Saturday, November 29, 2008

Skype user profile: Christel

Christel, a young woman living and working in the French Alps, loves to travel around the world on her vacations. She visits the United States regularly and has made many friends all over the country. She tries to keep up with everyone through email, but prefers direct contact. She also wants to improve her English. She has become a veteran skyper, chatting and conferencing with all her new friends. Many of the people she has befriended during her travels have not quite moved into the information age and are still using plain old telephones, or maybe a cell phone.
Christel decides to purchase some SkypeOut minutes. The cost of a SkypeOut call from France to the United States, to a landline telephone, is about two cents a minute. Calling to a mobile phone is more — about 20 cents a minute. However, using SkypeOut gives Christel some advantages. For example, if she’s calling someone in a mountainous area, cell phone service may be nonexistent or filled with “dead” zones, but the SkypeOut service works fine. Internet telephony has a consistently better voice quality than cell phones. Skyping out to a regular telephone is both inexpensive and clear sounding. It gives Christel flexibility because she can call out from any computer connected to the Internet.
Another advantage to Christel is that she can buy ten dollars’ worth of SkypeOut minutes at a time. Because this is all you can buy until you use some of those minutes, Christel can easily budget her international calls so that she doesn’t incur endless charges; she just uses up her “calling currency” and then decides whether to purchase more immediately or hold off for a while.

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