Swedish VOIP company, Rebtel, offers free and cheap international calls and text messaging. Focusing on personal rather than business calling technology, they offer international calling rates for 222 countries that are several cents cheaper than what most other VOIP providers offer.

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The Good

  • Versatile Options
  • International Calling
  • Rate Plans

Versatile Options

Rebtel uses several different technologies to offer calling features to your international contacts at low prices. First of all, app-to-app calls are free in 50+ countries. If you are calling a country outside of the 'free' list, or you are calling contacts who are not Rebtel app users, you will be charged international calling fees. The following call options can be used to give you the best and cheapest call experience:

  1. Phone Lines - Your call is placed through your cell phone provider. The Rebtel system keeps you connected through a local number. You will be charged for a standard local phone call through your cell phone plan and any international charges will be charged through your Rebtel account.
  2. Wifi - Calls are made over your wifi internet connection. You will only pay Rebtel for international rates.
  3. Mobile Data - Placing a phone call using mobile data will deduct data from your cell phone plan unless you have unlimited data. You will pay Rebtel for the international rates.
  4. Travel Mode - If you are roaming, turning this on will only connect with wifi. If you aren't concerned with roaming charges, then keeping this option turned off will allow you to use any of the above options to place your call.

International Calling

Rebtel focuses a lot of resources on its international call service. To ensure low rates, Rebtel generates a VoIP number within your phone's cell network that will connect you to whoever you're trying to call in any of the 222 Rebtel countries. In addition to their cheap international calling rates, Rebtel also has a system in place for users to make free app-to-app calls in 53 of those countries. Unlike other VoIP companies, Rebtel does not use internet connection but instead connects your international voice calls with the local phone lines to ensure your call does not drop.

Rate Plans

This is a prepaid calling system; however, each country offers different options. There are $5 and $10 increments or rolling monthly subscriptions. For example, a $10 per month Global subscription offers unlimited phone calls to 56 countries. For countries not on the Global list, there are other options. For example, Uruguay is not included in the Global subscription because it has different rates. For Uruguay, you are offered one-time payments of $5 for 33 minutes or $10 for 66 minutes, or you can enroll in the monthly subscription which gives 100 minutes to any phone number in Uruguay for $10 per month.

The Bad

  • Charges for Certain Countries
  • Customer Service
  • Not Catered Toward Business

Hidden Fees for Certain Countries

Rebtel only offers free app-to-app calling between 53 countries - the other countries in its network will cost money. Because credit is purchased beforehand, calls may be cut short if enough time isn't available. You'll want to track how much Rebtel credit you have left so to avoid the inconvenience of hanging up, purchasing more credit and then calling back.

Customer Service

Rebtel's customer service is limited to the FAQ section of the website. Users can make comments on the page and receive help from Rebtel agents. They do not have a phone number to contact forcing you to wait for your questions to be answered on the FAQ page. Customers who don't have a lot of tech knowledge or who aren't familiar with VoIP apps may prefer a company like Skype, which offers more support. Rebtel's customer service options are the most limited of all the VoIP service providers we reviewed.

Not Catered Toward Business

This is not a business VoIP service meant to connect to a hard or specialized softphone. They don't offer unified communication add-ons or have multi-line rates. Rebtel is geared towards individuals calling friends or family in another country. To add to the ease of this, they provide free instant messaging with any other Rebtel users. However, if you are looking for a business solution, probably look elsewhere.

The Bottom Line

As far as pricing and rate information, Rebtel is one of the most straightforward platforms for international VOIP calling. There isn't a lot of ambiguous wording to sift through. Fees are pretty straight forward just be aware of the international credits and how much each call will cost. For an individual user, it can be hassle free to use because of the free Rebtel calling app that can be downloaded straight to your cellular device.
 
In addition, Rebtel doesn't require contracts so you have the convenience of purchasing, switching or canceling whenever you choose.
 
Rebtel's lack of customer service and tech support is a concern, but its international calling prices are cheap and the apps are easy to use.

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User Reviews

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Judy

April 13th, 2020 Seattle, WA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Rebtel is the worst scam I have ever come across. It disconnected my calls from other companies. It's the worst app to have ever used. Please, I warn everyone don't use it. It's a scam.

