I need a new long-distance provider, screw MCI!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Rachael B, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Rachael Bellomy
    My Bellsouth phone bill came today and I'm P'ed. MCI, my present but soon I hope ex long-distance provider, charges for not making any long-distance calls this month total $11.10!!!!

    I'm sorry but that's money for nothin' and I don't want to take it anymore. F MCI!

    here's the breakdown:

    MCI Everyday Classic $3.95
    other fees (????) 5.87
    Fed eral excise tax .21
    state & local taxes .94
    Federal, state & local
    surcharges .13
    ____
    = $11.10

    I'm suprised there's not a 15% gratuity tacked on![​IMG] [​IMG] These are charges for making zero, zilch, nada, no LD calls!

    Anybody have any suggestions for a long distance provider for somebody who doesn't make very many long distance calls? I'm tired of forking over $ for nothin'!
     
  2. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    I recommend a cell phone. I have not had a phone line in the house in 6 months.
     
  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Steve, I have a cell phone too. I need a phone line for DirecTV, Tivo, and dial-up. I need a new long distance carrier or maybe no carrier??? MCI is leaving the picture. That much is for sure!
     
  4. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    How about just using one of the 10-10 numbers or a calling card? I think a calling card might be in your best interest.
     
  5. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    The 10-10's are a possibility but some have monthly charges too. It's so difficult to get fully, upfront info about service providers! There always seem to be OTHER CHARGES....
     
  6. SteveA

    SteveA Supporting Actor

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    10-10's are a scam. They charge a flat fee for the call for the first twenty minutes because they know that the vast majority of calls last less than one minute (like when an answering machine picks up). They are probably making over a dollar per minute, on average.

    Using a 10-10 service only makes sense when you are certain that your call will be a lengthy one.
     
  7. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Well, what do you think about calling cards? If you find the right one, you'll never go back to using a carrier.
     
  8. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I have DTV, and a TiVo but do not have a phone line, hasn't caused me any problems. I have a first generation TiVo so I just made it stop making daily calls, it gets all the guide data directly from DTV so the call is pointless.
     
  9. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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    I have local service only for my phone. I dropped the long distance and just use my cell phone for that. Works for me.
     
  10. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Pamela, that's an intresting notion. I'm gonna look at my cell plan and see if it would be good for me. Thanks![​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    I don't have long distance at all, but the fact that they make you pay to not have service is a scam as well. . but that's another story for another day.

    If you want to have long distance, just get a plain, basic, no-nonsense plan. Most of the time you have to call up and ask for them because they aren't advertised. Sure, you'll be paying 12 cents a minute or some such, but there'll be no monthly fees. But if you're spending at least $11 month and not even making LD calls, it makes a lot more sense to just pay a higher per-minute fee when the need arises. That $11 right there will give you roughly 100 minutes of LD talk time and it sounds to me like you really don't even call that much so 100 minutes may suit your needs.
     
  12. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I use Z-tel with a "unlimited local + long distance" plan for a flat fee a month. I think $45
     
  13. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Alternative long distance solutions are fine, but they don't really address the problem, since the bad part of it is that many of us are either required to have a "default" long distance provider, or we must pay a "small" fee for not having a provider. YMMV.

    Rachael, if you find a LD provider that doesn't charge a monthly fee for nothing, please post back here and let us all know what it is.
     
  14. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Brian, I had hoped somebody would maybe tell me about one.[​IMG]
     
  15. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    Well, my idea doesn't require paying any monthly fee, whether you use LD or not. You just have to call and ask because they won't advertise such a thing. I had it both with MCI and AT&T and never had a problem.
     
  16. Mark Fontana

    Mark Fontana Stunt Coordinator

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    I ditched MCI in 2000 for the same reason (fed up with the ridiculous fees for low usage). After quite a bit of digging, I settled on Powernet Global Communications as my LD provider. I am on their flat 4.9 cents/minute plan with no monthly fee. This also includes an 800 number with PIN for emergency calls to home. Bills are accessed on their website and they charge my credit card automatically each month. The customer service I've received via their phone support has been very good.

    This link has more info.

    PNG can be reached at 1-866-329-7280 if you want to sign up. Make sure you ask for the 4.9 cent per minute "Power 1+" residential long distance service with no monthly fee. I noticed their website doesn't specifically mention the flat 4.9 cent rate and also hints at a potential monthly fee, so if you have any trouble getting that rate WITHOUT a fee, tell them you want exactly the same plan and terms that my account VGE0002108 is on.

    One tip: PNG will reimburse any fees your phone company charges to switch LD providers. You just have to send them a letter with a copy of the bill.

    One more tip: When you have an account with PNG, international calls are billed at a fairly high standard rate if you dial "011 ..." and a much lower rate if you call their "PowerDial" 888 number and enter the international number when prompted. For example, calling to France, the difference was 0.12/min vs. 0.22/min. The PowerDial access number is 888-303-0730.

    It was over three years ago, but I think the site where I originally learned about Powernet Global is http://abtolls.com/. (It's one of those sites for comparison shopping of long distance plans.)
     
  17. adrian b

    adrian b Stunt Coordinator

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    My LD provider is a Pionner CLD-D703 modified for AC-3 (and I never have to pay any fees) [​IMG]
     
  18. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Rachael
    Be careful...I dumped them and they signed me back up! The only way to keep people.
    I think there are robbers and rapists in the neighborhood
    "Kill my landlord"
     
  19. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    Check and see if your local phone provider is starting to offer long distance also. Mine is and part of the enticement is no minimum for long distance with a combined billing. (at least for 1 year , and a $25 Visa gift card too ) The per-minute rate is bad but since I make almost no long distance calls that doesn't matter.


    For my business I found a carrier that offered no mimimum if I would switch all my long distance (interstate , intrastate and interlata) at 3 cents/min ; but they don't offer that for residential.
     
  20. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    i say get broadband, dump bellsouth, and go wireless. i've never, ever had my directv receiver hooked up to a phone line. the only reason you really need a phone line for directv is if you order a lot of pay-per-view movies with your remote. they fail to tell you that you can call customer service and order them as well. broadband isn't as expensive as one would think. i used to pay $27.00 a month for a basic phone line and $10.00 a month for internet access ($37.00 to access via dialup). broadband is costing me $39.95 a month (will be $5.00 less once i purchase my own modem) plus $12.15 to receive local channels via the cable company. if i wanted local channels via directv, i'd have to fork over another $5.00 a month. so for what would've cost be $42.00 a month, i now get for about $55.00 a month (which will be about $50.00 a month once i buy my own modem). the way i see it, for less than $10.00 extra a month, it's a no brainer.

    kevin t
     

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