How to Use Skype to Call Phones - dummies

How to Use Skype to Call Phones

By Loren Abdulezer, Susan Abdulezer, Howard Dammond, Niklas Zennstrom

Using Skype to call phones is truly simple. Just click the Call Phones button that is near the bottom of the Skype window. When the dial pad pops up, enter the phone number along with the area code.

You can either use your keyboard to enter the number in the box at the top of the dialing pad or use your mouse to click the numbers. When you are done entering the number, press Enter or click the green call button to start the call.

When you enter a phone number, Skype doesn’t mind whether you use hyphens or spaces. It even handles parentheses around the area code.

To make an international call, click the flag at the top of the dialing pad. A drop-down box appears with the names, country codes, and flags of each country. You simply choose the country you want to call. That flag appears at the top of the dialer. Skype adds the necessary country codes, so all you have to do is enter the number.

Once you see the drop-down box with the list of countries, you can get to the country of your choice quickly by simply typing in the first letter of the name of the country.

If you know the country code and want to enter it manually, you can do that as well. Just type a plus sign (+) followed by the country code. Skype recognizes the country and displays the flag of that country. You can then simply enter the number you wish to call within that country.

When you use Skype to call a phone, you immediately know what rate you are being charged. Skype alerts you to the calling rate by displaying a little caption.

Another nice feature of Skype is that you can easily review all your Skype calls in a clearly organized Web-based table.

The steps involved in retrieving your accounting information are as follows:

  1. Start Skype.

  2. Click the View Account button or click the Skype button from the menu at the top of the screen and choose Account.

    Your Account overview page appears listing your recent calls.

  3. Click the View Call History button.

    Now you can see all calls that you have made displayed by month.

You should be aware that Skype credit needs to be kept “alive.” If no Skype activity occurs for 180 days, any of your remaining credit is wiped out. This does not mean that you must be using up your credit; it just means that you need to have some level of activity during any 180-day interval.