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Gabriela

November 19th, 2019 Grapevine, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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BAD 1800-062-058(?) customer service number - MISLEADING CUSTOMERS Their system should not be advertised to USA consumers. Can't follow through their instructions -- so I've made no calls. Keep getting an automated message -- most recently with a Survey that, again, can't be filled from my laptop (I have an up to date new laptop)

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Ibrahim

September 23rd, 2019

They "blocked" a number as it was listed as "banned". Totally non sense. Their $1 for 20 minutes to Call an African nation was a total scam

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mitra black

May 31st, 2019 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I used Rebtel to make an international call that I had made 100s of time before over the past 10 years (using Rebtel's local number). But I am now facing £222 bill from my mobile provider for this call as Rebtel has failed to transfer it to a local number. I have made a complaint to Rebtel but still no joy. Any help?

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Abhijjet_suryawnahi_who_will_remember_comany_like_€

February 1st, 2019 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I wish I could give rebtel zero, I will tell one thing about rebtel, it will work for most of their custome. But when it doesn’t you will end up pay bills like 116 for 2 calls by your network provider. I tried contacting rebtel, but they have this so called system where you will get assistance not call. This company is so fraud that they started with this principles only. Last month I used rebtel app to make calls and for that my company gave me bill of 116 euros. When I asked rebtel, they gave me bunch of questions, I answered all of them and shown them the bills, There reply was, We couldn’t find these transactions in our system. I asked them to send me whatever you have regarding me, send me that, Now I am waiting, but i promise They will have to go though a lot now, if they don’t answer me in 1 day.

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Eandrews

January 15th, 2019 Denver, CO DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Rebtel use minutes up soon as it start ringing before your call is answered also I have lost 23 minutes from a in coming call that is not connected through rebtel but it used all the minutes I paid for. It say you can send a message but you can't and missed call dont show to let the one you call know they missed your call.

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GH

December 5th, 2018 Worthington, MN DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I added money to a new rebtel account in anticipation of a bunch of upcoming international calls. Before I could even use the service, I was told that my account was frozen and I would have to provide a copy of my bank statement and 2 forms of photo ID. When I requested a refund instead, they again said I had to give them my bank statement and 2 forms of ID. To me, this has scam written all over it. I lost over $50 to this company.

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Derick Lee

March 30th, 2018 North Las Vegas, NV DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Minutes were lost in that I should have more but they disappeared. Email correspondence was very frustrating because they do not answer my questions and just sidestep them. This company cheats.

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Abe

December 4th, 2017 Kissimmee, FL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Rebtel is one most scam people should … Rebtel is one most scam people should not be dealing with. a $10.00 refill supposed to give 36 minutes to Ethiopia, every time I refill the phone rings non stop, no voicemail, nobody answers, this means the phone is not connecting to the person I am calling I called the person on different line and checked Rebtel is not connecting me to the person, this happens after every refill when I hangup 3 minutes are gone, when I submit feedback this is what I get (( Hi Abdurahman Ibrahim, My name is Sophie and I work with customer satisfaction at Rebtel. I noticed that you just rated your last call with 1 out of 5 stars on its quality. Something didn't work for you and I want to understand why. Not only because I want to fix any technical issues straight away, but more importantly because offering you the best call quality is my number 1 priority. So, help me understand what went wrong: Were you calling from home or on the go? Does it only happen when you call that specific number? If this was the first time the problem happened, what was different this time? I really want to solve the problem so anything you can tell me is a HUGE help and I really appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time :) /Sophie, Sophie is a facking robot that auto respond to feedback these morons are stealing my money and the fakcking stupid robot answers. The only time these garbage respond to their customers is when they get bad review. I need refund the past 30 refills in amount of $300 or your way of doing business will be reported to FCC and I have the time and any needed resource to sue you, that will end your business chain in USA!

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Mustapha A

July 20th, 2015 Bellevue, WA

The Big Saver deal to Nigeria is a BIG SCAM from Rebtel. You purchase it but you can't use it. You keep hearing "you have 0 balance on your account" message even though you have 140 minutes in your account. That's Stupid!!!

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