Your long distance telephone service is the most expensive part of your phone bill, unless you have something else bundled with the phone service, and so consumers are always looking for ways to lessen the costs. Long distance telephone services are very important for communicating with friends and family, and even doing some jobs, such as selling products from home, so it’s in your best interest to look for the best deal.

Telephone service providers and providers of long distance services are always in competition and yet it may seem as though you’re at the mercy of your phone company and they can push their rates upon you with utter impunity. This however is far from the truth. Today you can find local offers and national and local long distance vendors that will give you a better deal; or you can at least use this threat to wrangle a good long distance phone rate out of your current telephone services provider. In order to get the best long distance phone rates, you have to understand what the company is doing.

Phone companies charge a number of cents per minute for long distance phone calls. Generally this cost is between three and five or six cents, but for cell phones, the price is astronomically greater-often in excess of twenty five cents per minute and can go up to forty cents per minute depending on your service provider and whether you’re on a plan or using a call card. Cell phone companies are especially cunning because unless you have a bill coming in, you won’t know what your rate is without doing some digging which means you’re likely paying far too much. On a landline, it’s easier to see since it’s right on your bill.

Once you’ve determined your cents per minute rate for your long distance service provider, you can see that you’re either paying far too much or you at least want to try to pay less. You can do this by finding local offers through your national and local long distance vendor or simply through your telephone service provider. Call them up and ask after any deals or promotions; this alone may net you some surprising results. You may find that you can get a better deal if you bundle services (a favorite is home phone+internet) or you may discover that you’ll get a better deal if you take X-amount of minutes for $Y/month (this deal has each minute being cheaper than without the bundle.) If you’re fortunate, your customer service representative will suggest something for you; if not, you’ll have to do some bluffing and threatening. Do some research into long distance service providers and see what they offer and compare prices (there are a number of useful services online that will do a lot of the comparing for you!); then take this information back to your provider of long distance phone services and threaten to go to a rival company if your current one does not give you a better deal.

There are a couple of things to avoid if at all possible. One is calling cards. Although convenient, you pay for this convenience with astounding long distance rates. Calling cards should only be used if you only rarely call long distance; if you find yourself doing long distance calls several times or more a month for a long time, then it’s time to get a long distance service provider. Another time to use calling cards is for international calling; you can find good deals on calling cards for calling international phone numbers if you do a bit of work.

Don’t think that you’re locked into your current price. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save if you just ask for a bundle or after promotions and savings. Even just a few dollars saved per month adds up to a tidy sum every year and you didn’t have to do anything for it.

Long distance telephone service doesn’t have to put a huge hole in your bank book. With a bit of research, savvy, and care, you can save a neat lump of money every year on your telephone bill and that money can go towards something more important, or at least more fun.

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