1.4 Long Distance
However, except for those TBB customers with only Basic service (or those who call less than 300 minutes of Canadian and American long distance per month), the TBB Unlimited Bundle is by far the best price point.
If you are subscribed to the Unlimited Long Distance Plan, the TalkBroadband Terms and Conditions state that this plan does not apply to Call Forwarding, Call Transfer, Remote Phone, or Find-Me-Follow-Me.
•See How Unlimited is the Unlimited Plan ? for some clarifications.
For example, as per the clarifications, if you use any of the Features above with a Long Distance number "intermittently", while on vacation for two to three weeks, this most likely falls into the residential category, and you will NOT get charged, contrary to the Terms and Conditions.
However, if you use these Features with Long Distance on a continuous non-intermittent basis, then you can expect a large bill, or even account suspension.
TalkBroadband Terms and Conditions as follows:
•Normal intermittent residential use.
•Unlimited calls - no monthly minute limit - to any phone in Canada and the U.S. (with the exclusion of Alaska, Hawaii, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories).
•Direct Dial calls from your TBB line - excludes Call Forwarding, Call Transfer, Remote Phone, and Find-Me-Follow-Me usage.
Although the Unlimited Plan only applies to Direct Dial calls (no Call Transfer etc), Primus has unofficially stated (in the TBB Forum) that they reserve the right as to whether or not to to apply Long Distance charges (at 5 cents per minute) for this usage. Primus implied that (for now), they will not charge normal LD residential usage with these non Direct Dial features. However, they indicated that they WILL CHARGE in cases of abuse, and for competitive reasons, have chosen not to give a strict definition of what constitutes abuse.
Furthermore, while there is no minute limit specified in the Terms and Conditions, customers whose usage is abnormally high are routinely flagged to their Fraud department and are investigated to make sure that there is no call center, fax spamming or business activity on the line. Such activities, and not the number of minutes, may lead to account suspension.
In other words, if you just like to talk, and are not running any business, call center, or fax spam activity - you have nothing to worry about.
For detailed discussion on this topic see:
»mytbb.primus.ca/forum/viewtopic. ··· pic=1625
»mytbb.primus.ca/forum/viewtopic. ··· pic=4399
Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
you call another Primus TBB subscriber, regardless of the TBB Plan you are subscribed to (Basic, Ultimate, Unlimited).
This also implies that a TBB subscriber anywhere on the planet may call another TBB subscriber anywhere. You must dial their TBB number as usual, including any leading "1", but you will NOT be charged Long Distance for the call.
For example, you may have an Ottawa based TBB number, and you may be calling a Vancouver TBB number. Although you have to dial "Long Distance" by prefixing the number with a "1", there are no Long Distance charges.
•Toll Free On-Network calling only applies to TBB numbers.
•All other Long Distance calls, including to Primus's US VoIP based LINGO service, will incur Toll Charges.
•There is currently no interconnection to non-PSTN VoIP services such as FreeWorldDialup (FWD), etc.
You can still access third party Long Distance providers that have local number access through a standard PSTN telephone number.
Wireless Access refers specifically to the Primus product for accessing your long distance plan via your cell phone.
It is important to note that any of Primus' TBB unlimited long distance plans are for your primary number only. Any other telephone numbers (e.g. cell phones, other landlines, etc.) that are able to access your LD plan will be charged an additional $20 per number. Customer service should be aware of this (they pointed it out to me when I was switching plans around), but the policy is fairly clearly stated, so you likely won't be able to claim ignorance and expect a refund if the customer service rep doesn't notice the additional numbers and you get charged.
There are only two situations in which this will apply. The first is for any cell phone numbers registered to your account for Wireless Access savings. The second is if any landlines are registered to your account for their long distance plan. Since any Primus account can only have one long distance plan associated with it, any numbers on your account (in addition to your TBB number) will use the TBB long distance plan. If that plan is an unlimited one, then those numbers will also enjoy unlimited long distance. To ensure there is no chance of abuse (and to remain profitable) Primus charges $20 per number for the unlimited long distance plan.
To avoid this, you should have Primus set up a second account for you with its own long distance plan and associated telephone numbers. Some other fees may apply. Contact Primus for more information.
Only after the fact did the question arise as to who pays the long distance charge -- the owner of the landline, or the TBB subscriber.
Primus Customer service confirmed that the call was placed using the Primus system, therefore the TBB line would be charged for long distance, not the friend's phone. The assumption is that it would be billed similarly to long distance calls made via Call Forwarding, Remote Phone, FMFM, etc..
For example, when a call is made to your TBB number and the TBB VoiceMail system responds, the originating call (landline, cell phone,...) is now connected. From this point onwards, the originating line only cares about when the phone is hung up.
Thus, once connected, any further calls by the VoiceMail system (replies or transfers) cannot be billed to the originating phone line ! This is technically not feasible. They can only be billed to the associated TBB line.
Most of you already know that you can make a "free" VoIP call using one of the following:
•Computer to Computer (FreeWorldDialup, Skype, etc). Requires a microphone & speakers - adapters (incl a USB phone) are sometimes available for different service providers.
•VoIP Phone to VoIP Phone (TBB, Vonage, etc). Requires an ATA generally supplied by the service provider.
Most of these require the use of Broadband connections, but the location you call often (Eastern Europe, India, or China, or some remote Canadian town) may not have Broadband access, or it is prohibitively expensive. Otherwise, you might have shipped your family or friend a Primus ATA with a Canadian Phone number to make unlimited calls to or from them (on the basic plan) !
However, did you know that you can make some VoIP calls on a dial-up connection?
»www.skype.com works with a proprietary iLBC codec at 13kbps, so it should work well over most dialup connections. The quality of this codec is in between what you get on TBB with the G.729 (good) and g.711 (best) codecs.
If 56kbps dial-up internet access is available at the called location, it may be advantageous to use a free »www.skype.com account with dialup there. It depends on how much you now spend on such LD calls. You should also take into account any dial-up hourly connection charges or maximum bandwidth caps, monthly plan, telephone metered charges, etc.
You will need a Skype account also, and can use either Broadband or dialup too. The disadvantage is that you each have to use computers to make a call (unlike TBB which only uses the ATA). Skype also needs to be ACTIVE on both computers when you make a call, so you might have to agree upon a time in advance - especially since your caller has to dialup first ! Or you can leave your computer on, with the speakers volume high, so you can hear the "Skype" phone ring when they call you instead !
I would appreciate your feedback on any successful calls to post below (include which dialup ISP is used).
List of Dialup ISPs used to make LD calls with SKYPE
Feedback received on this FAQ entry: