Finding the best long distance plan for your landline at home may seem like a challenge because there are so many options. All of these plans offer different rates and levels of customer service, and it is your job to decide which one is right for you. The best long distance plan will vary based on your personal calling patterns. Nevertheless, we can give you a few options from which to choose.
Best Home Long Distance Plans 2013
Here is a look at the top five long distance providers based on per-minute rates and other factors:
- Enhanced Communications Group: ECG makes it to the top of our list because they offer extremely low per-minute rates with no monthly service fee. They do charge a monthly regulatory fee, which is $0.99 for paperless billing and $2.50 for paper billing. Nevertheless, at 2.5 cents per minute, this is one of the least expensive long distance providers in the country. Billing increments are 6 seconds with an 18 second minimum.
- Pioneer Telephone: Pioneer Telephone is unique in that it offers special discount rates for calls to other Pioneer customers. Contact another person with a Pioneer account, and you only have to pay 1.9 cents per minute for service. Regular rates are 2.7 cents per minute, with no monthly fees. There is a $0.99 fee for months when your bills are less than $15, but that is a small price to pay for the great service provided.
- Telna: At first glance, Telna may not seem like a great company to work with because they charge 4.8 cents per minute on long distance calls. What makes this one of the best home long distance plans is the fact that they have 1 second billing increments. That means you are only charged for the time you are on the phone, not the amount of time they round up to. There are no monthly fees for this company, but you will be charged $0.99 a month if you receive a paper bill in the mail.
- TCI: This provider has some of the lowest rates for intrastate calls in IL, MI, MT, PA, RI, TN, and TX. Their interstate rates are 3 cents per minute, though they may be higher in certain areas. The billing increments are 6 seconds with a minimum charge of 18 seconds. The only other fee you have to worry about is a $0.99 monthly charge if you make interstate or international calls throughout the month.
- Opex: With a 2.7 cent per minute rate for interstate calls, Opex should be near the top of our list. The drawback is that they charge a $2.50 monthly fee, and $1.99 for every month you use less than $20 of long distance. There is another $1.99 fee for paper billing statements, which you can avoid by getting your bill online. If you make a tremendous number of long distance calls, this provider can still be an affordable option.
What to Look for in Long Distance Providers
All long distance providers operate off the same fiber optic network, so you don’t need to worry about the quality of the calls you are placing. Instead, you should focus on a company’s prices and their customer service ratings to see if they are worth working with. Compare the per minute fees, monthly fees, and other costs associated with an account to see which provider offers the lowest rates for you. Keep in mind the billing increments as they could have a large impact on your rates.
You also need to think about the kinds of calls you are going to be making as each provider has different in-state and international rates to consider. Find a plan that fits the calls you want to make and the overall budget you have.