Today consumers have many choices when it comes to their telephone service. Not only are there a variety of different long distance carriers to choose from, but each carrier also has a number of different calling plans that it offers. Choosing a long distance carrier in today’s market can be a daunting task for many consumers.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a long distance carrier:
There are many online resources for consumers that provide helpful comparisons of long distance phone plans. Here are some links to some websites you may find informative.
While some carriers offer pre-subscribed long distance calling plans, others offer what are known as dial around plans. With a dial around plan, consumers dial an access code (the 10-10 numbers) when placing their calls. Depending on where you call and when you make your calls, dial around plans may be a good option. Be a smart shopper though if you plan to use dial around. Consumer oriented websites and publications can help. Before using a dial around company, ask about the per minute rates and any flat monthly charges that may apply. Also make sure to ask whether there are any charges for federal or state programs along with any federal and state taxes. Keep in mind that you can use a dial around plan even if you are pre-subscribed to another long distance carrier.
With the wide number of dial around services and pre-paid
calling cards available, choosing not to have a long
distance carrier may be the most affordable option for
long distance service for some customers. This is commonly
referred to as “No PIC”. PIC stands for
primary interexchange carrier or, more simply, the long
distance carrier that you have selected to provide your
long distance service. If you choose to have no PIC,
you will not be able to make long distance calls without
using a dial around service or a pre-paid calling card.
However, for some customers, this may be the most affordable
option for long distance phone service. Before choosing
the “no PIC” option, compare the price per
minute or price per call for the dial around plan or
the pre-paid calling card to what you would pay to a
presubscribed long distance carrier. Compare any monthly
fees, surcharges and taxes that you would pay for each.
If you decide that the “no-PIC” option is
the best one for you, just call your local phone company
and ask them to drop your current long distance carrier.
Then make sure to contact your long distance carrier
and cancel your service.