MCI's "The Neighborhood"

So MCI has this thing now ( ) that is unlimited local and long distance calling for about $50-60/month depending on where you live. Plus free caller ID, call waiting, 3-way calling and voice mail. Seems like a good deal, but is there a catch? I know on our regular phone bill the taxes are a bitch… I can’t find any info on taxes on their site…

Does anyone use this service or know anythhing about it?

It’s probably just a phone company catching up to the actual cost of bandwidth these days. If you think of the actual data transfer rate required to transmit a telephone call, the amount we pay for long distance calls relative to internet traffic is ridiculous.

Does anyone else think something called “The Neighborhood” sounds like some Orwellian thought-police conspiracy? :slight_smile:

But seriously, as the world becomes more and more interconnected, the cheaper it becomes to make phone calls…

Taxes and surcharges are about 50% of the base price (from my last Verizon bill) so, unless you regularly spend over $75/mo on phone, this is probably not the greatest deal.

I bet that a lot of people who pay $50-75 would think “I can make a lot more LD calls if I get this plan” Of course, you would need to spend something like 4 extra hours a month on the phone to make it worth your while, and you would still be spending more than you do today.

This is like an All You Can Eat buffet. The buffet is usually more expensive than a regular meal, but people balance it by overeating. They get you to pay the extra money figuring that your extra usage will not actually cost them as much as your extra payment.

If you’re already a heavy phone user, it’s probably a great deal, but if you change your habits to “take advantage”, I’m not so sure.

It almost seems based on these lines from their web site that the free calling would only be to persons who are MCI Local Service subscribers. And to be honest, that group of persons is relatively modest.
I’m tempted to call and ask them what exactly is the case here.

Q: How does Neighbor-to-Neighbor calling work? How can I benefit from it?
A: The great feature of Neighbor-to-Neighbor is that it gives you unlimited long distance calling whenever you can call any other “Neighbor,” or anyone with MCI as their local service provider. What’s more, you can make these long distance calls any time, any day of the week, without any extra charges — it’s all included in your Neighborhood plan.

Jonathan Woodall
“16 tons, and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt…”

I want to state for the record that I just called MCI customer service. They informed me that if you get the $49.99 per month “Neighborhood Complete” plan all calls in the US (direct dialed and not collect anyway) will be free.
The issue I raised about the person having to be an MCI customer to get free calls only applies with the “Neighborhood Choice” plan, which is $32.99 per month.
My apologies for the previous incorrect information.