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Saving Tips On Telecommunications

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    Saving Tips On Telecommunications

    1. Call your phone company and ask them how you can save money with your current calling habits. Phone companies often have discount plans available that meet your needs, but will not tell you about them unless you ask.

    2. If a large phone service calls and asks you to switch services, don't immediately hang up or accept. Always ask if they can offer more. You may get offered incentives that make the change worthwhile. Once you've changed, the competition will always call back and you can repeat the same process again.

    3. If you are given an incorrect or no longer in service phone number when using directory assistance, call the operator back and request a refund for both the information charge and for the cost of calling the wrong number.

    4. If you keep a cell phone in case of an emergency, consider purchasing prepaid cards for it instead of a calling plan. Since the phone will only be used in an emergency situation, you can simply buy a fixed amount of time for a small fee and thus eliminate monthly bills and taxes.

    5. If you own a cellular phone, check to see if it offers free long distance calls originating from your local calling area (many do). If so, use it to make all your long distance calls instead of your home phone and wipe out your current long distance phone bill.

    6. If you purchase a cellphone with a recycled phone number, check if you are being billed for premium services such as text messaging. Often the previous user signed up for these services, but never canceled them meaning that premium fees will be billed to you if you don't cancel them.

    7. It is becoming more common for long-distance phone services to be switched without authorization (referred to as "slamming"). To prevent this, contact your telephone company and ask to only have your service switched after the phone company contacts you first.

    8. Make sure that you are not leasing a phone from the phone company. You can purchase the same phone at a local appliance store for what the phone company usually charges to lease the phone for a couple of months.

    9. Comparison shop every few months to see if you're getting the best deal on your telephone calling plan. The phone industry is very competitive and prices change frequently.

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    10. Consider using a smaller, lower profile long-distance service company. Smaller companies often have less expensive service and fewer fees.

    11. Try to make your calling plan as basic as possible and cancel all extra phone services that you don't use. Extra service such as call waiting and call forwarding can more than double your monthly phone bill.

    12. If you make a lot of short calls or the use your fax machine frequently, contact your long-distance carrier for their call-rounding policy. While larger phone companies usually round up to the next minute, many smaller companies offer six-second call rounding. A change could save you quite a bit of money.

    13. Check to see if your phone company charges a fee if you receive a paper bill. If so, pay your bill online and save this fee.

    14. If the majority of your long-distance calls are within your state, sign-up for a low intrastate rate calling plan.

    15. If you rarely make long-distance phone calls, consider dropping your long distance plan all together. It may be cheaper to use a prepaid phone card, a dial-around service or your cell phone if it has free long distance minutes.

    16. If you rarely use you phone at home, you may want to disconnect it and use only a cell phone. By doing so you'll eliminate any monthly service fees, taxes and long-distance fees.

    17. Take care not to exceed your cell phone monthly allotted minutes since this can be quite costly. Picking an appropriate plan that always covers the minutes you use will save you a lot of money.

    18. Cell phones can become quite expensive if everyone in the family has one. Taking the time to determine the difference between necessity and convenience can save a bundle.

    19. If you have a vacation home, determine whether you need a land base phone in it. If you're only there a few weeks of the year, a cell phone may be less expensive than the fees charged for a year round land line phone.

    #2
    Re: Saving Tips On Telecommunications

    Great tips. Another idea is to make sure you're not paying for a cell phone plan that has too many minutes you never use. I started looking at my cell phone's detailed billing, and I realized I always have LESS that 200 minutes for outgoing calls, but my plan covered 500. So I switched to the plan that only had 300 minutes a month, knowing that I'll never exceeed this. You really have to do some studying here and make sure that you've never gone over the minutes, otherwise, you'll be paying more for minutes not covered. Now I switched to a plan with less minutes, and I'm saving $10 a month. Not bad=)

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      #3
      Re: Saving Tips On Telecommunications

      Another thought is disconnect long distance alltogther & use free phone cards you can get online thats what I do so I dont pay for long distance. I also disconnected my cell phone cause the one time in 4 yrs I really needed it the thing wouldnt work so I disconnected that!!

