Please help me choose a long distance phone service

Our long distance phone service charges us $8 to $11 bucks a month, even when we don’t make any long distance calls.

I’d like to find a long distance provider that doesn’t charge anything (or very little) just for being a customer. I don’t want one of those companies that requires you to dial a phone number (and sometimes a pin number) every time you make a long distance call.

It would also be nice if they were cheap and reliable.

I have Qwest - 6 cents a minute 24/7 and no monthly fee as long as you spend at least $10.00 per month in LD. If you spend less than $10, they add on however much it takes to get to $10. But it’s not hard to spend $10 per month, so I have never gotten charged the fee. I did a fair amount of research on which company to choose and this was the cheapest one overall.

Whatever you do, avoid Sprint like the plague. After promising me a 7 cent a minute rate to England, they charged me $1.50 and then refused to correct the rate. I have a complaint filed with the FCC.

I should clarify: Qwest was the cheapest overall for MY calling habits - it is possible that someone else might do better with paying 5 cents a minute plus $3.95 a month.

We don’t make enough calls for Qwest to be a good deal for us. We rarely hit $10.

Has anyone tried GE Residential Long Distance, or ZoneLD (aka ZoneCMS), or GTC Telecom? They all claim to have no monthly fee at all.

This may only apply to New York State*, but you don’t really have to select a PIC** at all. Just cancel your account with your current carrier and use those 10-10 numbers from now on. Most(all?) of them accept calls directly from the access tandem or regional host, whichever. If you don’t spend more than US$10 a month now, it’s probably not worth it to have a regular service contract. You’re not using it, why pay for it?

In New York, Verizon (nee Bell Atlantic, nee NYNEX) has the legal ability to provide LD service, and offers package deals if you take both local and LD from them. I don’t know if your local carrier can do that or not, but it’s another thing you could check.

[sub]*I don’t know what the network structure looks like in your state, and I certainly don’t know if you need a regional toll provider, but your LEC should offer that sort of service.

**Primary Interexchange Carrier

I added the notes on preview because I didn’t think anyone would understand this useless crap otherwise.[/sub]

I would say NOT QWEST. When we had a minor problem, it took them over a month to take care of it. Kept insisting it was our local carrier’s problem. I had to get the two of them in here at the same time to get service.

It’s easy to be cheap when you give NO repair service.

When I moved out, I looked at different plans and providers, and at how many LD calls I made.

       It's cheaper for me to have no LD provider and use one of those 10-10 numbers.   The situation has been this way for over 3 years and I haven't had any problem.

Yes, the services which require you to dial a extra number first do seem to be the cheapest (although some of them are bad, too, if some of your calls are less than 20 minutes long), but I am willing to pay a little extra to avoid the extra dialing. We don’t make enough long calls to worry about a 1-to-3 cent difference in the per-minute rate.

Thanks to everyone who has responded so far.

I use 10-10-220 - 20 minutes for 99 cents. If you wish to talk longer than 20 minutes and are worried about the extra minutes, hang up and call the person back. Start the 20 minutes over again.

I think this thread would feel more at home in IMHO.

Okay, now that this thread is on a more appropriate board, . . . bump!

I don’t have a long-distance provider. I use one of the 10-10 numbers for all of my long distance. Here is a great site that compares 10-10 rates.

I use Affordable Voice Communications Rates vary state to state, but here in Indiana it’s 3.85 cpm out of state and 4.38 cpm in state. They bill your credit card and charge a fee to do so (my last bill had 71 cent credit card fee for a $20 ld bill).

Yea, I signed up for ZoneLD in January. I signed up thru the interent, and pay from a credit card (Or checking acct?) so there is no mailed bill. 4.5 cents/min to US, and you can pick 5 states where it’s only 4 cents/min. I called a cousin in Bosnia, and then a friend in Bulgaria and I think I only paid 19 cents a minute then. There is no minimum. No calls- no charge.

They have a cool website where you can check your calls after you make them, see how much they cost. Their calling card, if you request one is inexpensive too. They email it to you, you print it out, and that’s it. I put tape over mine to wear better. :slight_smile: I think it’s

I think ZoneLD uses Global Crossing(didn’t they go broke?), which kind of scared me, but it works fine…so far.

Drop LD completely and get a cell phone plan that does not charge for LD.

get a cell phone so you don’t have to worry about it.

Doubting Robert, I had the same situation as yours. I went to & used their online promotion, completely free of any monthly charges, just signed up for the online statement thing. It’s probably a trick, cause I still get a paper statement from them anyway. One month it was 11 cents…

I get free Long Distance calls anyway with the relay for deaf people.

To call England for 6 cents a minute or so, you can get a calling card at the store, like 7-11. But note they take a dollar each time you call with it–check the card rules first.

If you’re a liberal do-gooder (like me) you can’t go wrong with Working Assets. I’ve been with them for years, they have good rates, no monthly charge–at least on the plan I have–I pay 10 cents a minute. They have a couple of plans–7 cents a minute, 24 hours a day with a $4.95 monthly fee is the one they advertise. But the best thing is that 1% of my bill goes to fund charities (like Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Greenpeace and a host of lesser known charities). Everytime I pay my bill, I get that self-satisfied glow of the passive activist.

Plus, when you sign up, they send you a certificate for a free pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream each month for a year!

So far, ZoneLD is in the lead. Anyone else got an opinion?