IRISH REMOTE MEMORY CARDS, WHICH ONES SHOULD YOU USE?

Remote memory cards have been used around the world for many years now but for collectors in most European country’s they never really took off as many collectors of phonecard’s didn’t regard remote memory cards to be a true phonecard due to the fact that they have don’t have to be inserted into a phone to operate them.

However despite this fact the amount of company’s adopting the use of the remote memory card has risen dramatically over the years and is almost as standard in the U.S.A. due to the lost cost of manufacture of these cards.

This article is written as a part review of some of the various Irish phone companies that have come to light over the past few months. All analysis of these cards are based on calls I have made to the U.K. mainland and I will rate the cards in accordance to convenience in making the call as well as the cost declared in the company’s advertising literature to the true cost. Check out the rating system at the bottom of the page to see what each rating means. Please note that I am only reviewing the cards that I have tried.  Finally please note I do not work for, or receive any payment from any of the companys service's reviewed here. My comments are of my own trials on these various services and you have tried a card that is not listed below or if you disagree with my opinions then please let me know..

The companys currently reviewed are:
Swiftcall, Spirit Telecom, Excel, Esat Intouch, Century 2000, Switchcom Hello! Cards.


Swiftcall: Under Review!!!

*Swiftcall have just announced another drop in their charges which I am currently testing. I will post details soon.

I originally came across Swiftcall in London and have never had any problems with them so I had no problem is splashing out 10.00 for my first card. To access the card was through a free-phone number and a welcoming message greeted me at the other end and then I was asked to enter the pin number of the card, which I did without any hassle. Swiftcall claim to offer calls to the U.K. for 27p a minute which I found to be accurate, so in all I found Swiftcall quite easy and cheap to use so I would recommend them.

Swiftcall Declared price per minute: Actual Price per minute:
Freephone 1800-44-00-99

27p

27p

 

Advantages:

 

Disadvantages:

Their number is often busy when tying to use a card

 

Rating 4 out of 5


 

 

Esat Intouch Calling Card:

On my first attempt to use an ESAT Intouch Calling Card(TM), I was greeted with a message saying my call could not being connected due to my pin not being recognised. upon ringing the ESAT help desk I was put on hold for ages while they sorted out the problems I was experiencing. Eventually my problems were sorted out and I proceeded to make my phonecall. The cards are very easy to use and unlike the other cards listed on this page you can listen to the instructions on how to use the card in both English, French, Spanish and German which is great for any foreigner's over on holiday as well as people trying to brush up on their foreign language skills. All in all the service is excellant and once again has proven to be of great benefit to anyone making foreign or national calls.

ESAT Intouch(TM) Declared price per minute: Actual Price per minute:
Freephone 1800-70-30-70
Or check their Website @ http://www.esat.net
27p Reduced to approximately 9p

 

Advantages:

  • Still saves you money, when compared with using a public phone.
  • Can be used from mobile phones
  • Price is billed per second so as to save you more money.
  • Can listen to the instructions in four differnet languages.
  • Can be used outside Ireland.

Rating 5 out of 5


Excel:

Excel also claims to offer calls to Great Britain for 27p per minute. On trying out a 10.00 card, I was told the number of the card was invalid so I rang the customer helpdesk which is also a free number, however the desk closes at six o clock, a bit ridiculous I taught. However I left my mobile number and details of the problem I was experiencing. The following day I received a call from Excel helpdesk and a very friendly staff member took the number from my card and promised to ring me straight back which she did, apologising for the error and any mishaps that may have arisen from their error.

Leaving all these problems aside I tried my card again and got through first time entered my number and dialled as per usual. However unlike Swiftcall I noticed that I was being billed per minute instead of per second so that was a bit of a disappointment.

Excel Declared price per minute: Actual Price per minute:
FreePhone 1800-333-933

27p

27p

 

Advantages:

  • Still saves you money, when compared with using a public phone.
  • Can be used from mobile phones

Disadvantages:

The call is charged per minute rather than per second so it doesn’t save you as much money as it could have. However upon saying that if you are using the entire card in one use then it’s well worth using.

