Five Ways to Slash Your Phone Bill
Check out your phone bill the next time it arrives
You may have one of these packages with a lot of features that you either don't need or don't use. For example, your package might include features such as three-way calling, call forwarding, unlimited long distance or continuous dialing. Ask yourself the question, "am I really using these features on a regular basis?" If the answer is "no," I suggest you contact your phone company and ask what other plans they have that offer fewer features, and cost less. For that matter, you might consider switching to your phone company's most basic plan. It won't have any features outside of a dial tone but could save you a bunch. For example, our local phone service provider has a basic plan that costs just $21.95 a month, plus all applicable taxes and surcharges.
Shop for your phone service.
Depending on where you live, there might be as many as three or four different phone service providers competing for your business. Do a little research. Find out if there are competing service providers in your area. If so, contact each and ask about its various plans. You might find you can get as many or even more features for $10 to $20 a month less than what you're currently paying.
Consider dropping the conventional phone land-line.
Most of the cellular service providers offer family-oriented packages with 1,000 or more minutes a month for as little as $49.95 a month.
Many of them will even let you add family members for around $6.00 a month. They may even give you the additional phones free. Suppose you're now paying $34.00 a month for your conventional service and
$39.95 for your cellular service. That's a total of $73.95 a month.Drop that conventional service and switch to a family plan at, say,
$49.95 a month, plus $12 for two additional phones and viola! You've just cut your total phone bill by at least $12.00 a month.
Dial a few extra numbers and save big.
Are you familiar with the 10-10 services, also known as dial-around plans? They are simple to use and requires no advance payment, no contract and no calling card. A 10-10 number works by routing your call around your existing phone company. You just dial 10-10 and then usually a three-digit number followed by the phone number of the person you're calling. This coding dials around your existing long distance carrier to give you cheaper rates. For more information on these rates, go to www. 10-10phonerates.com.
VoIP Voice Over Internet Protocol.
If you want to save money and aren't afraid to try a new technology, check out VoIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol. Now available from more than a dozen different companies, VoIP requires a computer, a high- speed Internet connection (DSL or cable), a special adapter and an ordinary telephone. VoIP is cheaper than than conventional phone service, plus it is not subject to all it taxes and surcharges - which can almost double the cost of your service. VoIP service can cost as little as $19.95 a month (including calls to Western Europe) and often includes features like call forwarding and voice mail that the conventional phone companies charge extra for. Be aware that all is not perfect with VoIP as voice quality may not be as good as a traditional landline. Also, since the service is computer dependent, when your power goes out, so does your phone service.
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