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DTMark

Calling Australia..

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We have relatives in Australia to whom we do not speak regularly, but I need to call them.

We don't have a "landline" - not a physical one, it's a VOIP service (landline number, inbound calls, works normally).

I put a fiver on it about six months ago and it's still going strong ;) We don't use it much.

When I call the number in Australia I get "Operator assisted calls are not permitted to this number".

I haven't tried calling from my mobile, I shudder to think what it might cost.

Anyone have any idea what this message means?

From what I can see, in Australia you can have something called toll barring which basically prevents out bound calls. If you tried to make one on a line with this enabled, you'd get this message.

But, this is inbound. The phone number is the only means of contact that we have.

I'm stumped. Any ideas..

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they might have signed up for service that limits the type of incoming calls. Can happen in Oz.

Why are you not using Skype or Viber for free, anyway? We all had a chat today with family in NZ, for 30 minutes, video, and cost us nothing... (except having a phone in the first place, etc)

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I wondered if they had blocked international calls. Though I can't think of any reason why they wouldn't want to speak to us, we haven't had any arguments.

Perhaps the chargeable part of the call is falling to the destination number if Sipgate doesn't permit international calls - we have Sipgate because you can put the connection details into our modem and plug in ordinary DECT handsets, so it looks and works like "any landline".

But - I do have Skype, so there's a good idea to try.

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I have £9 on my Skype account, apparently.

I'll wait for the second coffee to kick in (for some reason my eyes snapped open at 7am and I got up, which is odd) and then give it a try.

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OK, tried Skype. That dials through straight away and I can hear the person at the other end, but they can't hear me.

Testing it out with a call to my mobile: it's really broken, distorted and lagged, looks like Skype is a little busy.

Problem appears to be with Sipgate, then. Have tried 0061 (number), 61 (number) and 001161 (number) - none of those work.

Think I'll have to use my mobile. I shall go and see what it costs.

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Is your Skype updated? It plays funny sometimes.

Three mobile looks expensive, giffgaff for instance is 3p a minute.

We have a free international calls package via EE for the furr-egners.

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It appears to be £1.50 per minute. (O2 PAYG)

Unless I change the entire tariff and the SIM card too for an "International Caller" one. Then it's 3ppm.

I only need to make one call. For heavens sake. Why should O2 care what SIM card dials the number.

I suspect I'll need to use a friend's landline and give them some cash.

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I wondered if they had blocked international calls. Though I can't think of any reason why they wouldn't want to speak to us, we haven't had any arguments.

Perhaps the chargeable part of the call is falling to the destination number if Sipgate doesn't permit international calls - we have Sipgate because you can put the connection details into our modem and plug in ordinary DECT handsets, so it looks and works like "any landline".

But - I do have Skype, so there's a good idea to try.

I've had sipgate in place of a landline since moving here a little over two years ago. I've used it for quite a few international calls with no problem (though not Oz). Most likely it is a restriction they have on incoming calls.

Talking of which, I'm struggling with sipgate's new interface. How do I block number-withheld and bogus-number incoming calls with it? I don't answer them (unless a bogus number tricks me into thinking it might be real), but it's a pain having to rush to the 'phone.

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OK, tried Skype. That dials through straight away and I can hear the person at the other end, but they can't hear me.

Testing it out with a call to my mobile: it's really broken, distorted and lagged, looks like Skype is a little busy.

Problem appears to be with Sipgate, then. Have tried 0061 (number), 61 (number) and 001161 (number) - none of those work.

Think I'll have to use my mobile. I shall go and see what it costs.

Can you text-message with either skype or mobile and explain your problem (point to this thread)?

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We've got one of these:

http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-phones/

Wife is constantly on the phone to her mum and I was getting £100 a quarter bills. Now I just pay one flat fee a year (£30 ish I think) and it's unlimited landline calls.

You can get an international subscription which is a bit more, but must be worth it.

Oh and the phone plugs into the landline aswel so it still receives/makes normal landline calls also.

Are you using skype on your PC?

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Thought I'd try the international operator from the Sipgate phone. That's always engaged. Maybe that doesn't work on there.

Wading through the pages on O2, I can buy a monthly subscription to call three numbers that I designate. I don't want a monthly subscription and why does O2 care which three numbers I call?

To add insult to injury, while doing this, I get an SMS: "Hold on, you need a balance of £10 to get your Big Bundle on (date) - top up now" and I think "Why don't you just f*** off". Sorry, in that mood today.

So for having some sort of 1970s State Utility approach to tariffs and a desire to get me to sign up for something monthly, I can't give O2 any money at all. Nice one.

Porca, the issue is that recorded message that I get when I call the number via Sipgate. Skype gets through calling the same number, but the call quality is useless. The issue appears to be with Sipgate and this target number, or Sipgate and Australia generally.

According to Sipgate I should be able to call it, but it just doesn't work. "Operator assisted calls are not permitted to this number". Account does have a balance, so it's not that.

Skype is only on the PC, yes. Our upstream is around 50Mbps (home broadband is 4G, goes like lightning, never an issue before - even video calls are perfect), just checked, and tried other calls on Sipgate - the problem is with Skype. I could try putting the app on my mobile but I don't want to spook them with another silent call.

Who would have thought that such a simple thing could be made so difficult.

Anyway it's a nice day. I'll leave this until I can get to a physical landline. Or just pay O2 about £15 to make a 10 minute call and be done with it.

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OK, tried Skype. That dials through straight away and I can hear the person at the other end, but they can't hear me.

Testing it out with a call to my mobile: it's really broken, distorted and lagged, looks like Skype is a little busy.

Problem appears to be with Sipgate, then. Have tried 0061 (number), 61 (number) and 001161 (number) - none of those work.

Think I'll have to use my mobile. I shall go and see what it costs.

One way audio is usually a firewall configuration issue. Can you make domestic calls (UK) with Skype or sipgate? If so, then it's something else.

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They don't have Internet access, or just don't like (or haven't used) social media?

Facebook messenger has voice / video calls

Or Skype

Or most apple products have FaceTime (if both sides have them).

I know I'm teaching you to suck eggs.. but I can't imagine anyone making conventional calls when there are so many free alternatives.

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Just to update this:

I elected to call from my parents house on their (Virgin Media) landline.

Same message.

Except that I held on the line and eventually, it connected.

So the secret of success was not to hang up.

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So the message was just FYI, not an instruction to desist

Appears so. Though strangely, despite hearing it on a Virgin Media landline (parents) and a Sipgate VOIP connection (ours), it doesn't do it on Skype.

At least I know for next time.

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