Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dial it Down

The array of choices involving telephone service is nothing short of mind-boggling. If you're trying to cut back on expenses, have a hard look at what you're paying and what you're getting for it. When is the last time you looked at your land-line phone bill? Are you paying charges every month for services that you don't use? If you have a bundled price, do the math to be sure it's really a bargain.

The place where you can really save is in long distance services. Google "long distance phone" or head on over to Phone Dog to see what they're showing as the best deals. http://www.phonedog.com/long-distance/default.aspx
But don't leap at the lowest price. Compare the plans to find one that suits you.

1. Price per minute is important. Calls can be made for between 3 and 6 cents per minute. If you're paying more than that, it's time to think about switching to a new service.

2. Check the billing increment. Why pay for a one minute call when you can pay for six or twelve seconds if you hit an answering machine? Rounding up calls to the next minute just costs you money unnecessarily.

3. Is there a monthly fee? There are plans that don't charge a monthly fee, why pay it if you don't have to?

4. Are most of your long distance calls in-state or out-of-state? The fees vary. If most of your long distance calls are inside your own state it might be best to go with a higher state-to-state rate and a lower in-state cost per minute.

5. If you make international calls, the situation gets more complicated but the various plans are very competitive. It depends on which countries you call the most. Take the time to look up the cost if you call a foreign country frequently.

6. The least expensive plans require auto-billing to your credit card and no mailed statement. Most of us are trying to cut down on paper anyway. As long as you have a computer, you can check your monthly statement.


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