BT SmartTalk App
[error]Don’t leave home without it…[/error]
The first time I ever went abroad with my mobile phone, I thought it was amazing. Being able to stay in touch with all of my friends via text and calls yet being over a thousand miles away made it easy to plan my drinking time when back in the UK.
Then… I got my bill! £300! I only earn’t £60 per week as a YTS at Shoe Express, what a shock! The late 90’s were great for communication but not so great on my wallet.
And in walks Smartphones and App’s, these days there are a number of ways to keep connected and to reduce your phone bill. Even my personal mobile phone provider, Three told me to download WhatsApp when I went over my 5000 per month text limit and Skype when I went over my 2000 minutes, with the latter being fantastic for staying in touch with my Dad in Canada.
Over the years I have always found BT to be at the forefront of technology, that is until the whole country realised we were quite a few years behind on the broadband front. But I remember there first video phones, it was one of the first available and then their virtual switchboards called featureline, before VOIP took off. They were some great ideas.
So when BT announced there new App, that connects to your home account to help you save money I was quite intrigued…
The app taps into your home BT account, so that you can use your current home package over WiFi and 3G networks using VOIP technology. So if you have an unlimited call plan, you can actually use this program to make calls for free. This includes 0800, 0845 and 0870 that mobile phone providers charge the earth for.
Setting up is an absolute ball-ache and at a few points I was just going to give up and delete the app. I wasn’t sure if it was my internet but I kept receiving errors when trying to fill in the settings. You have to go through verification, which includes an automated call from BT to your landline with a pin code. This was pretty easy to do and I managed to disturb the neighbours as it was 1am!
You get a text to your phone with another pin to enter. On the screen it did say it could take a while, which it did! A whole 20 minutes. But I still stuck with it and went all the way through.
At the end you get another automated call from BT over the landline to say that its all set up.
When making calls using the App, the Caller ID is set to your actual mobile number which is a great idea. Up until recently when using Skype, it used to show as a Withheld number, which a lot of people don’t like to answer, so to see this feature was a positive thing.
Unfortunately you can’t receive calls made to your home number, which I think would be an amazing addition. Maybe that will come with time, but I have one phone in the house which is at the other end to where I am usually sat. Yet my mobile is in my hand or in my pocket. I’m sure the technology is already there so shouldn’t take much and I would be willing to pay a little extra for it.
All in all the App is a great addition to my other similar programs and I hope to use it. Especially when I’m abroad and can more or less make local calls using my call plan. I have dropped the rating on this review, due to the complex setup which I’m sure many will quit midway.
You can only use this App if you have a BT landline and the service is provided by British Telecom themselves. The standard call plan provided by BT is free evening and weekend calls, which does include 0845 and 0870 numbers. Make sure you hang up before 60 minutes and redial, to avoid any further charges. You can use this app at anytime of the day to call 0800 numbers which is a bonus.
Don’t forget that this App will use data allowance, so make sure you don’t go over your limit.
[alert]What Would Go Well With It…[/alert]
You’ve got to get one of those cool Moshi handsets like we have in our office! Retro and Cool!
Also as always we recommend that if you are on Pay As You Go and even some contracts, it is a great idea to swap your provider to GiffGaff. Unlimited internet if you add the right goodybags and a load of minutes. Take a look!