How To Choose Unlimited Long Distance

May 23


Alyice Edrich

Alyice Edrich

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When you need to cut costs, you need to start with home. Here's a few tips to help with your communication needs.


Switching from traditional,How To Choose Unlimited Long Distance Articles pay-per-minute plans to unlimited long distance calling plans can be a scary step for families with a limited budget. That’s why it’s important to make sure the switch actually benefits your family’s needs.

What Is Unlimited Long Distance

Unlimited long distance is simply a long distance phone plan that allows anyone in your household to call anywhere within the plan’s calling area for a flat monthly fee. Depending on the service you sign up for, your unlimited long distance calling plan could include all state-to-state calls, all intrastate calls, all international calls, or a combination of the three.

Determine Your Needs

The first step to deciding if an unlimited long distance plan is right for your family is to pull out your old phone bills and see how much you’re truly spending on long distance calls. Don’t look at the total cost of your phone bill because the basic charges for having your phone installed and readily available every month will not be included in the unlimited long distance service.

There is really only one factor in determining whether or not unlimited long distance is right for your family:

  • You spend a set dollar amount every month on long distance calls and that dollar amount is more than the cost of the unlimited service, plus fees and taxes.

If your long distance calls fluctuate every month, it might be more cost-effective to find a cheaper per minute long distance service and not sign up for an unlimited plan.  The only time you’ll want to break this rule is if the average dollar amount per month is more than the cost of the unlimited long distance service. To find the average dollar amount per month, total all long distance calls over a twelve month period and divide those calls by twelve.

Research Unlimited Long Distance Carriers

Not all unlimited long distance plans are created equal. While some plans have no hidden agenda: no extra fees, no add-on services, no restrictions, other plans need to be carefully researched and monitored.

Depending on the carrier and the plan you sign up for, your unlimited long distance plan may include some or all of the following restrictions: toll calls not included, limited calling area, limited number of minutes per month, a term contract, a sign-up or setup fee, extra monthly fees, a usage fee, and/or taxes outside the advertised rate.

Researching different unlimited carriers and studying the fine print in each contract can save you hundreds of dollars and several headaches—in the long run.

When researching unlimited long distance plans, make sure you double-check the following:

  • What does unlimited calling really mean?
  • Is there a limit to the number of calls I can make?

      If so, what is the per second/minute rate?

  • What states are included in the unlimited calling area?
  • Are toll numbers included in the unlimited calling area?
  • Are international calls included in the unlimited calling area?
  • Do I have to sign a contract?
  • Is there an early cancellation fee?
  • Is there a switch, sign-up, or set up fee?
  • When will my service be activated?
  • Are there any surcharges?
  • What taxes are charged?
  • Can my local and long distance plan be combined to save even more money?

Remember, choosing the right plan for your family should mean immediate and long-term savings, not “potential” savings.

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