What to Look for in Long Distance Phone Providers

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Are you wanting to add long distance calling to your home phone? If so, you need to find the right provider for your personal calling patterns. While you could just ask your current phone provider to do that, you will likely pay a lot more in this way. That is why it is best to find a provider who specifically works with long distance plans. The guide below shows what to look for in long distance phone providers so you can select the right one for you.

Low Prices

You want to find a phone company that is going to offer you the best rates possible on your long distance phone calls. You need to compare the connection fees, monthly fees and per minute fees of each company to select the best one for you.

We cannot definitively say which long distance phone provider is the cheapest because that greatly depends on how you use your phone. If you don’t make a number of long distance calls, you need a low monthly fee. If you call often, it is more important to have a low per minute fee. Think about which carrier has the lowest rates for your kind of usage, and that will give you a good start.

Good Coverage

While you shouldn’t have an issue with coverage for landline phones, there are some carriers that will not extend their services to certain parts of the country or parts of the world. For instance, your phone provider may not allow international calling as part of its long distance plan. If you have family in China that you want to contact, you will obviously want a phone provider that will connect to China’s telecommunications system. See if there are any areas that your possible provider does not cover before signing up for their services.

Reputation

This quality can be a little tricky to assess. You need to find a long distance provider that has a good reputation, but sometimes it’s hard to see who the actual provider is. Many long distance phone companies work through major names like AT&T, but they offer low rate packages because they buy minutes in bulk. Thus, you need to think about the company you are working with, as well as the company you are going to get service through. It is similar to choosing the make of car to buy and then selecting the dealership where you can buy it.

Customer Service

Good customer service falls along the same lines as reputation, but it is something you also need to research before you sign up with the company. How friendly are they on the phone? How well do they know what they are talking about? How long do you have to hold before talking to someone? These are all questions you should research.

Online Bill Pay

This may not be a necessity, but it is something to keep in mind. A lot of long distance phone companies do not have local offices near you. Thus, you don’t have the option of dropping off your payment every month. If you don’t want to mail that payment in, you might want to find a company that offers online bill pay. Then all you have to do is log into a site and pay for your services that way. You should also be able to set up e-statements if you would like to receive your bills through email. This may help you organize your bills easier, and it will help the environment by reducing paper consumption.

Final Thoughts

Most long distance providers have great service and support. Narrow down your options and work with one that you feel will give you the best price and service. As long as they do not have a strict contract, you can cancel at any time and move onto another provider.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of SaveOnPhone.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.