When you hear the word FREE, it's usually against an offer. The first that comes to ones mind is that there must be a catch in this, else why is this person or company offering this to me for free. That's very true, nothing is FREE even the charities say that they need a little of your time if they are offering something for free. So nothing is free!
What I want free to be is that when you give me something, in return I don't have to give you my time or money. You give me something and I don't have to worry that you are going to come around a few days later and knock on my door or you give me something and I don't get a call from one of your sponsors. So as I said above FREE for me is that when I can have it and that's it.
Well is that possible! MAYBE not! The fact is nothing is free; somebody somewhere wants something in return. What we need to understand is that the meaning of FREE has changed. Now a day's free means that you get something extra without paying for other than what you already have.
If you have grasped the above concept, then FREE calls abroad are based on this exact concept.
Let me explain. You have already spent your money and bought a nice mobile phone and are enjoying using it. Nowadays nearly all companies offer free minutes and text as a package bundle being part of the monthly contract that you have taken out. In some contracts you also have included along with the off-peak calls and text, peak calls and text. For example if you had taken a contract with lets say O2 which is for 25 pounds per month, they would give you 2000 off-peaks minutes and 200 off-peak text facility.
If you have a contract with Orange, T-Mobile or Virgin, you can still use them to make FREE calls but the process is different. This is shown here
Now continuing with the O2 example, with these free off-peak minutes you could be calling your near and dear or text-ing away to friends and family all for free. Now the only thing that you need to be careful about is to stick to the rules which are that the inclusive minutes can only be used for any UK mobile network and UK Fixed Lines. Also that you cannot ring any number which starts with 07744, 07755, 0871 for free, nor any premium rate numbers. These minutes also can only be used in the UK only. And most important is that, if the inclusive minutes that you have are off-peak minutes then these inclusive minutes can only be used from 7pm (evening) to 7am (morning) weekdays and all day weekend. But if you have peak minutes inclusive then you can use those minutes to make a free call during the peak times which is 7 am (morning) to 7 pm (evening) weekdays.
Now if you are OK with what you have read above. Here's the wonderful thing. As far as O2 contracts go, all calls made to numbers starting with 0844 or 0870 are considered as local numbers and if you make a call to any number that starts with 0844 and 0870, all that will happen is that the minutes will be deducted from your inclusive free minutes provided to you in the contract as mentioned in the previous paragraph.
This sentence is a later addition to this article based on O2's new announcement. If you have taken out a contract with O2 on or after the 1st of April 2007 then click here, if not the continue reading as it does not effect you
OK if you have reached here then you may have understood where this is going. Some telecom companies can use numbers starting with 0844 and 0871 and route calls through their exchanges onto an international carrier. These companies benefit by getting the charges from the company that you have your phone contract with and as far as you are concerned you have made a free call abroad for free, and only your free inclusive minutes have being deducted for the amount of minutes that your call lasted. And the great thing is that this is all legal, so no worries.