I curently use Skype and calling someone else using Skype with another PC with Skype is free and calls to landlines now incur a connection fee on top of the call charge. Whereas this is still cheaper than BT, I have been looking at Voipcheap that states FREE calls to landlines. I tried it out this afternoon by dialling two local numbers, - then a dialogue box advised me that I had exceeded the number of free trial calls came up. My understanding from reading the advertising blurb that calls using Voipcheap are free within the UK. It would seem that there is no helpline associated with Voipcheap and I am trying to establish as to whether it is free. I know someone will respond by saying nothing is free, but?
I use Freecall and I get the impression that both programs are the same but under different names (compare them - click here & wwwv.voipcheap.com).
The way it works is that you top up, say 10€, and then you get 90 days worth of free calls to landlines in most major countries. Once the 90 days are up you can either top up again to get another 90 days free or just use up your credit first where the rates are still much lower than Skypes and there is no connection charge.
I've found call quality to be just as good as Skype too.
Have a look at the Skype site - they have a new thing just started about making calls for 0p to land-lines, or something like that anyway. This is an extract from a Skype email ...
Skype–to-Skype calls will always be free. But now with Skype Pro, you can make calls to national landlines and pay nothing per minute¹. Upgrade to Skype Pro and try out all our great services. As an introductory offer you'll receive £4 of Skype Credit, so you can send cheap SMS', make international calls and much more.
Learn more about Skype Pro
Skype Pro is the easiest way of getting the most out of Skype – first five months for just £8 (excl. VAT²). Offer ends 28th February 2007.
Included in Skype Pro Pay nothing per minute to national landlines. £16 discount on SkypeIn numbers - people can call you at local rates³. Free Skype Voicemail - takes your calls while you’re busy or offline. Discounts on hardware for Skype.
I used Voipcheap about a year ago. To get free calls you had to deposit £5 credit with them. All uk landline calls I made were free. After a while I got email saying I had to use remaining credit up or I would loose it. I had to ring a few friends on mobiles just to use up credit! Sure enough after the deadline the remaining credit disappeared & they wanted another £5 credit for 'free' calls. Yeah right......control panel, add remove progs!