January 3, 2010
I am trying to understand if Yak's long distance service can be used effectively with Speak Out Wireless. For its best rates, Yak offers its registered customers two methods of making a long distance connection: dialing a local number (in certain cities) and then entering a PIN before calling the long distance number, or dialing a (different) local number that recognizes your cell phone number (listed in advance with Yak) rather than requiring a PIN. They refer to the latter method as Yak Cell, and it would be the most convenient method, especially if the two phone numbers could be stored together in one's Contacts with an automatic pause separating them.
When I asked Yak to list my Rogers Pay-As-You-Go number under Yak Cell, they said that Yak long distance does not work with PAYG phone plans. I tried it anyway just to be sure, and they were right -- Rogers charged the call at the full long-distance rate, and Yak probably also took their 3.5 cents at the same time. Someone I know uses Yak Cell on a Rogers phone that has a monthly plan and it works fine.
My question is whether I would have the same problem with Speak Out. Is anyone using Yak with Speak Out and definitely avoiding the Speak Out long-distance surcharge?
When I wrote to Speak Out to ask about this, the answer was that it would work as long as I was using an 800 number for the long distance provider. Is that the issue -- that for its best rate Yak offers a local rather than an 800 number?
Yak can in fact be accessed with an 800 number (866 number, actually), but that is mainly for the benefit of users who are not in a location that has a local access number, and it costs an extra 5 cents per minute to use Yak that way.
I realize there are cheaper alternatives to Yak, though I think they involve prepayment rather than monthly billing, which makes them less convenient. I would be interested in hearing about long-distance services that work with Speak Out and are reliable. Do some of these use 800 numbers, or do they all use local numbers?
My understanding from the Speak Out FAQ is that with Speak Out a call made from outside my home city to a number in my home city is billed as a local call. If so, using a local access number like Yak's, if it works, and always using only the access number in my home city, no matter where in Canada I am travelling, should be the cheapest and simplest way to get almost free roaming -- yes? Or alternatively, the same cost should result if an 800 number is usable at the same low price as a local access number -- yes?
April 22, 2009
First off, just to clarify, you are going to be paying at least 25 cents a minute for the local call, there is no way around that with speak out. Second, if you call a local yak number, it will cost speak out's 25 cent a minute, plus yak's 3.5 cent cost. Even if there was a 1800 number, you would still be paying 25 cents a minute to speakout.
If there in no local number, you will be charged speak out's LD rates, airtime, and yak's rates.
I have to admit, Speakout's local calling area rules confuse the heck out of me. I know in Nova Scotia, it works in my favour, the whole province is one local calling area, so I can call from Sydney to Yarmouth at 25 cents a minute. Other provinces are not so lucky.
July 12, 2009
I just created a "Yak Cell" account in BC and an using it successfully on a SO phone. My GF has a SO phone on area code 250 based in Victoria which gives her access to all of Vancouver Island and the BC Interior, but not Area Code 604 which is used in Vancouver. She could call someone in Prince George or Revelstoke as a local call, but not Vancouver despite huge differences in the actual distances involved. Her daughter lives in Nanaimo (which would normally be long distance with anyone but SO) and has an area code 250 number. We tried test calls there by checking the account balance before and after the call. The calls were charged as "local" at 25 cents per minute. Her son lives in Vancouver and has an area code 604 number. Test calls to that number were charged as long distance at 45 cents per minute. After signing up with YAK Cell, I created a speed dial on her phone that dials the local Yak number here in Victoria and pauses for a few seconds, then dials his 604 number. The charges to SO were 25 cents per minute as with any local call. I haven't received the Yak bill yet, but there is no reason to believe it will not be at their 3.5 cent per minute rate. Her cost per minute to call her son is 28.5 cents using Yak with SO rather than 45 cents using SO long distance.
The only area code 250 number that Yak lists in the Yak Cell listings is in Victoria, but that should be "local" for anyone with a SO area code 250 number, so they should be able to use it to access Yak from other locations in BC.
The only Yak area code 902 number is in Halifax, but it should be "local" for anyone with a SO 902 number in Nova Scotia and PEI. There are a total of 20 local Yak Cell access numbers for all of Canada, so there may or may not be one local to you, but with SO as long as there is one with the same area code you should be ok. I did notice that there are no Area Code 306 numbers for Saskatchewan, nor 778 for BC -- only 250 and 604.
