Getting The Message Straight

Changes in telecommunications laws have opened up the telephone service marketplace. But how do youknow which service is best for you?

his phone company. But he was able to negotiate for a 40% total discount, including long-distance calls, directory assistance and calling card costs. “It comes down to haggling,” Golub says.

The bottom line: Don’t let all the sales hype confuse you. Learn more about your rights and what to look for in a telephone carrier by “letting your fingers do the walking.” Here are a number of consumer services you can “reach out and touch” for more information:
Telegroup’s online Call Cost Comparison chart (http://www.callcost.com) can give you a broader picture of price ranges.
The Federal Trade Commission offers an online consumer help line at gopher://consumer.ftc.gov:2416; or call their National Fraud Information Center at 800-876-7060.

The Tele-Consumer Hotline (http://www.teleconsumer.org/hotline) is a nonprofit consumer help organization that provides online advice and information about long distance.

For a free copy of the Consumer Action phone survey, send a self- addressed stamped envelope to: C.A. Long Distance Rate Survey, 116 New Montgomery St., Suite 233, San Francisco, CA 94105.

TRAC’s newsletter, Tele-Tips, can be purchased for $5 by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to: TRAC, P.O. Box 27279, Washington, DC 20005.

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