Cool new phone service from my telco

Telewest’s new Talk Anywhere service

Telewest’s new Talk Anywhere service is the first of its kind in Britain and will give consumers a choice of packages with 200, 400 or 800 minutes per month. The time can be used to phone local, national, international, mobile and internet numbers for a fixed monthly fee, which also includes the phone line rental.

So let’s see: the cheapest is 200 minutes at £18, which includes line rental, which currently is £10.50. So that means for £7.50 I get 200 minutes, amounting to about 3.75p per minute. Not rock bottom for international calls to Indonesia (or anywhere for that matter) which I can get for 1p to 5p per minute through direct dial providers. But if the quality is as good as current Telewest line, then it’s definitely worth it. The direct dial providers varies so wildly in quality that you have to ring several numbers just to get a good line.

For mobiles 3.75p is extremely cheap, although there is a new company offering discounts to reach 1p per minute, but I’m sure that’s just a teaser rate.

For local/national calls 3.75p is considered expensive nowadays, with unlimited/1-hour redial for 5p etc.

So the big winner is callers to mobile, followed by international destinations if you care about ease of use (no more ever changing 0844 xxxx) and quality (“…so that’s the story. Over. Roger.”).


Would you like to own your home?

The Future Of Home-owning

A new housing report may reassure homeowners and potential homebuyers who are worried about the long-term demand for residential property.

An interesting take on residential property market in the UK. They asked young people, future home buyers, on their home-owning preferences. Almost all of them want to be a home owner.

I bought my home back in 2001, less than six months after I emigrated to the UK. I was renting a house for the first year. For me it was a no brainer, because I calculated that the mortage payment is only a bit more (less than 20%) compared with the rent. Even considering the costs involved, the possibility of a price decrease (didn’t happen, instead it increased 100% over 4 years), I figured the most I will lose is the same as renting, so it evens out. I did come into some inheritance money that I used for the deposit.

All in all I’m happy although I now have the additional burden of insurance and property maintenance!