Most calling plans are complex and built to confuse, the following points should help:
- Ask yourself when you make calls (morning, day or evening). Prepaid and contract rate plans have two groups: hourly rates and universal rates. Hourly rates divide the day into several time segments each with its associated price per minute. For example, for its prepaid users, Vodafone breaks up the day into 3 segments: 0:00-6:00, 6:00-16:00 and 16:00-24:00. Tariffs are much lower in the early morning and late in the day and are at their peak during business hours. Universal rates are simpler in that they offer one fixed rate regardless of the time of day, but this is on average higher.
- Ask yourself where you call (fixed lines or which mobile provider). There are different rates depending whether you called a fixed lines, to mobiles with the same company and to other mobiles. Calls to mobiles with the same operator are the cheapest while calls to mobiles outside that operator are the most expensive, so it can be worth finding out what operator your friends and family use.
- Do you send text messages? Many contracts include an amount of free messages.
- Do you need Internet access on your phone? Think about the data volume you might need during a month.
A few other important items regarding calling rates, except for special promotions, all providers:
- charge approx. €0.15 to establish the call (establecimiento de llamada)
- charge different rates for national and international SMS, unlike other countries sending a SMS abroad is not the same price!
- charge 21% IVA (value-added tax) on top of their publicised rates