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  #1  
Old 07-26-2009, 03:22 PM
bec bec is offline
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Default How do I help my mother-in-law?

My father-in-law passed away recently.
My wife and I want to keep in touch with mother-in-law on a daily basis, by calling from CA to Pune and Mumbai.

Although my mother-in-law has a good PC with a BSNL broadband connection, its almost impossible for her to use the keyboard and the mouse as she is not computer savvy although she can manage to click/push in a few buttons.

Some questions?

- Has anyone used direct access, always-on internet broadband service in Pune and Mumbai? Can you please share your experience.

- For frequent international calling (twice a day) both ways (from US-India and India-US) what would be recommended? Has anyone tried out voip like vonage? Any info on tha?

- Is it possible to pay utility bills (MSEB and BSNL bills) online? My wife has savings accounts with HDFC bank and they seem to offer this service but we don't know anyone who has used such facilities in India.

- If my mother-in-law flies from Mumbai every year to visit us in CA, what is the best preferred airlines for a frequent flier like her?

- Are there any other communication options or is there anything we can do to help out and ease things out in cases such as these?

Please share your info, it would be a great help for our family.

Last edited by bec; 07-26-2009 at 03:26 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2009, 03:59 PM
gaz gaz is offline
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Sorry for your familys loss.

I would suggest getting an always on broadband and a voip device. I've been using sunrocket - now teleblend for the last 3 years without any trouble to speak to
my family in delhi..there are several voip options

For bills we've used icici - but hdfc seems
to be comparable

I've also heard of a site called mymaninindia.com that assists with services though I've never used them



Quote:
Originally Posted by bec View Post
My father-in-law passed away recently.
My wife and I want to keep in touch with mother-in-law on a daily basis, by calling from CA to Pune and Mumbai.

Although my mother-in-law has a good PC with a BSNL broadband connection, its almost impossible for her to use the keyboard and the mouse as she is not computer savvy although she can manage to click/push in a few buttons.

Some questions?

- Has anyone used direct access, always-on internet broadband service in Pune and Mumbai? Can you please share your experience.

- For frequent international calling (twice a day) both ways (from US-India and India-US) what would be recommended? Has anyone tried out voip like vonage? Any info on tha?

- Is it possible to pay utility bills (MSEB and BSNL bills) online? My wife has savings accounts with HDFC bank and they seem to offer this service but we don't know anyone who has used such facilities in India.

- If my mother-in-law flies from Mumbai every year to visit us in CA, what is the best preferred airlines for a frequent flier like her?

- Are there any other communication options or is there anything we can do to help out and ease things out in cases such as these?

Please share your info, it would be a great help for our family.
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  #3  
Old 07-26-2009, 04:20 PM
piyu7444 piyu7444 is offline
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Post Some Answers !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bec View Post
My father-in-law passed away recently.
My wife and I want to keep in touch with mother-in-law on a daily basis, by calling from CA to Pune and Mumbai.

Although my mother-in-law has a good PC with a BSNL broadband connection, its almost impossible for her to use the keyboard and the mouse as she is not computer savvy although she can manage to click/push in a few buttons.

Some questions?

- Has anyone used direct access, always-on internet broadband service in Pune and Mumbai? Can you please share your experience.

- For frequent international calling (twice a day) both ways (from US-India and India-US) what would be recommended? Has anyone tried out voip like vonage? Any info on tha?

- Is it possible to pay utility bills (MSEB and BSNL bills) online? My wife has savings accounts with HDFC bank and they seem to offer this service but we don't know anyone who has used such facilities in India.

- If my mother-in-law flies from Mumbai every year to visit us in CA, what is the best preferred airlines for a frequent flier like her?

- Are there any other communication options or is there anything we can do to help out and ease things out in cases such as these?

Please share your info, it would be a great help for our family.
Very sorry for your loss. May the departed rest in peace.

If you are T mobile user (cell phone) you can get a T mobile @home service for 9.99 per month. Its a VOIP with no issues. I have been using it for couple months and have no issue. IF you do not have T mobile then Vonage is best bet.......