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        #4
        Re: Saving Tips On Telecommunications

        For land based lines: I shop around for a long distance carrier about once a year. I find if you stay with the same carrier too long, funny fees tend to creep onto the bill.

        For cell phones: A pre-paid card works well. We only use it for emergencies. And we don't give out the number.

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          #5
          Re: Saving Tips On Telecommunications

          If you have broadband internet service and make long distance calls, you can easily save hundreds of dollars a year by switching to internet phone service. I subscribed to Packet8 VoIP service a few months ago and now have unlimited "any time" local and long distance calling (including calls to Canada) for $19.95 a month. The quality is excellent and the best part is I'm saving over $500 a year on telephone expenses. I had my land line phone disconnected and no longer have a long distance bill. I was also able to reduce my cell phone plan down to the bare minimum, which saves $20 a month right there. Another "bonus" is I get all the features like call waiting, voicemail, caller id, call forwarding, etc... for free.

          If you don't make long distance calls and use dial up internet, VoIP probably won't save you much money. Otherwise, you can save a lot!

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Saving Tips On Telecommunications

            i think the voip are terrible!!! you might save a little money at first, but you dont always get a local number. most voip providers don't offer 911 service so if you need to call 911 you have to call a local number and wait forever. since it's an internet phone the voice quality sounds like your going thru a tunnell. oh yeah there not regulated by the FCC so unlike a landline phone you're voip service can be down for days and the level of phone quality doesnt have to meet any FCC standards. in the long run they are a WASTE of money. i like being able to know if someone is breaking into my home i can call 911 and talk to someone right away.

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              #7
              Re: Saving Tips On Telecommunications

              another good way to save on the cell phones are to chose a provider that offers roll over minutes, so if you dont use all of the anytime minutes you can keep them for 1 year!! CINGULAR offers great deals and no roaming. and if you have it billed to your SBC phone bill you get a disount. and you can have your tv and broadband internet all billed together to get a monthly discount

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                #8
                Re: Saving Tips On Telecommunications

                Actually, VoIP providers are regulated by the FCC. In fact, a few months ago (in May I believe) the FCC issued a requirement that all VoIP providers incorporate E911 (enhanced 911) service into their networks. All providers are working on this now, and Packet8 (the one I subscribe to) just announced that they will be E911 compliant next month. This means that when a VoIP user makes a 911 call it is routed to their LOCAL 911 operator. Also, it means that 911 operators will see the person's call back number and address. Of course, it is up to the user to keep this information current. As far as quality, that most likely depends on the provider you are using (You didn't mention who you used - is it a large, reputable company like Vonage or Packet8?) as well as the quality of your broadband connection and the quality of your broadband modem. A lot of things come into play when you talk about VoIP quality - it's not always the provider that has the problem. I have no problems with quality and absolutely love my VoIP. I will never go back to land line service.

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                  #9
                  Re: Saving Tips On Telecommunications

                  i really hear a lot about voip in the work i do. i have people always complaining about there voip service and saying they wish they never used it and are practically begging to come back to a land line service, like you said right now you dont have a 911 service right now, so sometimetime next month you might get it????? anyways landlines are more regulated the fcc only allows a landline to be down 99.9% of the time unlike voip. in case the power goes out, you can't use your phone with a landline you're power goes out and you still have a phone to use.. think about how secure an internet connection is vs a landline ..

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Saving Tips On Telecommunications

                    You are correct that there are no uptime regs for VoIP with the FCC, and that it will not work if your power or internet connection is down. As far as security goes, our government currently has access to all landline phone calls via wiretapping. They are really pushing for this access with VoIP, but right now they cannot listen in on VoIP calls. Since VoIP uses internet, it is inherently not as secure as PSTN lines. As do most people, I have a cell phone - which is my backup phone service in the event VoIP is not working due to power outage or whatever. The biggest advantage to using VoIP is the price, and although there are some drawbacks as you mention - to me these are ok considering all the money I am saving. VoIP isn't for everyone, but if you make a lot of long distance calls as I do, it's the best thing going!