Yak cell also have a callback feature that should work everywhere. You call 1-416-204-0004 from any phone you have registered with Yak Cell (including landlines -- I tested it). That call will be "busy" and will not cost anything because it shows as a busy line. Within a few seconds, 1-416-204-0004 will return your call, and will ask you to input the number you want to call WITHOUT HITTING THE SEND BUTTON. When you input that number, Yak will make the call. Since the call on your SO phone is incoming, it will be charged at 25 cents per minute from SO plus 3.5 cents on your Yak bill. If you dial the 1-416-204-0004 number from a phone that is not registered with Yak Cell, you will get a message saying the phone is not in service.
In a similar vein and further to a previous discussion with bridonca, I actually created the Yak Cell account to help with reducing long distance charges while traveling. I made the Yak Cell access number one of my "My 5 Canada" numbers, so calling it from anywhere in Canada is covered. I can call the Yak number and use it to call anyone that is not covered as an "included call" in my plan minutes for a total of 3.5 cents per minute -- which is much better than 35 cents plus airtime for long distance and/or 35 cents for extra minutes over a plan limit from the "major players".
I have not found a cheaper alternative than SO for incoming calls on the road. All of the VOIP and other systems I've tried forwarding and/or group ringing to my cell phone still cost long distance for incoming calls if I am away from my home location in Victoria BC. Call forwarding doesn't help because the original routing still shows up in the call path and call display. If I were in Digby Nova Scotia, or Brandon Manitoba, and someone calls me they pay long distance to Victoria, and I pay long distance back to wherever I am whether I am using a Rogers, Fido, Telus, or any other regular cell phone based in Victoria, because I have a Victoria number. (That is usually 35 cents per minute plus airtime if it isn't covered by some form of plan you pay for.)
SpeakOut charge the flat 25 cents for all incoming calls. It means I have to have two cell phones in order to use one at home and one on the road. That is a small inconvenience now that my travel phone is a SO phone. Until I found SpeakOut, receiving calls on a cell phone on the road was expensive and/or a real PITA whether I carried a PAYGo phone that needed monthly top ups to stay active even if I wasn't traveling, or I had two phones on monthly plans in two locations, or if I just paid the long distance for incoming calls.
March 2, 2011
July 12, 2009
Rather than repeat my reply to your other post, Here is the link:
I've been using Yak Mobile Long Distance with 2 Speakout cell phones, 1 Rogers cell phone, and a Telus landline for over a year with no problems from Victoria BC.
March 2, 2011
In 2011, you can no longer sign up & use Yaks Mobile long distance
with your So phone or ANY prepaid Cell. Would be great if you could, but No,
as stated earlier, Yak will not work with prepaid. Yak will only work with a Cell on a monthly Plan.
Any new SO users may verify for themselves by calling:
1 877 Yak.4Yak ( 1 877 9254 925)
February 19, 2011
March 2, 2011
That's great. Of course that's only step one.
Apparently anyone can sign up, but not everyone can access the local numbers.
I get a different answer every time I have contacted them.
I now have an account, but am still waiting for my password to be emailed to me.
I am going to try my local access number very soon.
What I was told from the 3rd CS person @ Yak is if you can access the local number then it works...if not there is nothing they can do.
Also stressed the obvious that local minutes and roaming fees will still apply.
Fair enough and fairly obvious!!!
I guess some people are gullible enough to actually think they are only going to pay 3.5 cents per minute for their calls so they stress that point to everyone as a reminder!
I see no reason why Yak does not work with every Mobile phone as stated on their site.
Keep in mind they are partnered with Wind Mobile so, this may not always be the case.
I would recommend to everyone considering Yak to get an account set up with YAK Now! ASAP and don't take no for an answer.
Once you have access, you will likely be grandfathered in, even if they decide to only offer Mobile LD with Wind sometime in the future!
December 1, 2009
April 23, 2011
I started using tel3advantage.com while in the US - they are a prepaid system with local (and toll-free) access numbers with rates around 1.6 cents/min to Canada (1.9 to the US) with an extra 1 cent if you do not use a local access number and use the 1-800/866 numbers. the .com website is in US dollars, but they do have tel3advantage.ca which might be in Canadian dollars - I can't tell.
If you sign up, you might be able to get an extra $10 credit if you use my account number 705-876-9946 in the "referral code section" - that supposedly will also give me a $10 credit. The promo code of "672929" may also get you some low introductory rates for the first 30 days (1cent/min), and they also give you bonus credits when you prepay various amounts.
I haven't done much (any?) LD calls with my SO phone. From our landline, as a registered number, I do not need to enter account/PIN information. When I just tried it with my SO phone I was asked for account/PIN info.