Feb 052013
 
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Years ago, even before my time, there were the rotary dial phones and households would share their phones with other households in a party line (where do you think the “town gossip” got her information?). We have come a long way since those days, with touch tone, cell phones, digital calls, video calls, and conference video calling (by choice and not necessity).

There is a new app that allows you to use your Facebook (or desktop app or smart phone) as a sort of operator, to assist you in connecting to your Facebook friends. The operator is free and there is a small surcharge, per minute, for the long distance phone call. However, you have an opportunity to make long distance calls, with this friendly computer-based operator, for free, as well!

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The app is called CallBux and it is available to install straight into your Facebook profile all you have to do is Click on icon to sign up on Facebook (the rest is simple). It is also available via smart phone (iPhone, Android), and PC or Mac Desktop dialer.

This free application allows you to Make Free International Calls from Facebook by connecting to your Facebook, and using your friends list like a contact database. Now, you don’t have to add your Facebook friends to your smart device contacts or address book because this nifty little application will use your Facebook friends as its phone book. It is rather fun, to get ready to call someone and click on the image within Facebook and have it start to connect the call. If your Facebook friend has already listed their telephone number, it will be available for the call. If your Facebook friend has not listed his or her telephone number, there is an opportunity to request the phone number. Also, if you already know the phone number for your friend, you can add it manually and it will be there for future use, as well.

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The next step, after choosing who you want to call is that the application will ring your phone at the number that you provide during registration of the application. Don’t worry, the application prompts you for the information that it requires and I like that the application does not ask for more information than what it is entitled to have. No providing the name of your firstborn or social security number to use this app. That is a plus!

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After you pick up your phone, you will hear the “operator” say that she (maybe in some places it is a “he”) will ring your friend. At that point, you have now called your Facebook friend, using the Callbux application, complete with its free operator.

I did notice a bit of a delay in the conversation, but I was testing with someone in the other room, where I could hear him on the cell phone and through the walls. However, assuming you are calling someone in another location, this probably won’t be that noticeable, with the delay.

The rates are very reasonable and Callbux provides these rates on their site, here. You also have the opportunity to see the remaining credit on the home page of the Facebook application, as well as the “home page” of the smart device, so you always know where you are at with call credits.

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There are a couple of options to get more call credits. One is to pay for more credits with the “load funds” option within the Facebook application interface. The other is to share the application with your friends. Callbux rewards you with more credits and explains how you can get these credits added to your account. This is the basis for making free calls, as you are able to obtain credits so that you may not have to load funds.

At first, I thought that this app was going to be like a Skype phone call, where you are calling user to user, but when it is referred to as a phone call, it is truly a phone call, with the application connecting the two phone numbers. I can see where this is very helpful in international calling, especially in cases where you may not have an international calling plan available on your cell phone, or you travel so infrequently that it is not worth adding. In this case, if you need to travel abroad, you can still reach your family back in your home country for a very reasonable rate considering the comparison cost of roaming charges and international calling fees. If you have a 45 cent roaming fee, per minute, you are looking at a lot less using CallBux!

CallBux is not limited to just travel. In this day and age, we are making friends globally and more and more family members are settling or working or doing projects in other countries. CallBux makes it possible to keep in touch for less money than it used to cost before local long distance became free. You are connecting with loved ones, and new found friends and old friends, from your Facebook contact list, for pennies!


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