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Skype Hacks by Andrew Sheppard

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Hack #13. Back-of-the-Envelope Estimate of Skype Savings

Follow this simple method to get a rough idea of your potential savings from switching to Skype.

Works with: all versions of Skype.

On the Skype Hacks web site, you will find a hack—"Save Money with Skype"—that leads you through a rather complete explanation of how to determine how much you'll save by switching to Skype. However, if you simply want to get a rough idea of your potential savings, you can do so with nothing more than a pencil, a calculator, and a blank sheet of paper (or an envelope).

If you look at your current telephone bill, you can logically divide it into two parts: variable calls, and fixed charges and taxes. It is not uncommon for the latter, fixed charges and taxes, to comprise the major part of your phone bill. Indeed, they represented fully 56% of my old phone bill!

You can use Skype to attack both parts to reduce your overall bill for phone services. Bear in mind that adopting Skype does not mean you have to get rid of your existing phone service. You can mix-and-match regular telephone services with Skype, or with other VoIP services (see "Get the Best Deal for VoIP Telephony" [Hack #22] ).

Estimate Your Cost-of-Call Savings

Each time you make a phone call, the cost of that call is determined by three pieces of information. The first is the duration of the call; for example, 3 minutes, 12 seconds. The second is the call rate, usually expressed as the price for 1 minute of call time; for example, $0.10 ...

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