With this she can call you anytime she wants to and you guys can call her anytime with your cell / landline. Get the same area code as your cell or landline so she has to remember less digit's.

I dont really know myself about bill pay in India. My BIL uses ICICI to do the same.......

Best Airline to fly to CALIFORNIA is CATHAY. Alternate airline is LUFTHANSA. Both have good food and good treatment. I generally fly cathay (I am also in CA) but prefer Lufthansa as they have better food and service. Cathay - its sometimes difficult to talk to the Chinese airhostess (no offence here...its just comm. issue)

Cathay - I have personally seen that if you request for ''HELP'' for elderly mom/dad they are good at it......

I did not understand your last question - dont know what you are looking for....if you re-phrase it I will try to answer.

Hope this helps....
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  #4  
Old 07-26-2009, 05:14 PM
bec bec is offline
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Thank you guys for this good info. IV is a great immigrant community. Such info can make a world of difference to needy folks!
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  #5  
Old 07-26-2009, 05:29 PM
saketkapur saketkapur is offline
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I put vonage lines at my home in delhi and at in laws place in mumbai for the past 3 years........

They have a local CA number.....so no hassles...........

Just start service with vonage or any other VOIP provider and mail the adapters home......

The reason I like vonage is because of good call quality, unlimited calling to US, canada and 5 countries in europe and reliability.........

You can also go for magicjack.....way cheaper but since its usb based the PC needs to be on all time.........

hope this helps.......
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  #6  
Old 07-26-2009, 05:43 PM
bec bec is offline
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bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of
Default

Thanks Saket, we seriously want to consider vonage or teleblend. vonage looks more tried & trusted. pc based stuff is the last option (yes, heard of magic jack but its pc based_.

what do the folks in india need to do exactly with the adapters? a pointer/some info will help.
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  #7  
Old 07-26-2009, 05:57 PM
roseball roseball is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bec View Post
Thanks Saket, we seriously want to consider vonage or teleblend. vonage looks more tried & trusted. pc based stuff is the last option (yes, heard of magic jack but its pc based_.

what do the folks in india need to do exactly with the adapters? a pointer/some info will help.
I have been using www.reliableipphone.com for a few years now. They have a local office in Hyderabad, so they come and check if there are any issues. I am not sure if they have an office in Mumbai but you can call them up and check. The service has been great so far and the price is cheaper than vonage or teleblend (depending on the plan)
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  #8  
Old 07-26-2009, 06:05 PM
bec bec is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roseball View Post
I have been using www.reliableipphone.com for a few years now. They have a local office in Hyderabad, so they come and check if there are any issues. I am not sure if they have an office in Mumbai but you can call them up and check. The service has been great so far and the price is cheaper than vonage or teleblend (depending on the plan)
rhanks rose, will check this out, vonage international plan to india is 18c/min.
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  #9  
Old 07-26-2009, 06:33 PM
sachuin23 sachuin23 is offline
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Default

I would suggest magicjack [url=http://www.magicjack.com] is much cheaper than vonnage. You just need to have a computer with Broadband with a UBS port. Magic jack is basically a USB drive with embedded voip software which installs itself when plugged to a system.So no install or set up is required.This USB has a phone jack on other end which can be connected to any phone and that phone can be used to make and receive calls like any other phone.

Magic jack costs 39.99 for first year and after IST year it is 19.95 USD a year. With it you will get a local telephone number as well as unlimited US and Canada calling.So you can call your mother in Law on that local number without any charge and she can call your US number too for free. Another alternative is taking a indiaLD connection. It is around 1.5 cents a minute to call from US to India.

Last edited by sachuin23; 07-26-2009 at 06:36 PM.
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  #10  
Old 07-26-2009, 06:51 PM
gaz gaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bec View Post
rhanks rose, will check this out, vonage international plan to india is 18c/min.
Your calls will be to a us number once voip is setup
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  #11  
Old 07-26-2009, 07:33 PM
rabs rabs is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bec View Post
My father-in-law passed away recently.
My wife and I want to keep in touch with mother-in-law on a daily basis, by calling from CA to Pune and Mumbai.

