In my recent post on a free 411 directory assistance service I stated that in theory you could use SkypeOut to dial 800-FREE411 and then have 800-FREE411 connect your call free of charge, but you'd still use up your SkypeOut minutes. I wrote:
Too bad Skype doesn't charge less per minute for (toll free) 800 numbers - if they did then you could save money by always dialing though Free411.com's service. Of course, that wouldn't be very nice to Free411.com since they pay for the call. (when you dial their 800 number and they connect the call)
I thought about checking Skype's website to see if they did indeed discount 800 numbers, but I was too busy to check and I figured one of my blog readers would "catch me" if I was wrong. Well, Rick Hultz, a prolific commenter on my blog, did just that. He points out that Skype DOES offer discounted 800 number dialing. In fact, nevermind "discounted", Skype offers FREE toll-free number dialing for France, Poland, the UK, and the U.S.
So if you want to make FREE SkypeOut calls to any toll-free number in the U.S., simply dial 800-FREE411 (800-373-3411) from your Skype client and then tell the speech recognition directory assistance the city/town of the person/business you are trying to reach and then it will connect the call for you - FREE of charge! I just tested it from my Skype client and it works - I still have the same number of SkypeOut minutes. Of course this hack only works if the person you are dialing is in the directory (not unpublished number). And it isn't very nice to make Free411.com to pay for terminating your call, but hey they are ad supported (you have to listen to an ad before the call is connected), so maybe they don't mind?
Well, here's one way to save your precious SkypeOut minutes! B)