Last few days there has been a lot of talk about Rebtel, Jajah, and a whole slew of VoIP companies which are essentially, as Andy calls them “minute stealers.” Jajah, which has introduced a mobile version of its call back service, well, at least that is easy to use, and good to use in a pinch.
Just because Jeff Pulver likes them, and Index Ventures and Benchmark invested a whole bunch of money in this company doesn’t mean its all that. Rebtel wants consumer behavior change. That is all right, when things are simple, but not when you have to call, wait for 20 seconds and then the other party calls back.
Jeff says they have something up their sleeve – if they do, why not talk about that right now. Otherwise to me Rebtel is nothing but a money stealer. The argument for these services is that they will save money. Well, calling cards save money, are simple to use, and no waiting required. I buy a card, program the number in my cellphone, call parents and well, save money. Pretty low tech, but pretty low stress also.
(PS: Can anyone comment on the impact of these minute stealers on termination fees, especially in countries where these calls are going to be ending up in? Those governments are not going to be happy about this…)