Maintaining a United States phone # in Kunming

DanTheMan (600 posts) • 0

Hi all. I'm a long-term resident of Kunming and I have been for several years paying a United States "Skype-In" number.

The point of this is to have a United States phone number that I can list with, for example, my credit card company, and also with friends and family who don't do much international calling and therefore may not have a cost-effective solution for making overseas calls to my Chinese mobile phone number.

But it has a lot of limitations:
-Call forwarding, can only choose forwarding OR go to voicemail, not forwarding and if no answer then go to voicemail.
-No custom voicemail message (very confusing to my elderly mother who would like to hear my voice before she leaves a message for me).
- *VERY BIG LIMITATION* No incoming text messages. People in the US expect to be able to communicate via text, unlike China where everybody is now using WeChat.
-The annual subscription is not expensive, but also not that cheap, and accepting incoming calls also burns Skype credit.
-Seems a little unreliable at forwarding sometimes.

So I guess my question is, has anybody else come across any better solutions in terms of United States phone numbers that can forward to your mobile. Or does anybody know of a mobile phone company in the states through which I could get a cheap monthly plan that would roam in China with free incoming text messages?

Thanks for any insights.

nnoble (889 posts) • 0

I've had a UK Skype-in number for several years and never once has it been used. Relatives and friends of all ages at home use a combination of WhatsApp (+VPN at my end) and WeChat for text messages, video and voice. WeChat has proved most reliable if only because it doesn't suffer from being interfered with.

tigertiger - moderator (5085 posts) • 0

If you need call forwarding, it is always going to cost you. The question is, do you actually need call forwarding? If not then Wechat.
I don't know if Apple Facetime works internationally, but both ends would need an ios device.

tallamerican (396 posts) • +1

For the seven years have lived outside USA and 6 of those in China have used magic jack. You can buy in Target or Walmart stores. You pick a USA phone number and you can use your phone or computer to make or receive phone calls anywhere you have internet. You also get voice mail for your phone number, and text messaging, plus many extras. Cost has went up a little but around $30 a year.

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