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                      #11
                      Re: Saving Tips On Telecommunications

                      I would like to add...read your phone bills VERY carefully. When filling our online forms I often give out my phone number. Recently I had a charge (actually ended up being charged for 2 months!) by a company who sells voice messaging services. I didn't even know I had signed up for it. From what they said, I gather I signed up for a sweepstakes and neglected to uncheck a little box requesting this service. If they had asked for my credit card, I would have been warned but I never dreamed of someone billing my phone for something! They were not even very nice when I requested a refund but I finally did get it.

                      BTW, the phone company (Qwest) told me that they by law have to accept these 3rd party charges. They cannot get your refund for you, they gave me a couple numbers and I tracked down the company, but other than that the most they can do is let the company know you have declined the service. They did that for me after I also had talked to the company and while I was waiting for the credits to appear.

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                        #12
                        Re: Saving Tips On Telecommunications

                        yes you do want to read the phone bills...because the FCC does make the phone company to alow other carriers to charge on the account. when you didnt authorize the charge the phone company can send those 3rd party charges back to the origanal carrier!! and then you dont have to fight with the local phone carrier. to go along with that if you use the free AOL services, and you dont cancel the charge will also come on your phone bill and it's so expensive over $20 for dial up!!

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                          #13
                          Re: Saving Tips On Telecommunications

                          One thing you can do (and should do) is call your phone company and tell them you want to lock your long distance. There is a special term for this, but I cannot remember it but the phone co will know what you are talking about. When you make this request they put a note on your account that prevents any changes on it unless specifically requested by you. This prevents other companies from changing the PIC code attached to your phone. The PIC number is the "dial around" code for a long distance carrier. This allows you to use the carrier of your choice for long distance. If you don't lock it, carriers can actually change it. If locked, only you can have it changed.

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                            #14
                            Re: Saving Tips On Telecommunications

                            it's called slamming protection. it's free and i think everyone should have it. what happens is the phone company will mail you the form, make sure you fill it out and return it. if you want to change your ld carrier all you do is call the phone carrier and they can change it for you.

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                              #15
                              Re: Saving Tips On Telecommunications

                              With fraudulent 3rd party charges, make sure you get the taxes, etc back as well.

                              I had Southwestern bell and was charged for 2 calls when I wasn't even home. Directory assistance type calls. They were something like $5 total per call. One per month.

                              The first month I called and raised holy hell. I told them that this was not a call I made, and they told me that they had proof it was made from my home. I told them that was funny, no one was in our house at that time. They told me a friend must have done it. I told them no friends had access to our home as we had just moved and hadn't even given out the new phone number yet. SWB refused to do anything to help me. I spent about 2 hours arguing with both parties. I finally got back about $3 in charges.

                              The next month it happened again. Again while no one was home. OMG, I threw a hissy fit of epic proportions. All over SWB. They told me they had no control over it. I told them that was bull, that in this instance they were just like a credit card company and they were to remove all the charges, the taxes from the previous bill and this bill because I disputed it. I told them I was going to the Attorney General over this (I know, it was just $10 or so, but still). Finally, they told me they'd block this number from my phone. Then she got confused and said "you couldn't have made this call, you don't even have access to long distance from your phone". "That's what I'm saying, I DIDN'T MAKE THIS CALL!" So she removed the charges and turned that party in for fraudulent charges.

                              But geesh, how many people did they do this to who couldn't prove they didn't make the call? And who got stuck paying several dollars in fees and taxes each month, plus dealing with the hassle (hours) of trying to get it reduced even that much.

                              The next month, cox cable offered phone service in my neighborhood and we switched. MUCH better service and never a fraudulent charge.

                              Now we don't have a landline. I worry about 911 sometimes (cellphones aren't that great) but I feel pretty safe.

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