‘Smart’ box to slash call rates

Talk, a telephone service offering “the lowest rate for every call made”, launches this week.

The service, the first of its kind, has been developed by Pathfinder Telecom – part of Interoute Communications Group.

Pathfinder claims Talk will make savings of up to 85 per cent on international calls, compared with BT daytime rates. There will be smaller savings on local and national calls.

The service works by plugging home phones into a “smart” box, which costs &£49.99. The box routes calls to whichever telecoms carrier offers the lowest rate for that call. It is constantly updated with the fast-changing carrier tariffs, using the same radio technology as pagers, to allow Talk to deliver the cheapest calls.

Customers keep their original phone number and telecoms provider, such as BT. In addition to their usual bill, they will be sent a Talk bill itemising calls made through other telecoms carriers.

The Talk Website allows customers to check their monthly itemised bill.

Pathfinder marketing director Simon Adams says: “Talk aims to demystify the telecoms market for confused customers. They don’t have to leave BT, or pre-dial numbers. We have developed the Talk brand to act as an honest broker in the market.”

A &£750,000 direct mail campaign through integrated London agency Junction launches this week. It will target daytime callers in the Carlton, Meridian and Central areas. A &£2m above-the-line campaign – also through Junction – for the national service will roll out next year.

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