I’ve decided that communication service expenses are one of my largest financial outlays. Considering how important communication is to me, both personally and professionally, this rings (pun intended) a bit ironic.So I started with looking at this area. I have DSL service, I have a cell phone plan, I have a wireless internet plan added to my cell phone plan, I have a 1-800 number, I have a standard phone line, I have a long distance carrier. That’s a lot for just one little service provider. So I’m looking at what I need to keep and what I can either eliminate or reduce.
I use Qwest long distance, which has been pretty good, after the first three months of total fiasco. Once they got my billing right, and quit sending me $600+ monthly bills (charging something inane like 15 or 20 cents per minute) for a $20 per month unlimited plan, it was pretty good. If you decide you want a good standard long distance plan, I recommend this one — but be prepared, just in case you have the “rounds” for a couple months that I did. It usually ran over $20 per month once all the fees and taxes were added, but it seldom topped $30 per month. It was still a pretty good deal. You do have to request this plan, however, they seldom seem to tell you that it’s available… so ask. Their number (if you are interested, is 1-800-860-2255.
But, if you want to save even more (50-75% more), you may want to consider ChatterBug. If you are a corporate office or a company/government agency this won’t work for you. But as an individual outsourcing provider or freelancer, it just might.
Last night, I purchased the ChatterBug device (picked it up at Wal-Mart for $21.16) and I hooked it up this afternoon to give it a test drive. After placing several calls and getting the opinion of those on the other end of the line, it appears that it’s going to be a thumbs-up solution. It also functions on the extension handsets I have for my main line. That’s nice.
The device plugs into the back of your phone. It’s really that simple. No Internet required, no muss, no fuss. It’s a great little product and the only problem I’ve had so far is that a couple of my calls didn’t go through the first try. I had to hit “redial” — but once they connect, it’s probably a better sounding (louder) connection than my standard LD company provided.
If I have any problems with this little thing over the next few weeks, I’ll yell. Otherwise, my long distance phone bill was just shaved down to a respectable $9.95 per month — unlimited to anywhere in the US AND Canada. You may want to give it a spin. To learn more, visit www.ChatterBug.com.
Read my Not-so-stellar update on this adventure after one month of trying it out. I’m back to Qwest now. Thankfully I switched back before the 35-day grace period, so I’m still “grandfathered in” with my old (and no-longer available) plan. *whew*