Do you still watch the clock when you’re on a long distance call because you know that the charges are adding up each minute you speak? There are so many different options available for lowering those costs that you really shouldn’t have to do that any more. Below are ten tips for lowering or eliminating your long distance telephone bill.

  1. Request lower rates from your provider. Sometimes it can pay to simply request lower long distance rates with your long distance carrier. With so much competition in the phone service industry, most carriers have a variety of plans to choose from and would happily recommend one that would provide you with lower rates than lose your account to a competitor.
  2. Shop for another provider. Again, because of the competitive market you can often receive some great deals from providers if you let them know that you are considering changing providers. Some providers will provide you with large credits to your account as incentive for you to switch to their plan.
  3. Use a cellphone for your long distance calls. If you already have a cellphone in addition to your land line, this can be a simple solution. Sometimes it may be cheaper to increase the minutes on your cellphone plan and use it for long distance calls than to pay the long distance charges associated with your land line service. In some cases you may be able to drop your land line service altogether and simply rely on cellphone service for all your phone calls.
  4. Internet phone services. Vonage and other internet phone services are becoming quite popular because of their low monthly rate with no long distance charges. If you are already connected to the internet on your computer this can be a great option.
  5. Skype. This is another internet option. Skype allows you to talk by voice over the internet but also allows the two callers to actually see each other as well if the two parties have video camera’s on their computers. The service is entirely free, including the downloading of the software, and is very easy to use. Many grandparents are finding that Skype is the perfect way to stay in touch with grandchildren that live in other parts of the country or even other parts of the world.
  6. Free nights and weekends. If the internet and cellphone options aren’t viable for you, then you may want to simply make better use of free long distance times available through your long distance plan. Most typical long distance plans provide free long distance late at night or during certain hours on the weekend. Saving your long distance calls for those times can greatly reduce your long distance charges.
  7. Toll free numbers. Some long distance charges come from calling businesses or government offices during working hours and can’t be done on nights and weekends. In these instances, always ask if they have a toll free number that you can use.
  8. Prepaid calling cards. If you don’t make many long distance calls, it can be advantageous to use prepaid calling cards. The cost per minute is usually quite low and they can be used at home or from other locations. They are less convenient at home since you do need to dial a few more numbers to use them but the extra digits can be worth the savings.
  9. Review the details on your bill. Sometimes your bill has additional charges on it that you didn’t even know you were paying for. If there are charges listed under your long distance service that you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to call your provider and ask them to be explained. Perhaps there are services you are paying for that you don’t need.
  10. Have your friends and family call you back. If you have friends or family that have free cell minutes or free long distance minutes that you don’t have available, ask them to call you back. Most people will be happy to do this and would rather not have their time on the phone with you limited due to the charges you would be adding to your bill.

As you can see, there are plenty of options for lowering or eliminating your long distance bill. Do some exploring to see which of these options makes the most sense for your situation.

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