Dial Around Long Distance
You may be familiar with dial around services because of their popular commercials in the early 1990s. If you ever wondered why you don’t see any of these commercials anymore, there’s a good reason for it. Dial around services have undergone a major drop in popularity in recent years because their prices are no longer competitive.
You can still use dial around services, but we generally don’t recommend it. With all of the other services that you can use, it’s almost certain that you will be wasting money if you decide to use a dial around service. Check out the pros and cons of dial around service below.
What is Dial Around?
A dial around service is a company that allows you to bypass your telephone service provider when you are making a call. This is most valuable when you are making a long distance call that costs a lot of money with your telephone service provider. In the early 1990s dial around services offered very low rates, which meant that you could save a lot of money by using a dial around service.
How do you use a dial around service?
Instructions are generally the same for all dial around services. First, you call the number of the dial around service. This will be a 10-10-xxx number like 10-10-220 or 10-10-321. After you have dialed this number, you then dial a 1 and the area code and phone number you are trying to reach.
If you are using dial around service for international calling then instead of a 1 you dial 011 and the country code before the phone number you are trying to reach.
The dial around company bills you through your telephone service provider. So, if an extra charge shows up on your phone bill, it is probably from the dial around call.
Why would you want to use a dial around service?
If you are still using a traditional telephone company or a cable company for your phone service, then you could still save some money with a dial around servicefor international and long distance calling. For example, if you had Verizon for your home phone service and you wanted to make a phone call to France, you would pay $1.49/minute to call a landline phone. If you used 10-10-987, you would pay $0.55 for the connection fee, and then $0.09/minute for the call.
Some people like to use a dial around service because it allows them to save money on select calls without the need to commit to a plan or a regular monthly fee with a company. For example, if you wanted to get an international calling plan with a traditional phone company like the Verizon International Long Distance Value Plan, you may save some money if you make a lot of international calls in the month, but you still have to commit to a monthly plan with a $3.99/month fee in addition to your bill for your regular service.
Why shouldn’t you use a dial around service?
While a dial around service can still save you money if you are using a traditional telephone service for your calls, there are many other telephone services that are much more cost effective than dial around services.
Most particularly, VoIP calling is generally a much better choice than dial around. You can get a VoIP service for your home or office phone,or you can use a VoIP service on your computer or cell phone to make occasional VoIP calls. And with most VoIP services, a call made from one number on that VoIP service to another number on that VoIP service is free. This is why you can download and use Skype for free to call other people with Skype accounts.
And when you use a VoIP provider for your home phone service, you could stand to pay as little as $4.99/month (Phone Power’s Freedom Unlimited residential VoIP plan). These plans almost always include unlimited calling in the US and sometimes in Canada as well. International calling with a VoIP service is very cheap as well, sometimes lower than $0.01/minute.
We recommend NOT using Dial Around services.