Around 10-10- Phone Service rates Dropping
NEW TRAC SURVEY SHOWS DIAL AROUND
PHONE RATES DROPPING
Low-Volume Users Can Save By Switching To Dial Around
August 27, 2003, Washington, D.C. - Rates for 10-10 services are
dropping and many consumers could save by switching to 10-10 dial around
services exclusively for their long distance service instead of direct-dial
carriers. According to the updated TeleTips™ Dial Around Comparison Chart,
released today by the Telecommunications Research and Action Center (TRAC), the
cost of many 10-10 services have gone down since the April version of the chart.
"Low-volume long-distance consumers in particular who choose to use
10-10 dial around services
may be able to save as much as 52 percent on their
monthly long-distance bill versus traditional direct-dial services," said
Sam Simon, Chairman of TRAC. "Reduction of per-minute rates, elimination of
some monthly fees, and the creation of new plans have created even more options
for the dial around user. Many consumers may be able to stop using
direct-dial long distance altogether," said Simon.
The TRAC study found that consumers who typically make a small number of
distance calls per month (less than 1 hour of total talk time) can save money on
their monthly phone bill by using dial around services instead of their
long distance carrier. While prices for dial around services vary,
the TRAC charts showed that a typical low-use dial around customer can save an
average of 52 percent on their monthly long-distance bill versus direct-dial.
Costs for a typical user of 10-10 dial around services dropped from $6.99 to
$6.22 per month (11%) since April 2003. The biggest price drops were for
WorldxChange's 10-10-629 ($3.22), AT&T's 10-10-345 ($2.82), and VarTec's
10-10-636 ($1.24) services.
"Consumers need to pick the right 10-10 service, however." said
John Breyault, TRAC staff associate. "Some 10-10 numbers have connection
fees, add on charges and minimum usages, beyond their per-minute rates. Always
read the fine print before using a dial around service."
While most services lowered their fees, consumers paid more for MCI
WorldCom's 10-10-321 and 10-10-220 and Qwest's 10-10-432 services due to recent
FCC universal service fund (USF) fee increases being passed along to the
consumer. Most carriers have phased out their carrier cost recovery fee (CCRF),
but VarTec continues to charge a $1.00 CCRF for every month their 10-10-636 and
10-10-811 services are used. Excel Communications' 10-10-399 service has
technically removed their $1.00 CCRF, but they have hidden the cost by changing
their USF fee from 9.1 percent of total usage to a flat $1.12 per month fee.