Thursday, November 6, 2008

Do you want to "call with me" ?

I have started two income streams related to phone calls. I hope the ball starts rolling.

First of all, I have started a calling service to any country in the world. Actually it is targeted to calls to Honduras since the prices are so low. They are even lower than calls within Honduras!

For example calls to Honduran cellphones cost about $0.13/min. That's lower that the normal $0.20/min rate from a Honduran cellphone to another Honduran cellphone! The next rate available is $0.17/min, still under 20 cents !! There are two rates because I can cater each account to use more than one international carier to complete the call if one or the other is too busy.

I have trouble with getting payment because both paypal and Google checkout don't allow Non-US accounts to accept payments. That's my only weak spot with this service. Any advice or help with this I would appreciate a lot.

I started this business by selling calls to my ex-brother-in-law's stores. They have three stores and cater mostly to Hondurans. Regular calling cards to Honduras have such high rates and connection fees that even adding a 50% markup on the my service's call rates still makes it interesting to customers. The stores pay me by wiring money with one of the companies that charges a fixed fee (about $10), they usually put about $500 every week. That gives me about $60 per recharge.

I have had it running now for 2 months and I know things work very well. They mostly sell calls to Honduras, but even Mexicans and Guatemalans like the way the service is provided because they pay only for the minutes they use. There are no connect fees, administration fees, call completion fees, etc. Many people talk for over an hour and enjoy it because with calling cards they are limited to 20 to 30 minutes at times.

The way the stores sell calls is using calling booths very much like cybercafes here in Honduras. Calls are routed via the internet to the international carriers, which allows to get this low rates. The store managers go to a web page to check the call records and see how much each call costs and from that they calculate how much to charge the customer.

This also helps them attract people to their stores to offer them other services or products. People go in the store to call but also end up buying groceries or food or sending money with them as well. The store managers are smart and sometimes use the calling service to compete with other nearby stores in the remittance service. For example they offer Mexicans free calls if they send money with them instead of the Mexican store. It only a few pennies per call but it drives a lot of business to them because the person can send the money AND call their relative to let them know the money has been wired.

The website is (it means "call with me" in Spanish).

Right now the website it's very simple and I try to keep it simple , but with more content, so that many types of browsers can read it with no problem.

I bought the domain with and it only cost me $15 for one year. There was a special sale and I took advantage of it. They are even hosting my website for me for "free".

You can go there to check rates for calls to any country in the world. Just add 12% to the rates you get and that's what the call will really cost. The 12% is my profit margin. I'm not trying to set a high profit because I want to earn on volume. I deduct the 12% from the amount credited to the user's account.

If you know someone, specially a Honduran individual or a Honduran store in the US or anywhere in the world that would like to try it out, tell them about my website and have them write to the email there with their phone number so we can talk some more about how to get them set up. You would really help me a lot if you spread the word. I'm sure Honduran (or Latino) stores could use the extra people traffic.

There are many ways the service can be used. If it's used in the US there is a phone number that can be called to access the system. There is an web phone application right on my website to make calls from the computer. And the most convenient way is to buy an Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA for short) like the ones used with Vonage or other voip service providers. It's a little box that plugs to the internet on one side and to a regular phone on the other side, allowing you to make calls the way you are used to make them.

I would really appreciate your help. I understand that I'm not the only one in need of money so I'm open to partnerships or paying a "finder's fee" if you help me get someone to use my service.

Please visit the page, let me know what you think. Help me spread the word if you think it's a worthy service.

The website is once again

I will tell you about the other income stream soon. I'm just starting with it and want to have more experiences to tell you about. To some of you it may shock you, and to others it may seem pretty reasonable. As I've told you before, I open to do anything to get some more income to pay my debts. I'm very motivated to get out of debt. I have been so busy with several projects trying to hedge my bets that at least one should work well.

Well at least this blog is free. More importantly, your advice and words of encouragement are free to you and priceless to me.


Cindy in California said...

I'm interested in checking this out. I used the link to look. One suggestion: The English link "Make calls right here" should probably say in English that it requires a user and password).

I'm not fluent in Spanish but understand a fair amount. When I use the English link to check rates I am taken to a screen that is all Spanish. I think I understand that I should put in the number where I am calling from (is this right??) and nothing happens. In case I didn't understand I put in a number I call in Honduras and nothing happened with that either. I even tried putting in both numbers with a space in between. Still nothing. What am I doing wrong?

Since you have the links in English and Spanish you may want the destinations where they take someone to be in the same language. It can give up pretty quickly when I do have to struggle with comprehension.

Is this something that's practical for an individual to use or is it only something for businesses?

What are rates from the US to Honduras? What are rates from the US to Mexico? I call both places.

I'm impressed with your desire to get out of debt and your transparency in the process. I'd love to help in whatever small way I can. I know a few other other gringos who call Honduras and will tell them about this if I understand this.

AJ said...

Cindy, you are right. I should put English text in the other pages as well. I will see to it tonight.

On the rates page you want to put the destination number you want to call. The place you are calling from is not important. It's the same rate if you are calling from the US, Europe or China since calls are done mostly via the internet.

So, on the rates page you should put a number in Honduras with the country code first.

I just went in to check and you are right it's not displaying the rates. I will get that fixed. I hadn't check it in a while.

This can be used by an individual as a sort of rechargeable calling card. You can recharge just $10 if you want. The problem as I stated on the post is that such a small amount would be fairly expensive to wire to me. But it can be done.

I'm going to set up an account so you can do some test calls. Send me an email to and I will send you the user and password so you can make some calls and test the service.

Calls to Honduran cellphones are between $0.11 and $0.16 per minute. Calls to Landlines are about $0.08 per minute.

There are so many rates for calls to Mexico that I am going to fix the rate page and you can put the actual number you wish to call and get the rates for it.

AJ said...


All the pages now have instructions in spanish and english.

The rates will be available as soon as the test drive account has a positive balance in a couple of hours.

AJ said...

Oh and I fixed the "Make calls right here" link

AJ said...


The rates page is now working. Please try it again.