Internet Phone Anytime World is based on Tesco’s own softphone, although the firm also promotes various hardware phones and adaptors sold in its supermarkets.
The support pages are biased towards the own-brand softphone, however, and although it’s possible to use other VoIP software, there’s very little help available to do this. In addition to Anytime World, there are pay-as-you-go and monthly subscription packages.
We used the website to register for an account, but to manage our call plan we were directed to an overseas call centre. We were told to buy a voucher from Tesco, or apply for one to be sent by post, before we could use the service. For an internet telephony service, this is a big inconvenience.
The call plans are good value and can be enhanced through add-ons to provide cheaper calls to mobiles or specific countries for a flat monthly fee. You can buy flat-fee access to countries in one-hour increments. Pay-as-you-go rates aren’t as good value, however, with calls to UK landlines costing 2p per minute.
The Tesco softphone has limited features. Also, it can import contacts only from Outlook. The call history is cramped, and there’s no record or video function.
This may have good call rates and add-ons, but it’s inconvenient to use unless you live close to a Tesco. It’s still good value if you want cheap international calls.