I’ve always thought it would be handy to have a US phone number. I travel to the states a lot and have found a lot of the websites require a US phone number. Normally, I would just enter in a random number in the correct format but this isn’t ideal. Especially if the retailer needs to ring you to verify the order or the delivery driver needs directions. Previously I’ve used a Skype online number but it costs €56.37 per year for a US number and call forwarding costs extra. I’ve recently found Skype very user unfriendly and have pretty much stopped using it.
This week, I was purchasing an item online and they required a phone call to verify the order. As a result I had to go try find a US phone number online. I came across Sonetel which costs €1.90 per month ex VAT so €2.34 per month for a US number. Call forwarding to an Irish landline costs €0.004 per minute or €0.013 to Meteor, Access(?!), Three and Vodafone mobile phones. Call forwarding to other Irish mobile phones cost €0.039 per minute. You can see their full price list on their website.
Signing up was extremely easy and you get a months free trial – you don’t even need to enter in payment details and get 50c credit to test the service with. As part of the sign up process they text a code to your mobile for verification. I signed up this evening in a couple of minutes and tested it. Everything was good so I decided to pay to keep the number past the free month.
They offer discounts for longer subscriptions:
1 Month: €2.34
1 Year: €19.68
3 Years: €36.90
On top of this fee, you keep an account balance from which the call forwarding costs are deducted. When you go to pay for the subscription you are asked for your address. They say they may need proof of address but they haven’t asked me yet.
You can make calls using your Sonetel phone number as well. They have an app available for Android and iPhone. There are two methods of making the call through the app – call thru and call back. With call thru, your mobile phone will ring a local number and with call back Sonetel will ring your mobile. The app automatically sets up a local call in your country between your mobile and Sonetel’s network, as well as a local call in the country you want to call, and then bridges the two calls together. You can also set up the number using a SIP app or phone to save on costs.
Overall, for less than €20 a year I’m happy out with my US phone number. It’s served its purpose and let me get my order through but I’ve decided to keep it for the year. I’m sure I’ll be using it again.