, plus a low cost per minute.

The author's phone is used in attempts to sell
shoes made in UK working conditions on Veganline.com - the ultimate ethical footwear

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