The Back Pocket
International Calling Plans That Save Money
After I finished college, I spent a few years working and living in countries such as Japan, China, Spain, and Italy. It was a lot of fun learning about new cultures and experiencing different ways of life, and I was able to meet a bunch of fantastic people, many of whom are still my friends to this day. Keeping in touch has been a challenge, but thanks to e-mail and a good international calling plan, I've been able to manage. Actually, finding that cheap international calling plan wasn't as easy as I expected. There are a lot of companies out there that claim to have the lowest rates to many countries around the world, but upon closer examination, found that their ads weren't entirely truthful. You see, a few of those international calling plans come with hidden fees and extra charges, which of course serve to drive up the real per-minute rate to something quite a bit higher than the advertised rate.
So when I was first shopping around, I had to carefully check out all the international calling plans I came across before signing up for one. After I learned exactly what to look for, the task went a little faster. For example, I first checked to see if there were any time restrictions that I had to be aware of. Some companies charge more for calls placed during peak hours, so I definitely wanted to avoid those. In addition, I also wanted to know if the international calling plan I was looking at would charge "connection fees" every time I made a call.
That was another trap I wanted to avoid. It took a lot of searching, but in the end, I found several international calling plans with low rates and no hidden fees or charges whatsoever. I signed up with one that didn't require a long-term contract, and that had the most competitive rates to the countries I wanted to call the most often. After more than two years of use, I'm happy to report that I haven't run into any significant problems with the service. If you've got friends or family living in different parts of the world, then a good international calling plan is essential for allowing you to stay in touch. By looking out for hidden fees and charges, I'm sure you'll be able to find an affordable long-distance service that will save you money on all of your overseas calls.
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