If you try to make a long distance call without a long distance provider, one of two things will happen---you won't be able to get through or you will face per-minute charges of several dollars. Fortunately, there are ways that you can get around these issues and make the calls that you need to make. Depending on your available resources, calling long distance can cost little or no money.
Use a dial-around service. When you make a normal long distance telephone call, the call is routed from your local phone company to the long distance service, who transmits it to the recipient's phone. You can bypass this by using a dial-around service, or a 10-10 number. By calling 10-10-and a three-digit number before you dial, you can choose the company that routes your call.
Purchase a prepaid phone card. With a prepaid card, you pay money up front, and the company deducts a per-minute amount for every call that you make. This can be a good option for international calls, but watch out for the connection fee, especially if you only make short phone calls.
Try a VoIP service. Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a technology that allows you to make phone calls through your computer. It converts between digital and analog signals, meaning that you can call between computers or call from a computer to a regular phone. If the other person also has a VoIP service, your phone call may be free.
If you make regular long distance phone calls, it will be cheaper to get a long distance service.
With all of these options, make sure that you look out for hidden fees, such as connection costs or high per-minute charges. Also, you should pay attention to what counts as a minute--some companies round off every 10, 20, 30 or 60 seconds.
- phone. image by Alexander Lukyanov from Fotolia.com