Although my mother-in-law has a good PC with a BSNL broadband connection, its almost impossible for her to use the keyboard and the mouse as she is not computer savvy although she can manage to click/push in a few buttons.

Some questions?

- Has anyone used direct access, always-on internet broadband service in Pune and Mumbai? Can you please share your experience.

- For frequent international calling (twice a day) both ways (from US-India and India-US) what would be recommended? Has anyone tried out voip like vonage? Any info on tha?

- Is it possible to pay utility bills (MSEB and BSNL bills) online? My wife has savings accounts with HDFC bank and they seem to offer this service but we don't know anyone who has used such facilities in India.

- If my mother-in-law flies from Mumbai every year to visit us in CA, what is the best preferred airlines for a frequent flier like her?

- Are there any other communication options or is there anything we can do to help out and ease things out in cases such as these?

Please share your info, it would be a great help for our family.
May his soul rest in peace.

Teleblend is offering unlimited calls to any phone in India from US for $49.95/month. You can call any Indian numbers instead of being restricted to just one.

Check their website for more info.
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2009, 09:37 PM
bec bec is offline
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bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of
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many thanks sachin, rabs and gaz for the different alternatives. 18c/min (vonage) can be expensive if you talk for a long time every day.
Besides the green card, living in the US has added many other complications like visitor visa and the rejections following them, long distance care of old parents and in-laws just to name a few. you get the day to day comforts but as first generation immigrants there is a price that you end up paying.

All in all, its good that bill payments can be done online. If you have other any other relevant experiences, would encourage you to share.
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  #13  
Old 07-26-2009, 10:31 PM
gaz gaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bec View Post
many thanks sachin, rabs and gaz for the different alternatives. 18c/min (vonage) can be expensive if you talk for a long time every day.
Besides the green card, living in the US has added many other complications like visitor visa and the rejections following them, long distance care of old parents and in-laws just to name a few. you get the day to day comforts but as first generation immigrants there is a price that you end up paying.

All in all, its good that bill payments can be done online. If you have other any other relevant experiences, would encourage you to share.
regarding 18c ... We have installed a teleblend phone in India. This means unlimited calls between 2 US numbers for just 20bucks extra per month. The gizmo is easy to setup.
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  #14  
Old 07-27-2009, 02:26 AM
ramaonline ramaonline is offline
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Some additional info. The MTNL online bill pay facility is easy to use and you can pay the bills using any internet payment enabled bank account. Check this url:
http://selfcare.mtnl.net.in

I pay my India MTNL phone bill using my HDFC account.
For MSEB - I have deposited a sum of 12k with MSEB - Online payment facility is not available. They send a credit statement every month. This you can do by filling out some forms when you are in India the next time.

Also, I gave my parents an add-on credit card which they can use for all other expenses. I get the charges in my monthly credit card statement.
__________________
This is not legal advice
Total Contributions to date:: over $750
PD Oct 2006/EB2/India
I140 approval Oct 2006
I485 filed Jul 2 07
I485 approved on Jul 25 2011
Received green cards on Jul 28 2011
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  #15  
Old 07-27-2009, 03:28 AM
bec bec is offline
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bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of bec has much to be proud of
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramaonline View Post
Some additional info. The MTNL online bill pay facility is easy to use and you can pay the bills using any internet payment enabled bank account. Check this url:
http://selfcare.mtnl.net.in

I pay my India MTNL phone bill using my HDFC account.
For MSEB - I have deposited a sum of 12k with MSEB - Online payment facility is not available. They send a credit statement every month. This you can do by filling out some forms when you are in India the next time.

Also, I gave my parents an add-on credit card which they can use for all other expenses. I get the charges in my monthly credit card statement.
excellent info, many thanks!
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