Wading Through 10-10 Wonderland

How to choose a long distance plan that's right for you

I dropped AT&T as my long distance carrier because they were charging me money even if I did not make long distance calls,” says Jimmy Wilkinson of Bedford, Ohio. Wilkinson then decided to use the VarTec Telecom number 10-10-811, at the rate of 10¢ a minute, with a minimum of 3 minutes, or suffer an automatic 30¢ charge. His monthly long distance expenses have dropped from $10–$12 to around $7 and $8.

Wilkinson could possibly fare even better if he knew of plans by the company Everdial, offering rates as low as 4.9¢ a minute. “I’d definitely go for it, if my cable company plan falls through,” says Wilkinson who recently switched to his cable provider, paying 8¢ a minute for all his calls.

Www.10-10phonerates.com provides consumers with clear, concise information on the vast amount of 10-10 plans available. “For anyone that spends more than $20 a month on long distance, it is well worth their time to shop around — in particular people that have an instate rate higher than 8¢ a minute,” says Rich Sayers, editor of the site.

There is a 10-10 plan for every long distance need. Those who make hefty amounts of calls might be interested in a WorldxChange Communications deal that charges a monthly fee of $3.95 with a rate of 3.9¢ per minute on interstate calls and low international rates. The following tips will help get you started on mastering the 10-10 number maze.

  • Read the Fine Print. At first glance, many 10-10 plans appear to be a bargain. Not knowing the details can cost you. For example, the Website for the number 101-6868 advertises a rate of 7.9¢ for state-to-state calls, but fails to list the price for instate calls, which can cost as much as 19.9¢ a minute.
  • Know if the number is available. Sayers says that consumers should first test the number on their particular line, as some areas are not programmed for 10-10 numbers. People who use their cable TV carrier cannot dial a 10-10 number.
  • Stay up-to-date. “Rates are subject to change without notice, and companies can legally change the phone rate without notice,” says Sayers. That not only requires consumers to do their homework before choosing a plan, but afterward as well.
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