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Calling Cuba Is So Complicated And So Expensive!.

by Karen

Cuba has to be the most expensive country in the world to call.

There is no way round it. Calling Cards, Skype, Landline, You name it it costs a fortune!.

And the charges clock up even before you get through, when the phone is ringing it'd eating up your dollars.

I recently called my friend via Skype, he is not on the internet so I called him at his neighbour's house.

They had to run to let him know there was a phone call. I hung up and called back, to my horror $5 had been spent before we'd uttered a word, just by calling and very briefly asking for him.

We barely spoke for five minutes and the $10 credit had finished.

Does anyone know of a better way to communicate. Obviously Cubans do not have access to Skype or even have access to the net.

Can anyone suggest a phone card, or company which is reasonably priced or at the very least is not daylight robbery?.

Cuba is out to get you every which way. Thieve your money via technology.

With their Snail slow internet which chews up $10 and the connection is sooooo slow you are lucky to send two emails in an hour, if that.

It eats up your dollars when you call, even cheekily when the phone is ringing.

It's Daylight Robbery. It's Disgusting and Cubans will never ever know the frustration we feel at this Thievery!!.

Comments by vic Webmaster

Cuba Travel Advice from the Canadian Government
Telephone communication is a problem. Calls are often not answered, even at major institutions. Technical problems also exist. Calls may be connected to a different number than the one dialled. It often takes persistence to place a call to another city (particularly after rain). Reliable cell phone service is available in most major cities. Canadian cell phones generally function. Canadians can use their own cell phone as long as it is compatible with American standards.

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Jul 14, 2010
I sympathise with you Angie
by: Karen

You are right Angie, a long distance relationship can be very expensive, nono more so than when it comes to communication and the Cuban Government is aware of this, it's why they monopolise Etescas be Etecsa, that dictate the phone rates and why they prohibit satelite phones in Cuba.

It's daylight robbery. Anyone who has tried to keep in contact with work or family will know the frustration of seeing 10CUC being chewed up, vanish into air as they wait and wait for the browser to open and the connection stalls and the painted Barbie Ms. Varadero wannabe, applied her lipstick and paints her nails and gives you a cold look that could kill and tells you that's how it is in Cuba and returns to panting her nails.

In Varadero I met a 30 something Cuban wedding planner from Havana, she was talking into the latest Blackberry, obviously obtained on the Black Market.

She was accompanied by a handsome toy boy so free enterprise is alive and well in Cuba. I also spotted lots of IPods and even some iPhones, so some clever Cubans are managing to get round the rules.

Good luck to them I say.

Jul 12, 2010
telephone yo cuba
by: angiejewel

Hey i exhausted this area for the last year and it has cost me 2000 dolllars so far and i have looked into every phone card company etc...im in australia i dont know where you are but i heard it was cheaper from the staes but i tried from there and it cost me 10 dollars and i didnt even speak with him its crazy yes cuba takes from the outside world no matter what way you try so much for commumist as that seems pretty capitalist if you ask me .. i love cuba and would love to live there with my man but i have had to give up on the idea after trying to communicate with him for 12 months with severe frusutration and cost to me and then paid for an invitation and started the visa procedure to get nowhere near getting him here as cuba wants money for the invitation then their visas then their permits then there medicals then proof of there ticket and then you pay your country as well and it goes on and on .. the phone calls are only the start of a very expensive relationship of any kind ... so i now i am sad without my man as well as nearly all my savings chewed up and heartache ... its easier to seriously save up and go back for a visit every few years it would be cheaper than any phone call and way less painful good luck

COMMENTS by Vic It doesn't matter which telecom operator you use, the final operator will always be Etecsa, the Cuban State company, that dictate the phone rates. One of the reasons satelite phones are prohibited in Cuba, the communications are cheaper than the regular Cuban mobiles. Best practice is sending text messages (SMS) this is the cheapest way of communication.

Jul 11, 2010
Thank You Annie!
by: Karen

I apprecate that tip. I will call Virgin tomorrow. None of the other web server or phone providers allow for cheap calls to Cuba.

They are out to rip you off. BT and Talk Talk charge in excess of £1 per minute.

Vic it's interesting you say that the Cuban government makes money from international calls to Europe. I thought that.

I had topped up with $10 and did not manage to speak for more than two minutes. The money was decreasing as the no. was ringing, I hung up as the person went to call my friend.

When I called again the $10 had decreased to $5 so it seemed the call may have still been 'connected' in Cuba despite the fact I had hung up and the line had cleared this end as there was a tone to indicate this.

A lady who works at Varadero airport confirmed that it would be cheaper to call from Europe to Cuba than to call from Varadero to anywhere in Cuba. And she sells the phone cards and knows!.

Calls withing Cuba are equally extortionate as is their email system which is deliberately slowed down to chew up your CUC.

And the witches who work in these Eteca centres and hotel internet centres are aware of the con and are no help whatsoever, they just give verbal abuse if you dare to complain.

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