UCAN How To: Avoiding long distance telephone charges
Are you as mad as I am that there are no flying cars yet? While there is no denying that technology has improved by leaps and bounds, there are still some service areas that haven't progressed. As interconnected and linked up as our society is, there is still a monthly recurring cost that drives people crazy: long distance telephone service. In a time where people across the country, and even across the world, can have real-time video conversations for free, why do we still have to pay exorbitant costs for tinny-sounding long distance telephone service?
Fear not, UCANers (UCANites?), for my love of prepaid cell phones provides you with yet another reason to switch: no long distance telephone service charges.
Traditionally, home telephone service consisted of two types of calling plans: local and long distance. While local calling can be a hassle on its own (check out this great blog by our very own Phil Wells), long distance often provide a nightmare far beyond local calls. UCAN does have a great guide on switching local and long distance carriers (http://www.ucan.org/telecommunications/landline/switching_local_toll_and_long_distance_carriers) but what if you are fed up with long distance companies?
It's simple: use a prepaid phone.
Cell phones today, both prepaid and postpaid, offer long distance minutes included in your regular pool of minutes. In fact, it's even easier on a cell phone because there is no distinction between local minutes and long distance. A minute is a minute, whether you are calling your sister who lives on Florida Street or your other sister who lives in Florida state. You can use this to your advantage in several ways, depending on how often you need to call long distance.
If you are infrequent user, like if you only call your estranged brother in Maine the first Tuesday of every month to exchange several minutes of unpleasantries, a pay as you go plan may be the best way to go. With these plans, you only buy the minutes you need to use. So if you only talk to you brother for 25 minutes a month, you can purchase 25 minutes a month. And with some companies having rates as low as 10 cents a minute, your astronomical phone bills drop to $2.50.
On the other hand, if you are a Chatty Cathy, you can get an unlimited plan for as low as $30 a month from Cricket Wireless. This means all your calls, no matter where you are calling in the United States, can be made for $30 a month. Period. No hidden fees, no taxes, no surcharges. $30 a month.
With prepaid phones, you don't need to worry about the wonderful taxes and surcharges that are passed through to you with your normal home phone service. Such wonderful things like the Universal Service Fund Fee and the Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee.
Have you switched yet? Are you still throwing money away every month for long distance plans on your home phone that you don't even use? Give prepaid a chance.
Questions about long distance service providers and cell phones, both pre and post paid? Call the Fraud Squad at (619) 696-6966.