 

Rating 3 out of 5


 

Spirit

Spirit claims to be Ireland fist licensed Internet Telephony Provider, however they have had a number of problems since the outset which thankfully have not been fixed and as a result Spirits phone charges have once again been reduced. Spirit claims to offer calls to Great Britain at an amazing 17p per minute.  Over the past few months Spirit Telecom has risen from strenght to strenght and has now reduced its calls to Great Britain by a further 2p per minute which is excellant news for all us phone users out there. You can also avail of there residential service saving you even more money, so why delay, check out their website today for more details.

Spirit Declared price per minute: Actual Price per minute:
Freephone 1800-200-366

Or check their Website @
http://www.spiritelecom.ie

17p

17p

 

Advantages:

  • Card can be used in Ireland, the U.K. and the USA.
  • Spirit  claim to treble the difference if they don’t save you money

Disadvantages:

  • Does not tell you your cards balance until after you have entered your card number and then dialled the number you wish to be connected to.
  • Does not have a free-phone helpdesk like the previous two examples. It’s a Dublin number and I phoned them at 6.30 p.m. to be greeted by an answering service.

 

Rating 3 out of 5


Switchcom Hello! Card's

Switchcom was one of Irelands first main Remote memory producing company's about a year and a half ago. I first tried them last year and was dissapointed with them. But I decided to try them again trying their new Hello! cards which they claim is powered by Independant Digital(Whatever that's suppose to mean). SwitchCom slogan claims that "Saying Hello! is as easy as ABC" a slogan that is totally true as the Hello! cards are as easy as ABC to use.. The cards come complete with a user's guide that contains the instructions in English, Spanish, Italian, German and French. The card can also be used in various other countries which is handy as it saves you having to find coins in foreign countries when you need to make a phonecall.

 

SwitchCom Hello! Card's Declared price per minute: Actual Price per minute:
Freephone 1800-930-930

18p

Approximately 21p

Advantages:

  • Can be used from Mobile Phones as well as any touch-tone phone.
  • Can be used outside of Ireland.

 

Disadvantages:

 

Rating 4 out of 5


Century 2000:

Century 2000 is a new player on the market and does not indicate whom the Telecoms company is behind it. The card bears the companys slogan "Where Quality Matters..." and the card is banished with something that looks like a silk cloth backround which is nice in my opinion.

The companys literature claims to offer calls to the U.K. for only 10p per minute, this sounded too good to be true so I was a bit weary but I splashed on a 20 call to check it out. I was un-inpressed by the fact that the card does not come wrapped or with an instruction leaftlet like all the others but reckoned if there providing cheaper calls then who cares. There prices proved to be accurate when using a 20 card so I would definetly recommend them when making landbase calls to the U.K. mainland.

 

Century 2000 Declared price per minute: Actual Price per minute:
Freephone 1800-927-777

10p

Approximately 10p

 

Advantages:

  • Can be used from Mobile Phones as well as any touch-tone phone.
  • Extremely cheap and very ease to use service.

 

Disadvantages:

  • Does not come with any instruction booklet like many of the others.
  • Does not have a freephone number for their helpdesk. You are charged the price of  a local call.

Rating 4 out of 5.


RATING SYSTEM

ONE

TWO

THREE

Terrible, avoid at all costs Ok, if the local shop only stock's these. Well worth the effort
FOUR FIVE
Definetly worth buying and using as it saves you quite a lot of money. Should be the number one item on
your shopping list.

*It is important to note that as time goes on and as competition gets bigger and bigger, each of the Remote memory providers will dramatically improve their service. So if you have used any of the providers listed above and dont agree with what I have said then please let me know. Also please remember that all the prices stated are to the U.K. mainland.

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Copyright Steven Hanley 1999