Comparing Long Distance
Service Rates Can Save Money

People shop around for the best price on a number of products and services. However, long distance service isn’t something that many people believe they can save a considerable amount of money on by comparing different long distance phone service plans. If people add up actual long distance fees and other costs per year, they might find that they are paying more than they thought. Looking for a phone service that offers cheap long distance rates can offer considerable savings. Not only that, but also some telephone service fees that most customers aren’t even aware of can be eliminated. Comparing long distance plans and being aware of long distance charges is worthwhile when money can be saved.

There are many long distance services to choose from including AT&T, Sprint, MCI and the ‘10-10’ numbers advertised on television. Many local phone service providers offer their own long distance services as well. Before checking out the rates of select long distance companies, it is a good idea to take a look at a household’s typical monthly long distance calling patterns. First, break down what amount of long distance bills is spent on calling within the user’s home state and how much is spent out-of-state. Most long distance telephone services break these amounts down into minutes and those should be recorded as well. Next, note how many long distance calls are made during ‘peak’ hours, which are usually 7:00AM through 7:00PM Monday through Friday. Finally note the number and length of long distance calls make during off-peak hours, which include evening hours and weekends.

Before going any further, it is a good idea to call the current long distance carrier to ask what their cheapest long distance plan is and if it would be beneficial to switch to it. Look at what additional charges the current long distance company includes on each bill. If there are any charges that are unclear or don’t make sense, ask the current phone service provider what they are for. Next, use the Internet to explore different telephone service options and rates using the estimated long distance information as a guide. Look at specific long distance charges. For instance, see if a plan requires a minimum amount of long distance calls to be made in order to qualify for the lowest long distance rate. Also, see if phone service is billed in increments, if there are any monthly fees and what each company’s calling card rates are.

While searching the Internet, it is possible to come across web sites that offer free long distance service. Long distance calls can be placed over the Internet or people can use long distance calling cards after earning points by visiting web sites, shopping online and signing up for special offers. Calling long distance by using the Internet works for some, but most people complain about the quality of sound and delayed reception. Free long distance calling cards can ultimately cost a person more money if they continuously make online purchases or take advantage of many offers in order to earn minutes on their card.

If a long distance rate search shows that switching phone service from one long distance provider to another won’t save any money at this point, it is a good idea to go back after several months to check again. Spending patterns and long distance rates change regularly, so the opportunity to save money may present itself in the future.

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